Friday, August 19, 2011

Race narrows in Ontario projection with new Nanos poll

Monday, August 22 update: Condolences to the friends and family of Jack Layton, who passed away this morning. It is very, very sad news and Canada is diminished by his loss.

A new poll from Nanos Research for CTV and The Globe and Mail released during my absence shows a narrowing race between the provincial Tories and the governing Liberals, echoing a flash poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid earlier this month.
For the Progressive Conservatives, this is very little change since Nanos's last poll in May, but with 42.1% support the Tories hold a 4.5-point lead over the Liberals, who have gained 3.6 points and now trail the PCs with 37.6%.

That is a good gain for the Liberals, coming primarily off the backs of the New Democrats. They have dropped 2.5 points to 16.2%, while the Greens are down two points to 3.4%.

Another poll on leadership found that Dalton McGuinty has now squeezed ahead of Tim Hudak on who would make the best Premier, with 30% support to 29%. Andrea Horwath is in third with 12%.

So things appear to be getting better for the Premier, with only a couple weeks left to go before the start of the campaign.

The projection has been updated to include this new poll, but this one set of data isn't enough to shift the balance of the projection in too dramatic a fashion. In September, polls will be weighted on a daily basis but as we are still in a pre-writ period they are being weighted on a monthly basis.
There have been no seat changes in the projection, with the Progressive Conservatives clinging to a majority with 57, the Liberals safely in Official Opposition territory with 32, and the New Democrats almost doubling their current haul of MPPs with 18.

The Progressive Conservatives are now projected to have the support of 40.5% of Ontarians, up 0.4 points since the last projection of August 12.

The Liberals are up 1.3 points to 32.6%, while the New Democrats are down 1.1 points to 20.1%. The Greens are also down, dropping 0.6 points to 5.5%.
The race has gotten much closer, however, as many seats are now on the bubble. In several cases, decimal points separate the winners from the runners-up.
The Progressive Conservatives now lead by 5% or less in 18 of their 57 projected seat wins, up two seats from the last projection. They also trail by 5% or less in seven seats, down two.

The Liberals, meanwhile, lead in eight by 5% or less (two seats fewer) and trail by 5% or less in 18 seats (up two). The New Democrats are unchanged, trailing by 5% or less in two seats.

This makes the Tory range at between 39 and 64 seats, worse than August 12th's 41-66 seats. It means that only 42% of the PCs' range is in majority territory. The Liberal range, up from 22 to 48 seats to 24 to 50 seats, now comfortably straddles the range of the Progressive Conservatives. And with the NDP range at between 18 and 20 seats, the Liberals are quite safe from the prospect of finishing third.


  1. I don't trust or pay too much attention to polls taken during July and August. Too many people away on vacation and away from home in the evenings, enjoying the summer weather and BBQs. As a result, you end up with a different socio - economic mix answering the phone in the summer versus the rest of the year.

    Same effect as polling during weekdays and weekends. You get a different mix of people answering the phone.

    I'll wait until after Labour Day when the kids are back in school and most people are back at home in the evenings before I'll put any faith in these polls.

  2. I can't believe that 37.6% of Ontarions would even consider giving McGuinty a third chance - but then as they say we get the government that we deserve. But why, oh why......

  3. Maybe some Ontarians still don't trust Hudak, so many are considering sticking with the devil they know. Or judging by the latest Ipsos poll, Ontarians are starting to wake up and realize that Hudak is all talk.

    Ontarians remember Harris and know that Hudak is just the same. Same policies, same attitude towards the working class etc. Most people in this province really don't want to deal with Common Sense Revolution Part 2. The CSR is what dragged the province into the red (thanks to Flaherty hiding a deficit on us) and it was McGuinty's government that brought us back to the black.

  4. @Anon: McGuinty has been fantastic on transit, infrastructure, and enegy files. He's led in a consistent and responsible way oon every issue. I know which wayy I'll be voting.

  5. I think the NDP would be better, but I don't think the McGuinty Liberals have been all that bad a government. Compared to the Harris horror - there really isn't much to complain about.

  6. Dead right DL.

    McGuinty has actually been the responsible politician we all claim to want.

    Hudak is a scary reminder of Harris !!

  7. This election comes down to whether Ontarians dislike Dalton McGuinty enough to go back to the Mike Harris years.

    Without a doubt McGuinty is an unpopular premier and the Liberal brand is badly wounded, even in Grit-friendly Ontario. All Liberal seats are fair game for the Tories and NDP, while almost every incumbent Tory/NDP seat is relatively safe from the Liberals.

    As the campaign starts I think many Ontarians wouldn't be pleased with McGuinty or Hudak, but that does not mean they would vote NDP. As a result, I believe the Liberals and Tories would both garner between 35-38% of the vote and we will endure a minority government. I expect the NDP to gain 8-10 seats and be a strong force in the minority legislature (most likely propping up the Grits).

    - Maple

  8. Welcome back Eric,
    What's the seat breakdown based on this poll alone?

  9. McGuinty is Harper - this is pretty much clear. Not in policies or attitudes, but in the way people perceive them.

    There is no great love for Harper among the population, but they handed him three straight governments in a row. Why? Because the alternatives are either unpalatable or too odd to consider. Tim Hudak is Dion/Ignatieff and Horwath is like a shoddy version of Layton; they may have their supporters, they may even get a shot at the Premier's office, but they are untested and unloved. McGuinty, like Harper, is the devil people know.

    Hence, we see so many sticking to McGuinty despite a genuine feeling for change.

  10. James,

    With this Nanos poll only, I'd project 54 seats for the Liberals, 41 for the Tories, and 12 for the NDP.

  11. "Hence, we see so many sticking to McGuinty despite a genuine feeling for change. "

    And when the alternatives are SO bad the tendency to go with what you know is even stronger !!

    Plus in fact the Libs have done a pretty decent job.

  12. I love the mass delusions that have seem to have taken over!

    The fundementals of this race are clear.

    Heck the federal Liberal numbers even surged a bit every now and then since Martin was given the boot.

    But the incredible number of Liberal members retiring should give some indication that everyone is looking for greener pastures ahead of the party getting decimated.

    The country is lost, the mayor is lost, and now the province ? Yes, it will be so.

  13. Anon,

    You realize, of course, that 20% of the Lib caucus is gone, 20% of the PC caucus, 20% of the NDP caucus.... the fact is, all three parties are facing the same percentage of retirements. It's also a fact that the Liberal caucus is nearly three times as large as the next party.

  14. Wrong metric Volkov.

    Percentage of caucus is meaningless. IN reality each party has the same number of candidates (a full slate).

    The inability to nominate candidates or candidates dropping out (incumbent or not) is a bad sign.

    Bottom line analysis: Liberals are in poor shape.

  15. In terms of nominated candidates, there are 103 PCs, 98 Liberals, and 92 NDP.

    Erm, what inability to nominate candidates are you on about? All three parties seem to be doing pretty well according to that count. And from personal experience, the candidate search in my riding was 1000x better than the federal search ended up, with our provincial candidate found last spring, and our federal candidate found a week before the election call. And this is in a riding that's a good prospective for both levels.

    I mean, c'mon, most of the caucus members now gone are old members who came in during the 1990's and served their piece in government during for eight years. These are natural retirements more than panic. If anything, the Ontario Liberals suffer from a fairly naive view of their chances, this includes top ministers.

  16. Jack Layton has passed away. :(

  17. Regardless of our political beliefs today marks the loss of a major figure.

    Restat In Paces


  18. Jack reached out and got to know Canadians personally in a way that Martin, Dion, Ignatieff, and even Harper never did.

    He had a sort of natural charisma that only Bill Clinton or Sarah Palin have.

    Tak For Alt

    Jack Layton.

  19. Average Canuck23 August, 2011 01:41

    New poll out from Abacus that features something I haven't seen before in this country.

    43% approve
    37% disapprove

    I guess that puts to bed the nonsense that because Harper only got 40% of the vote that means 60% of the country hates him.

  20. Average Canuck,

    I don't think anyone has said 60% of the country "hates" Harper; the fact is, though, 60% of the country didn't vote for him.


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