Monday, September 19, 2011

Hudak’s Toronto stumble weighs down Tories after two weeks

After the second week of Ontario’s election campaign, the race between the Progressive Conservatives and the governing Liberals is still very close. But without the support of Toronto’s voters, Tim Hudak has little hope of becoming the province’s next premier. 

A weighted aggregation of the latest polls indicates the Progressive Conservatives are still in the lead with 36.5 per cent support in the province, a drop of almost two points since last week’s projection. The Liberals are up almost a point and trail with 33.6 per cent, while the New Democrats are up 1.8 points to 23.9 per cent. The Greens have slipped to 4.8 per cent support.

This after a topsy-turvy week in polling. Two telephone polls from Nanos Research and Ipsos-Reid pegged the gap between the Liberals and the Tories at one to three points, with Dalton McGuinty on top. Later in the week, two online polls from Abacus Data and Angus-Reid suggested a gap of four to nine points in favour of Mr. Hudak. But in three of the polls the gap between the Liberals and the Tories was statistically insignificant, demonstrating just how tight the race remains. 

You can read the rest of the article on The Globe and Mail website here.

Saturday's Toronto Star poll by Angus-Reid is the only new poll added to the model, the poll by Léger Marketing that appeared late last night for the QMI Agency will only be added tomorrow.

The Angus-Reid poll echoes the Léger poll that came out last night, indicating that the campaign has flipped again and that the Progressive Conservatives are back on top. But the performance of the NDP is worth noting. In the Angus-Reid poll, the NDP leads in the north (52%), in the Hamilton/Niagara region (40%) and, surprisingly, in the 416 part of Toronto (35%). The Liberals were at 34% in the city, however.

The Tories are ahead in southwestern and eastern Ontario, but the Liberals are ahead in the all-important GTA. As Adam Radwanski said yesterday, this points to a very messy result on October 6th.

The projection has shifted a little, but the ranges for the Tories and the Liberals are now overlaping to a great degree.
Indeed, the ranges overlap for almost their entirety. Note that the Liberals are straddling the majority line a little more comfortably than the Tories, and also note that the Liberal projection is close to their upper limit, while the Tories are close to their lower limit. There is a lot of possible movement between these two parties.

The details of today's projection are at The Globe and Mail site, but check back here tomorrow for a full update with the Léger poll. Also, I'll be appearing on Le Téléjournal Ontario tonight. It can be seen in most of Ontario at 6:00 PM and in the Ottawa region at 11:00 PM.


  1. New Leger: PC 36 Lib 33 NDP 29

  2. Can anyone provide a link to the breakdowns for that poll; I can't find it on the Leger Marketing site.

  3. I'm not entirely sure what the big difference is between these four polls that are being portrayed as wildly inconsistent with each other:

    They all seem to be largely within each others' margins of error (except for Angus Reid's higher pegging of NDP support, as compared to Abacus...)

  4. Goaltender Interference19 September, 2011 10:24

    Yet another political party that could come second in total votes and yet win government, possibly with a majority!

    Doesn't it make people confused, even angry, that the voters' will gets mangled like this due to our voting system?

    Only in a country where you get a point for missing a field goal do some people think it's ok to win an election after coming second.

  5. GI,

    Yeah, 'cause there's no other country in the world where the electoral system allows the second-place party to leapfrog the first thanks to concentrated voting patterns... not a single place.

  6. It's weird how hard it is to find any details at all on the Leger poll. Leger just put a new Quebec provincial poll up on their website, but still no trace of this Ontario one done for QMI.

  7. Hey, I like the rouge in the CFL. Don't knock it.

    The continued rise of the NDP is intriguing as Horvath isn't really on people's radar. Long way to go yet though.

  8. In my riding the Liberals literally don't exist.

    Did a lot of driving around yesterday and the PC candidate has the place plastered in signs, the NDP running a reasonable second. Only saw ONE Liberal sign.

    Mind this riding is a PC lock so I'm not surprised.

  9. The Angus Reid poll shows that the 55+ favour the tories by 13%. This could be a big problem for the libs especially in 905 where there are alot of very close races

  10. A Liberal-NDP coalition might be the best option now. Maybe it will lead to something similar in the federal realm, too.
    On a different note, what's the deal with Manitoba? Still no data since 3 weeks back?

  11. The Leger poll is up on their website now, and the numbers don't match the reported NDP number. The PDF on the Leger site says the numbers are PC 36, Lib 33, NDP 26, Grn 5. The regionals are funky too, with the NDP at only 28% in the North while being tied for the lead with 32% in eastern Ontario.

  12. It will be interesting to see the update with Leger numbers, especially since NDP does even better in their poll.

    If I remember correctly, the Federal election prediction did underestimate NDP support. I wonder if we run the risk of having the same mistake twice.

    Edm Centrist said...
    "A Liberal-NDP coalition might be the best option now.
    Sure, because last time worked so well for ON.

    I certainly prefer a majority, regardless of the party.

  13. Well, that makes a bit more sense. Regionals are a little funky, but they are small sample sizes. Think of Atlantic Canada and how wild those polls are at the federal level.

  14. I'm also wondering how Leger defined their regions. I assume "West" means southwestern Ontario, but it is really unclear whether that includes Hamilton and the Niagara Peninsula or whether those two areas are included in the "South" region. I'm also wondering what this "South" region is generally. Is it what most people think of as central Ontario, and where is the boundary with "East"? Leger should be clearer on this.

  15. Volkov we are on the same side in this one!

    GI remember 2000 when Bush beat Gore despite losing the popular vote?

  16. TS,

    All of the pollsters seem to divide Ontario differently, so comparing one to another is tricky. The only real uniformity seems to be the 416/905/GTA breakdowns. Everything else - who knows.

  17. The only thing that these polls conclusively show is that it is still anybody's game. I could easily make a case for either of the three parties winning:

    PC - leads the pack and if Hudak picks up where he digresses with the foreign workers, his numbers may go up enough to get a majority. Of course, we may be talking about Hudak in a few weeks as another John Tory who failed when the path was clear and open.

    Liberals - Best cost benefit, holding the potential majority of seats. If McGuinty can fly under the radar, Hudak continues to shoot himself in the foot and Horwath continues on the sidelines, for a couple more weeks, they may actually get a third term. I would say there are too many ifs in there but who knows.

    NDP - nobody is noticing them yet they are consistently around 25-30 %. a good performance at the debate may push them ahead. They will do well in Niagara, Toronto and the North. If they can get some seats in the 905 or the SW through vote splitting, it will be Bob Rae time again. Then again, Bob Rae?

    Of course none of this may happen and Eric may hit it completely right with a hung parliament.

  18. Goaltender Interference19 September, 2011 16:02

    Earl, Volkov: Yes, I stand corrected: the US has an even worse system for tabulating votes. They also have a system where someone can be given a political office after losing an election.

    My question to you: are you cool with that?

  19. It seems that the PCs are running up the numbers in the 519, 705 and especially 613 area codes, that will surely cost some Liberal cabinet ministers their jobs. Could that be the PC base that stayed home in 2007 not liking John Tory as he was seen as too liberal for them?

  20. Éric, did you adopt a new system for the display of the riding-by-riding projection? It seems to be broken. When I click on it, my browser window goes a sort of translucent black with version of the picture sized to the browser window (sort of like in Google images) - but there's no way I can see to click on that picture and get a full-size version of the image. And on my laptop, the version sized to the browser window is not big enough to be read, since the text is so small. So I can't read the riding-by-riding results anymore. :( Any way to fix that?

  21. So apart from opening the link in a new window, is there any way to make your riding projections visible? Blogspot seems to be playing around with their interface...

  22. The Tories and NDP have built strong fortresses in Ontario. The Tories will dominate rural Ontario, while the NDP will do equally well in Northern Ontario, Hamilton, and old Toronto.

    However, the Liberals are hanging onto the rest of the province by a small margin. Suburban 416, most of the 905 and other urban/suburban areas around the province.

    I expect the numbers to be roughly the same until after the leaders debate. While most voters won't watch the debate, the summary of the debate through the media would play a strong effect on undecided voters.

    - Maple

  23. Yes, Blogger played around with the images. Nothing I can do about that, but opening in a new window is one solution.

    The best way is, as always, to click on the Riding Projections image in the right-hand column.

  24. Eric:

    Is it really fair to give such big consideration to the Liberal numbers in Toronto?

    They already hold 20 of the 23 seats (or is is 19 of 22), so, even if they receive 100% of the vote in the 416 (which would obviously increase their popular vote percentage) it would only result in three additional seats.

    Or am I looking at it all wrong?

  25. It's more about Hudak, and how he needs Toronto. When the PCs last formed government in 1999, they won eight seats in Toronto and a good swathe in the GTA. I have them winning two in Toronto.

  26. "The Angus Reid poll shows that the 55+ favour the tories by 13%."

    If the Liberals want to counteract that and get the youth to vote (and this goes for all parties), they should start talking about the internet. This Toronto Star article gives some things to start with:

    Look at Europe to see which parties have managed to get young people to vote, and you'll see it's been the Pirate Parties, because they're the only ones who're taking the new role of the internet in our lives seriously. In Ontario, from listening to the leaders you'd be forgiven for thinking that the digital revolution never happened, and so I would not be surprised if turnout is even more skewed towards old people than usual.

  27. Sadly, I think the Welland race is tighter than what is this projection. Result will probably be closer to Fed. 2011 than Prov. 2007.


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