Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Two polls show NDP slipping in Quebec, Tories in Ontario

If an election were held today, the Conservatives would probably lose their majority in the House of Commons. But the New Democrats would not be much closer to replacing them.

Two polls released over the last few days by Ipsos-Reid and Harris-Decima show small shifts in support from the May 2 election, but not enough to completely overturn the results. A Conservative slip of between three and four points, however, puts them solidly in minority territory.
You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website here.

The national results of these two polls are strikingly similar, a difference of no more than two points for any of the main parties. The regional results are slightly more different, so I invite you to check them out in the article and the reports on the Ipsos-Reid and Harris-Decima numbers.

Turning these polls into seats also doesn't make a huge difference, both putting the Conservatives in a minority. But there are enough changes around the margins to make them interesting.

In the Ipsos-Reid poll, the Conservatives would win 145 seats, with 102 going to the NDP and 55 to the Liberals. The Bloc Québécois would also win six seats.

In the Harris-Decima poll, the Conservatives win 133 seats, with 108 going to the NDP and 63 to the Liberals. The Bloc wins three and the Greens one.

If we take the best and worst results for each party in each region and combine them, we get some interesting seat ranges.

The Conservative best and worst scenarios out of these two polls is between 126 and 152 seats, so still outside of a majority. Regionally, their ranges are 17-21 in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, 13-19 in the Prairies, 51-57 in Ontario, 7-10 in Quebec, and 10-17 in Atlantic Canada.

The New Democrats could win between 95 and 115 seats with these two polls. Their regional ranges are 11-14 in British Columbia, one in Alberta, 6-10 in the Prairies, 18-24 in Ontario, 53-54 in Quebec, and 5-11 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberal range is between 42 and 76 seats, so a repeat of the 2008 election is possible. Their regional ranges are four in British Columbia, none in Alberta, 3-5 in the Prairies, 25-37 in Ontario, 5-12 in Quebec, and 4-17 in Atlantic Canada.

It is worth noting that in both the Ipsos-Reid and Harris-Decima scenarios the Liberals and NDP are able to command a majority of seats in the House on their own. It also worth noting how the NDP range spans only 20 seats, while that of the Tories spans 26 seats and that of the Liberals 34. The NDP seems a bit better placed to hold what they have.

Some interesting results, but the first person who comments that this doesn't matter as the next election is four years away loses.


  1. Yes, but it doesn't matter as the ne...

    ...ahem, sorry. Bit of a knee-jerk response. What I meant to say was it's interesting that the best and worst scenarios don't overlap at all, that there exists no scenario that alters the basic 'CPC - NDP - LPC - others' order.

  2. Odd that the tories have lost so many seats based on polls that look like carbon copies of the last poll before the election by each pollster.

    Based on the results of the polls at election time and now, one can only conclude that the seat totals will have hardly changed.

    Comparing poll numbers to e-day like they have done is like comparing AR and HD. The methodologies don't match.

  3. I certainly wouldn't say the results don't matter, but given the leaderless state of both opposition parties I doubt these numbers concern the Conservatives much.

    If this is the beginning of a trend that stretches into next year, then we might see the government start to begin pandering for votes.

  4. Looks like the Liberals are most likely to benefit from a Tory decline in the polls. I suspect most of the Liberal seat pick ups in Ontario would be from the GTA, where McGuinty held strong in the provincial election.

    There is a large segment of the electorate in Ontario that would switch between Liberal and Tory, and would never vote NDP. The 905 and other central Ontario regions had some of the weakest NDP support in the country.

    However, it is impressive that the NDP is able to muster 30% under an extremely weak interim leader. I wonder how high the NDP can go under their new leader's "honeymoon" period.

    - Maple

  5. Just because it's irrelevant doesn't make it uninteresting :)

    I'm curious Eric - any breakdown for how things would be in the new larger house?

  6. For the upper limits, I'd estimate 169 seats for the Tories (exactly half of 338!), 123 for the NDP, and 82 for the Liberals.

  7. This just bears out a trend the stuff you've been posting about "current seat" numbers Eric.

    A slow slide by the Tories. Considering their recent actions in the House I'm surprised it has been more precipitant !!

  8. Eric,

    Are you going to post the Ipsos regionals?


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