Friday, December 9, 2011

Conservatives up in Abacus poll despite troubles

Despite Peter MacKay’s helicopter ride, admitting to spreading false rumours of an impending resignation of an MP in Montreal and the troubles in Attawapiskat, the Conservatives still hold a comfortable nine-point lead over the opposition New Democrats, according to a poll released this week by Abacus Data.

The online survey was taken between December 2 and December 4 in the midst of these developing stories. Yet, compared to Abacus’s last poll dating from mid-August, before the death of Jack Layton, the Conservatives are up two points to 40 per cent support.

You can read the rest of the article at The Huffington Post Canada here.

For my full analysis of the poll, check out the article. In the meantime, here are the details:
As you can see, things haven't changed too much since the last election in May. And, from Abacus's perspective, there hasn't been much change from August. The biggest national shift has been the two point gain for the Conservatives.

Regionally, there have been a few larger changes: a drop of 16 points for the Tories in the Prairies, a drop of 10 points for the Liberals in British Columbia, and a gain of nine points for the Greens in the Prairies. The most important shift, though, is likely the six point NDP slip in Quebec.

As you can see, I've made a few minor stylistic changes to the graphics as well.

This Abacus poll would not deliver a very different House of Commons. The Conservatives win 162 seats with these numbers, while the New Democrats win 100 seats and the Liberals win 37 seats. The Bloc Québécois doubles its caucus and wins eight seats while the Greens take one.

The Conservatives win 20 seats in British Columbia, 26 in Alberta, 23 in the Prairies, 70 in Ontario, 11 in Quebec, 10 in Atlantic Canada, and two in the north.

The New Democrats win 15 seats in British Columbia, two in Alberta, two in the Prairies, 23 in Ontario, 51 in Quebec, six in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

The Liberals win no seats in British Columbia or Alberta, three in the Prairies, 13 in Ontario, five in Quebec, 16 in Atlantic Canada, and none in the north.

There are also a number of seats in Quebec that are on the bubble between the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, so it is possible that the Bloc could manage official party status with these numbers.

Steady as she goes, though, for the most part. A bit of a tighter race in Quebec and British Columbia looks interesting, but this is generally what we saw on election night.


  1. I personally don't read that much into the regional numbers (at least outside Ontario or Quebec) given the small sample sizes. 73 respondents from the prairies does not impress me lol.

  2. We're in for a period of less than important numbers. give it a couple of years and they might be important but now ?? Nah !!

  3. I'm amazed at the "troubles" that Eric and Bruce Anderson on the CBC's At Issue panel seem to think exist.

    Bottom line is that polls are flat.

    All these media invented snafus are meaningless and have ZERO resonance with Canadians.

    Its been 6 years of listening to hyperbolic screeching about Conservative scandals that are apparently worse than watergate and sponsorship combined !

    Prorogation, Mackay's chopter, Tony Clement, calls made to Irwin Cotler's riding - nobody really cares outside the Ottawa bubble.

  4. Perhaps its just wishful thinking on my part, or is Abacus the Rassmussen of Canadian polling?

  5. Abacus has generally underrepresented the Liberals and overrepresented the NDP. It is the only pollster to consistently show the Liberals losing support after the election (excluding Léger's only nationwide poll and Harris-Decima's first post-election poll).

  6. I'm not sure what gives you the idea that Abacus systematically over-represents the NDP or under-represents the Liberals. If you look at their polling before and during the federal election campaign - their numbers were very consistent with everyone else's. If anything they were somewhat of a laggard in picking up the NDP surge during the campaign. They also did a lot of polling during the Ontario election and I see no evidence that their numbers were any kinder to the NDP or less kind to the Liberals than any other company.

  7. Calivancouver Abacus is a relatively new online pollster. Rassmussen is a long time American pollster that robo-dials.

    So I don't see much similarity. Unless you're trying to suggest they have a right wing bias.

    Abacus pre-election:

    CPC 37, LPC 18, NDP 32, BQ 7, Greens 7

    Actual results:

    CPC 39.6. LPC 18.9, NDP 30.6, BQ 6.0, Greens 3.9, Other 0.9

    Like almost all pollsters in Canada they under represented the CPC and over represented the Greens.

    Everything is pretty much margin of error though.

  8. Yes, with the federal election and the Ontario election Abacus is on a bit of a roll.

  9. Looks like the Harper Conservatives have a strong coat of Teflon.

    Though, i am a little skeptical about the Liberal numbers at 18%. I thinkthe Liberals have more support in Ontario and BC than stated in this poll.

  10. Has been defeated candidate Glen Pearson is calling for us to Occupy Parliament !

    Could someone please inform him that there is a method for doing so ?

    Thousands do it every election. You sign up to be a candidate and try to get the most votes.

    If you lose you get to occupy nothing.

  11. Off topic, but congrats on calling the BQ leadership race, Eric. Paille was elected in the second round.

  12. Well, thanks, but the endorsement points ranking isn't really meant as a predictive model. Mourani certainly over-performed, but it does show that even in a OMOV system endorsements aren't meaningless.

  13. Paille is exactly who the NDP was praying would win the BQ leadership. What could be better than for the BQ to be led by a small "c" conservative business hack with ties to Harper and who was also a poorly rated PQ cabinet minister under Landry...


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