Tuesday, March 6, 2012

February 2012 Federal Poll Averages

February was a difficult month for the governing Conservatives. It started with questions on Old Age Security and pensions before moving on to the government's internet surveillance legislation and the unfortunate comments in the House of Commons by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. It then finished with the robo-call allegations. Though two recent polls indicate little change since January, averaging out the results indicates that the Conservatives are slipping.
Three national polls and two Quebec polls were conducted in February, surveying a total of 8,701 Canadians.

The Conservatives dropped 1.9 points to 33.2% in February, their lowest result since November 2010. Aside from a small uptick in January, the Tories have been on a steady decline since September.

The New Democrats were up 0.3 points to 28.1%, while the Liberals dropped 0.3 points to 24.1%. Polling for both the NDP and the Liberals has been relatively steady since October at the national level.

The Greens were up 0.6 points in February to 6.3%, while the Bloc Québécois gained 0.3 points to reach 5.8% nationally.

The New Democrats have dropped for the fourth consecutive month in Quebec, slipping 3.5 points to 26.5%, their lowest point since before the May 2011 election. Remarkably, the NDP has lost 20 points in a matter of only four months. Both the Bloc Québécois and Liberals have benefited, the two parties on a steady increase since the NDP began to plummet in the province. The Bloc picked up 2.1 points to reach 25.8%, their highest total since April 2011, while the Liberals were up 2.9 points to 23.2%, their highest total since November 2010. The Conservatives dropped 0.4 points to 18.7%, generally where they have been for the last four months. The Greens also dropped, falling 1.8 points to 3.8%.

The Conservatives led in Ontario with 36.6%, down 2.2 points since January. The Liberals were down 2.1 points to 29.6%, while the New Democrats were up 1.3 points to 25.5%. The Greens gained 0.6 points to hit 6%. Things have been oscillating up and down in Ontario for the last four months, with no clear trend.

There was very little change in British Columbia, where the Conservatives dropped 0.9 points to 34.6% and the NDP gained 0.8 points to reach 34.3%. The Liberals were down 0.4 points to 20.4% and the Greens were down 0.1 point to 9.2%.

In Alberta, however, the Conservative plummeted 7.4 points to 53.5%, their lowest result since December 2010. The New Democrats picked up 5.4 points and averaged 20.5%, their highest since July 2011. The Liberals were down 1.1 points to 14.2% while the Greens were up 2.2 points to 7.3%.

The New Democrats maintained a slight edge in Atlantic Canada, where the three-way race has been incredibly close over the last three months. The NDP was down 2.9 points to 31.8%, narrowly edging out the Conservatives, who were up 1.8 points since January to 30.9%. The Liberals were down 1.2 points to 29.3%, while the Greens were up 0.2 points to 5.8%.

Finally, the Conservatives and New Democrats hit their extremes in the Prairies. The Tories were down 7.2 points to 40%, the lowest result I have on record since at least January 2009. The NDP is at their highest on record since that time, gaining 3.6 points to hit 35%. The Liberals were up 2.3 points to 18.2% and the Greens were up 0.6 points to 5.9%.

In an election held in February, the Conservatives win 133 seats, down four seats since their projected total in January. The Liberals win 75 (+6), while the NDP wins 74 (-17). The Bloc Québécois wins 25 seats, up 15, while the Greens still win one.

That is quite a change in the landscape, with the Liberals narrowly edging out the NDP for the Official Opposition role. The two parties, along with the Greens, could only combine for 150 seats, five short of a majority.

The Conservatives win 17 seats in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, 13 in the Prairies, 52 in Ontario, 11 in Quebec, 12 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

The Liberals win five seats in British Columbia, five in the Prairies, 30 in Ontario, 21 in Quebec, 13 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

The New Democrats win 13 seats in British Columbia, one in Alberta, 10 in the Prairies, 24 in Ontario, 18 in Quebec, seven in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

In a 338-seat House, the Conservatives would likely win 149 seats (increasing their share from 43.2% to 44.1%). The New Democrats and Liberals would each win 81 seats (a decrease from 24.4% to 24% for the Liberals, unchanged for the NDP at 24%), and the Bloc Québécois 26. Again, a combination of NDP, Liberal, and Green seats would still be short of a majority.

Proponents of NDP expansion in the West should be happy with this result. The party is neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in British Columbia, on the brink of winning an extra seat or two in Alberta, and challenging the Tories for hegemony in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But victories in the West are worth little if the party loses 40 seats in Quebec and makes no serious gains in Ontario. It will be a difficult balancing act for the NDP if they want to form government - an act the Conservatives do not need to attempt.


  1. Looking at the reality of how this kind of pizza parliament might function, it is unlikely that the Conservatives would find support anywhere to put them over the top, but if the Liberals and the NDP end up with exactly the same number of seats, how could they possibly govern? Co-PM? Some kind of power-sharing arrangement? Elizabeth May?

  2. All hypothetical, of course, but I'm guessing a 50-50 cabinet with the NDP Leader as PM due to the party getting more of the popular vote.

  3. (this does not add to 100%,.. green and others make up the rest)

    Tory - NDP - Lib - Bloc
    31.4 - 29.5 - 24.8 - 6.7 Jan
    31.5 - 29.2 - 21.7 - 6 Feb

    Tory - Lib - NDP - Bloc
    35.7 - 27.6 - 25.2 - 5.6 Jan
    35.7 - 29.5 - 25 - 4.9 Feb

    Tory - NDP - lib - Bloc
    35 - 28 - 25 - 6 Jan
    36 - 28 - 26 - 6 Feb

    Crop (Quebec only)
    NDP - Bloc - Tory - Lib
    29 - 22 - 24 - 19 Jan
    31 - 24 - 22 - 20 Feb

    Anyone else see the "difficult month for the governing Conservatives" where "two recent polls indicate little change since January, averaging out the results indicates that the Conservatives are slipping."

    No? Things look exactly as they did??

    The difference is that in January it wasn't just Ekos, forum, Nanos and Crop (Que only)... January also had Abacus, AR, HD, and Leger (Que only)

    The reality is there has been no slide whatsoever since January according to the pollsters with polls in both months. Tough month for the government and all.

    If the "scandal" persists... maybe next month.

    Or maybe the other 4 pollsters from January will report again and we will be trying to figure out how the Tories are going up again.... lol

    1. Barcs I think the "difficult month" bit was an editorial remark about the recent headlines and not meant to refer to the actual polling.

      Of course the polling doesn't back it up because every month is a difficult month for the government.

      Ever week it seems there is a new scandal!

      None of it ever matters though and its all quickly forgotten.

      We're getting into the boy who cried wolf territory now with the media/opposition's the sky is falling and Harper is satan routine.

  4. There is an interesting new Forum poll out today that shows that with Mulcair as leader NDP support in Quebec would instantly be back in the 40s! Otherwise Canada wide it is still CPC-37, NDP-28, Libs - 25.

    BTW: Eric, you never wrote up the Forum poll from mid-February on Ontario provincial vote intention.

    1. That is an interesting poll. I'll definitely have something about it soon.

      For Ontario, yes I know. It is always falling back in the priority list.

  5. One thing I would find interesting is the seat ranges.

    With the Conservatives having their worst monthly average since the election and with the Liberals and NDP essentially tied it would be interesting to see.

  6. The NDP should be happy that they are very competitive in BC and the Prairies because they should easily pick up Conservative seats in the next election. Québec is shaping up to be a tight three-way race between the NDP, BQ and the Liberals, so the NDP might lose many of its seats due to uniform support across the province.

  7. The NDP is doing relatively well across the country, especially considering Turmel has been interim leader for almost 8 months and the party has been lacking direction for a while now.

    I think its highly probable that the string of polls released in April would show the NDP in the lead nationally. A Mulcair led party, would likely see a healthy bounce in the polls. The Tories aren't dealing with recent scandals as well as they should, so they may start to drop a few points. I would expect Bob Rae's Liberals have peaked by now, and media attention would drift away from them to the NDP come March 24th.

    1. I disagree with the assumption that the Liberals have peaked by now.

      I mean, in January most people thought their boom in the polls was only temporary and that it was due to their convention, but now, a month later, they've managed to improve their standing, especially in Quebec.

      Although I do think we'll start seeing a Mulcair-led NDP at the top of the polls, I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see this eventually become a very close three-way race between the Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals.

  8. What are the chances of Green holding their seat? And gaining a seat (under 308 and 338)?

    1. Good for holding, not good for gaining.

    2. Well thats a good start. Its a few years off anyhow. Id like to see 5 solid parties in the Commons. They just need to hold the fort and look for another seat to target heavily. I wish we could at least get a third (well Sanders is technically a Progressive).


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