Monday, May 21, 2012

Federal NDP closes gap in Ontario

Last week, two national polls and two federal provincial polls were released indicating that the New Democrats and Conservatives continue to be running almost neck-and-neck in national voting intentions. Perhaps more significantly, however, they show that the gap between the NDP and the Tories has shrunk to between four and zero points in the important battleground province of Ontario.
Ipsos-Reid's hybrid telephone/online poll puts the Conservatives ahead with 37% support nationally, with the New Democrats standing at 35%.

Since Ipsos-Reid was last in the field Apr. 3-5, the Conservatives have picked up three points while the NDP has picked up two. The Liberals have dropped two points to 19%, where they stood on election night in May 2011.

The Bloc Québécois stands at 5% support while the Greens are at 3%.

In Ontario, the Conservatives are down five points to 36%, putting them only one point up on the NDP. They have picked up eight points and sit at 35% support, while the Liberals are down four to 23%. This is a horse race.

The Conservatives lead in Alberta with 63% (+4), British Columbia with 51% (+14), the Prairies with 49% (+8), and Atlantic Canada with 38% (+17). 

The New Democrats lead with 45% in Quebec (+4) and trail in second to the Conservatives in the Prairies (37%, +3), British Columbia (33%, -6), and Alberta (19%, -2).

The Liberals are running second in Atlantic Canada with 35% (+4) while the Bloc is second in Quebec with 23% (-5).

With the results of this poll, the Conservatives win 150 seats to 114 for the New Democrats, 40 for the Liberals, and four for the Bloc Québécois. While the NDP and Liberals could combine to out-vote the Tories, they would be one seat short of an outright majority.

The Conservatives win 27 seats in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, 19 in the Prairies, 61 in Ontario, three in Quebec, 11 in Atlantic Canada, and two in the North.

The New Democrats win eight seats in British Columbia, one in Alberta, seven in the Prairies, 32 in Ontario, 60 in Quebec, five in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The Liberals win one seat in British Columbia, two in the Prairies, 13 in Ontario, eight in Quebec, and 16 in Atlantic Canada.
Environics' telephone survey, meanwhile, pegged NDP support at 36%, up four points on the Conservatives. But like the Ipsos-Reid poll, this puts the gap between the NDP and Conservatives within the margin of error. Taking these two polls together, this indicates that the two parties are most likely almost tied.

The firm was last in the field Mar. 6-18, before the NDP's leadership convention. The trends, then, point to what sort of effect Mulcair has had on the party's support levels.

And that means a six-point national gain for the NDP, while the Conservatives are up two. The Liberals have fallen one point to 19%, while the Greens stand at 7% and the Bloc at 6%.

Again, Ontario shows a close race. The Conservatives still lead with 36%, up two points, but the NDP is up six points to 32%. The Liberals are down one to 26%. We are seeing the Tories and NDP vote levels converging while the Liberals fall away.

Elsewhere, the New Democrats lead with 45% in Quebec (+11) and 43% in British Columbia (+5), while they trail the Conservatives in Atlantic Canada (31%, -9), the Prairies (30%, -1), and Alberta (26%, +7).

The Conservatives lead with 54% in Alberta (-4), 44% in the Prairies (+1), and 38% in Atlantic Canada (+10) and stand in second in B.C. with 29% (-1).

The Bloc Québécois is second in Quebec with 25% (-5). The Liberals place third or worse in every part of the country.

A note about the Green results in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada: they are implausibly high, but the samples are small and the implications on the results are negligible.

Despite the four point NDP lead, the Conservative advantage in Ontario gives the party the plurality of seats nationwide: 139 seats to 124 for the NDP, 39 for the Liberals, five for the Bloc, and one for the Greens. This time, the NDP and Liberals can combine for a majority.

The Conservatives win 10 seats in British Columbia, 26 in Alberta, 21 in the Prairies, 56 in Ontario, four in Quebec, 21 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The New Democrats win 20 seats in British Columbia, two in Alberta, seven in the Prairies, 27 in Ontario, 60 in Quebec, seven in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The Liberals win five seats in British Columbia, 23 in Ontario, six in Quebec, four in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.
Finally, buried in the results of the provincial voting intentions of Quebecers and Ontarians, Forum found that the federal voting intentions of these Canadians match closely with the conclusions of Ipsos-Reid and Environics.

In Ontario, Forum finds the NDP and Conservatives tied with 35%, with the Liberals at 22% and the Greens at 5%. Since their last poll of Apr. 24-25, the NDP is up four points while the Tories are down three and the Liberals six. But despite the neck-and-neck race, the Conservative vote is more efficient and delivers 62 seats to the Tories, with 32 going to the NDP and 12 to the Liberals.

This may sound surprising, but Forum finds that the Conservatives hold a substantial lead in eastern Ontario and leads in suburban Toronto and northern Ontario. The two parties are tied in southwestern Ontario (where the Conservatives have an incumbency advantage). The NDP only leads in the 416 area code.

In Quebec, the NDP leads with 39% (-3) to 21% for the Bloc (-2), 17% for the Liberals (+1), and 16% for the Conservatives (-1). This delivers 56 seats to the NDP, 10 to the Liberals, five to the Conservatives, and four to the Bloc Québécois.

These four polls show how the voting intentions of Canadians may be changing, but also how they are not. The New Democrats are back in front in Quebec in a big way and seem safe in the province under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair. The party is also doing well enough in every other part of the country to be running neck-and-neck with the Conservatives in any given poll. Improving fortunes in Ontario is a big positive for the NDP.

On the other hand, their vote in other regions is looking somewhat shaky. The Conservatives seem to have rebounded somewhat in British Columbia, while the NDP lead in Atlantic Canada is now in question. This is problematic for the New Democrats, as a strong showing in British Columbia is the second plank in any drive for 24 Sussex. Gains in Ontario should be the difference-maker, not the key to an NDP government.

Perhaps that will change and the New Democrats will bank on winning Ontario and Quebec instead of making gains out West. That might be a winning strategy, but it is a big might.

What can be said with confidence is that the NDP is on the up-swing. If we take the best and worst regional seat projections from these four polls, the Conservative range ends up at between 126 and 165 seats while the New Democrats get between 105 and 129 seats. While the high Conservative and low NDP ranges are similar to their current standings, the Conservative range points to losses (even of only a single seat), while the NDP range points to gains.

One seat the Conservatives might lose soon is Etobicoke-Centre, due to the results of the 2011 election being thrown out by the courts. If the result is not appealed, or if the appeal is defeated, a by-election will take place. It is difficult to forecast how the voters would react to this re-run (the Conservatives are hoping that they will react negatively against their democratic choice being rejected by a judge, to paraphrase their messaging), but using the projection model the Liberals win the riding by one point with the results of the Ipsos-Reid and Forum polls, and six points with the results of the Environics numbers.

If a by-election does take place in the next six months, it will add a little bit of interest to what might be a rather quiet summer and fall. It will also be a big test. Are voters angry at the Conservatives? Can the Liberals show they are still a party that can win? And is the NDP truly making inroads in Ontario? The polls are currently answering yes, no, and yes to these questions, but the results of a real vote might be more revealing.

74 comments:

  1. "this puts the gap between the NDP and Conservatives within the margin of error, indicating that the two parties are most likely almost tied."
    For someone who uses statistics every day, I thought you would have a better understanding. If the margin of error represents a symmetrical normal distribution of possible outcomes, the odds that they are tied are the same as the odds that the NDP have an 8 point lead.

    P.S. I'm looking forward to the next round of opinion surveys, done post-Mulcair comments on polluter pay rules, so we can finally stop assuming that "The West" is centred on Fort McMurray and that all Westerners are pro oil patch.

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    1. If I was referring to only the one poll, yes, but with the Ipsos-Reid poll putting the Conservatives ahead and the Environics poll putting the NDP ahead, and both polls putting the gap within the MOE, it is most likely that the two parties are almost tied.

      It is very unlikely that the NDP is eight points ahead, as that is outside of the MOE of the Ipsos-Reid poll.

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    2. I see. I misread that the first time. I agree if you look at the two polls together, the range where they overlap would indicate a tie. I retract my outrage. :-)

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    3. I've made a small edit to emphasize that I was referring to the two polls, in case it is missed by others.

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  2. I think that one weakness of any of these seat projection models is in figuring out how the NDP translates votes into seats in Ontario. Its always a problem figuring out where new seats will come from when you have a party that is making really big gains outside of their traditional base etc...I can guarantee that IF the NDP vote in Ontario actually did go from 26% to 33% in Ontario in the next election, it would not be an even province-wide swing. The NDP vote in strongholds like Hamilton, Northern Ontario and downtown Toronto is probably already maxxed out and may not go up any further, so what you would likely see the NDP picking up seats that would be well beyond what seems like low hanging fruit looking at the results of the 2011 election - such as more seats in Brampton, Kitchener-Waterloo etc...

    Mark my words, our FPTP system has its flaws but for the most part in a province with as many seats as Ontario has when two parties are dead even in votes - they are usually close to dead even in seats as well. If in 2015 Ontario votes CPC-35%, NDP-35%, Liberals 22%, the seats split will be something like 50-45-10

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    1. South Parkdale Jack21 May, 2012 16:46

      There are several ridings in Toronto that could swing NDP from the Liberals, even from the Cons, in the next federal, if it's a clear national fight between the NDP and the Cons. Etobicoke Center is not one of them, but the South and North ones could be. Also some Scarborough and York ridings. They all have had some NDP history. The 2011 results won't be as important since the dynamics have changed.

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    2. SPJ, let's not say anything is "clear" since the next election is 3 years away. We still have a liberal leadership election up and coming. Who knows if the Liberals will get a big bump just like Mulcair did when he was elected? In fact, this may well turn out to be a three way race.

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  3. South Parkdale Jack21 May, 2012 13:51

    WELCOME BACK ERIC !!! Need that daily fix of yours.

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  4. I'm going to disagree with your analysis of British Columbia. That Ipsos result is so far the only one that shows a major Tory lead in the province, and it is very much out of sync with the results of every other poll in the province. How big was their sample there?

    Something was fluky there... it is such a huge outlier that the results in that province should honestly be thrown out until other polls show similar results.

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    1. Don't be so sure - only in retrospect can something be called an outlier.

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    2. i don't mind reminding you people that the angus reid and the ipsos reid polls have consistantly been the most accurate when compared to past election results...for whatever reason...."just sayin'"..............

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    3. Oh really? I recently did my own comparison and among the last polls before the 2011 election, the pollsters which most accurately predicted the three main parties were: Harris-Decima (4.3 cumulative points off), followed by Ipsos-Reid (4.9 off) and Abacus (4.9 off).

      The pollsters which most accurately projected the lead between first and second place parties were Harris and then Nanos.

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  5. That Ipsos number for the CPC in BC seems like it needs to be taken with at least a grain of salt. It could be catching an emerging trend, but for now it is in such stark variance from all the other available numbers that it is at least suspect. That BC number is also responsible for a good chunk of the difference between the CPC being at 37% in the Ipsos poll and 32% in the Environics poll.

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  6. I think the one to watch will be British Columbia. I don't think that region is swinging conservative, though who knows until we get more B.C. polls. In any event, these results are good news for the NDP, and have substantial growth potential in B.C., Ontario, and the Atlantic. Include Quebec, and that may be the magic combination to deliver the NDP to government.

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    1. I think the current swing in BC politics could actually work against the federal NDP. If an NDP government is elected next year it will have two years to get unpopular before the federal election. The federal NDP has been punished for poor governance by its provincial wings before...

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    2. Yes, like the Ontario NDP in the early 1990's.

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    3. This reminds me of the 1993. After the '88 election, the NDP was polling high all across the country, but plummeted after unpopular governments were elected in BC and Ontario. While I doubt they'll suffer that badly, it couldn't be impossible.

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  7. Hmm looks like Harper's back on top.

    Three points gained since the last IR. I think the F-35 and Bev Oda and OAS and the budget was starting to take a toll but that's blown over.

    What we need to do if we're going to defeat Harper is GO BIG. All these mini-scandals get forgotten in a few weeks.

    Time for a contrasting vision. Time to make an ideological argument against Harper economics. Mulcair is getting the idea with these oil sands comments. Let's hope he doesn't back down!

    Comparing this poll to the last IR before the 2011 election the resuls are:

    CPC -1%, NDP +2%, LPC +1%, BQ/Greens -1%.

    Assuming the usual election day bump that the CPC always seems to get because of incumbency or money or voter supression or whatever then we're looking at another razor thin Harper majority.

    Eric is wrong to say this is a tie. We still have A LOT more work to do.

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    1. Mulcair's oil sands comments are idiotic. The high Canadian dollar must be to blame for manufacturing being down in Canada! That's why Ohio and Detroit are doing so well and we aren't! Oh wait...

      Not to mention oil revenues are helping keep Ontario and Canada's corporate tax rates low, giving a boon to capital-intensive manufacturing industries. Or that a higher Canadian dollar keeps the cost of living low by reducing the cost of food, gas and clothing, helping the very people Mulcair says he's fighting for.

      There's an environmental argument to be made for changing how things are being done in the oil patch. An economic argument? Not so much.

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    2. I completely agree with Ryan. This simply shows that the NDP has chipped away at its Western Canada roots and became more of a regional party for Eastern Canada. Now they will be like the Liberal Party all over again in the last century, strong eastern support, weak western support. Mulcair had the opportunity to show that he'll govern for all Canadians when he was elected leader, and he blew it. Western Canadians will now punish him in the polls.

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    3. How can you say this ISN'T a tie? Ipsos has been the only polling firm to routinely

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    4. While, I think the "election day bump" was more a reference for the incumbent government. I mean, in both 2004 and 2006 the Liberals did better than polls predicted.

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    5. @Anonymous22 May, 2012 10:48

      NDP polling 26% in Alberta, according to Environics. Polling 37% in Sask/Man, according to Ipsos-Reid... Is that the kind of weak western support you're talking about? Not everyone in the west is an oil company executive or one of their proxies.

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    6. I can buy that. I believe Eric's model even adjusts for this?

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    7. For your information Ryan, Ohio's unemployment rate is now down to 7.4% (as of April), .7% below the national average (peaking at 10.6% at the end of 2009). Michigan's unemployment rate now sits at 8.3%, .2% above the national average, after peaking at 14.2% in August 2009, representing the fastest recovery in the entire country. So with the US's relatively low dollar, manufacturing states are now the ones that have recovered the fastest.

      Further, there's a substantial evidence that America's two main periods of manufacturing job losses (the early 80s and the early 2000s) corresponded to two periods where the USD's strength was the highest. So in America's own history of a strong dollar, they have suffered from the "Dutch Disease".

      The fact is, Mulcair is getting the economics on this issue right. And the fact of the matter is, even if some Albertans get annoyed by the "Dutch Disease" argument, it's not like the NDP was going to win any more than 1 or 2 seats there in Edmonton tops. If the NDP is anywhere close to parity nationally with the Cons, and given better numbers in the Prairies for the NDP, they'll win seats in Sasketchewan anyways.

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    8. Chimurenga, the Environics poll only has a 1000 sample size, while Ipsos-Reid is more recent and has a larger sample sze. The Ipsos poll shows the NDP at only 19% in Alberta. Most of that support is concentrated in a couple of ridings in Edmonton, while the rest of AB is strongly Conservative. Also, most of the NDP's 37% in the prairies is placed in Manitoba, which doesn't have a lot of oil. If you do a federal poll for just Saskatchewan, the NDP will probably be in the low 20s, which isn't enough to win them a lot of seats. Finally, you shouldn't be paranoid about westerner's relationship with oil. Most of us are not oil executives or their "proxies", though we certainly don't have any problems with them either. A lot of us have jobs in the oil industry, we simply don't want to lose our jobs, that's why we don't have any other choice than to vote CPC.

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    9. And yes, those numbers for the NDP in western Canada is weak.

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    10. And Kain, you are completely wrong. Mulcair is getting the economics on this issue completely wrong. America is not Canada, you can't assume that anything happens with America will automatically happen to Canada.

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    11. Also, chimurenga, you should apologize for calling westerners (and me) oil company executive or their proxies. Because I know not everyone in the east is an ignorant, union friendly, arrogant, who knows nothing about the west like you.

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    12. Ontario's rate is 7.8% - so right between Ohio and Michigan. In what way does this contradict my assertion that Ontario's economy is performing exactly the same as Ohio's and Michigan's? That's exactly what I was getting at - Ontario's economy has marched in lockstep with Michigan and Ohio's. Which makes sense, since that's where a lot of Ontario's goods are going anyways.

      Your point on a weak US dollar correlating with a weak jobs market in Ontario isn't all that helpful, as the period was also a period of economic weakness for the US. I guess it's not surprise that the US dollar is weak when the US economy is weak - makes it hard for either of us to disentangle the issue for either one of us. Lol :(

      I do think it's worth noting that both of those periods were times of high world oil prices. Alberta's economy may prosper when oil prices are high, but everyone else suffers. That's what I think isn't being brought up enough here though - that oil production in Alberta helps keep prices lower than they would otherwise be. If we restrict the flow of oil from Alberta, that would hurt the economy of the United States through higher oil prices, in turn hurting Ontario's as well. That may seem a bit circuitous but the effect is very real.

      I do think there are good reasons to take a long and hard look at the way things are being done in the oil sands, and put real money and effort into fixing how things are done there, even if that slows growth. Those reasons have to do with the environment and aboriginal people's though, not the economic side of things.

      I hear you on the trading votes in the West for votes in Central Canada. It's a very sad fact of our electoral system that by taking an NDP vote from Alberta and Saskatchewan and moving it to Ontario, the NDP can reap real rewards in their seat count without moving their popular vote an inch. That may prove fruitful in the short term, but I think the costs far outweigh the benefits. Just ask the Liberals how that worked out for them since 1980. I'd sum it up in to words: Not well.

      Even if pitting East vs West proves to be a good strategy in the long term, that doesn't matter a bit to me. The regionalism of our politics is the cancer that is slowly killing our country. It will be a cold day in Hell before a party using BS and lies to hurt our country for partisan gain gets my vote, my time or my money.

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    13. Anonymous22 May, 2012 18:53

      I'm from Calgary.

      The NDP has been steadily rising in the polls in the western provinces. You can site hypotheitcal polls of Saskatchewan alone all you want, but we don't have such numbers.

      If Alberta charged royalties at a decent rate (say, the rate that Newfoundland is charging), that would be much better for the economy. If Alberta and Saskatchewan diversified their economies, instead of putting all their eggs in the petroleum basket, you wouldn't "have [no] other choice than to vote CPC" to save your jobs - a description that sounds like having a gun to your head, don't you think?

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    14. @anonymous . The basic economics of international currency exchange is that a weaker currency helps out exports, hurts imports, whereas a strong currency makes imports cheaper and exports more expensive. The "Dutch Disease" is merely the phenomenon of what happens when a currency is overvalued, often through a natural resource boom / inflow of hot money. Even recent federally funded papers have basically confirmed that Dutch Disease does indeed exist in Canada, and is responsible for 1/3 of manufacturing job losses.

      Also, the NDP got 32% in Saskatchewan, and 25% in Manitoba in 2011, averaging 29% for the Prairies. That suggest that the NDP may be up to 40% in Saskechewan if the swing of +8 is even between the provinces (it could be Manitoba-heavy, potentially..), to which they would pick up 1-4 seats in that event. In this province, a lot of the oil regions are well outside of places that the NDP has any chance of competing in. Plus there will be new electoral maps..

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    15. @Ryan, Ontario's unemployment rate peaked at 8.4% in June 2009, whereas Ohio + Michigan's rate averaged something like 12%. Ontario is down to 7.6% while Ohio + Michigan are about 7.9%, suggesting a very different phenomenon of what went on with economic activity throughout the recession. Ontario's UR barely went up in comparison, and barely budged down, whereas Ohio + Michigan's went quite high and fell really fast. So that argument doesn't really hold water.

      A weaker US is certainly a reason behind weakness among manufacturing (as is a weaker EU too I suppose), just like a stronger currency is. It's not just one factor, but currency value is a very important factor for trade balances. Both are true in this case.

      As is, to a smaller extent, a boom of investment and money, as well as high profits in the Albertan-Saskatchewan oil sands helping Alberta, with higher gas prices hurts the rest of Canada, the US, Europe, etc. But that can't be entirely true, as gas prices were quite low in the early 2000s, and in 2009 (the worst year for Canada+US, Japan, a bad year for China/Europe). Once again, yet another economic factor to take into consideration.

      The electoral/political reality is that there's not much to lose for the NDP anyways by conversing about more action with the oil sands (environmental regulation, more value-added jobs, maybe more royalties), they'll still have a shot at a handful of 2-3 seats at best in Edmonton and that's it. And they will still have a shot at up to 4 seats in Saskatchewan given the upswing in polling there. Even if Mulcair were doing this (which I don't really believe he is), he's really not harming his seat count in the "West minus BC". That's another reason why the East v. West spin doesn't hold up, since BC would fall under Mulcair's camp in that economic and political argument.

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  8. There is no "usual election day bump" for the Conservatives. That was the case in the 2008 and 2011 elections, but in 2004 and 2006 the Conservatives did WORSE than the final polls projected. Also, to the extent that the Tories did do better in the last two elections than the final polls suggested - it was almost entirely explained by their strength among elderly voters who tend to have a high turnout rate. Lately, several polls have shown that big crash in Tory support among the elderly and NDP gains - so that would wipe out any Tory gains from having more support among people who are more likely to vote.

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    1. Tories weren't the incumbents in 2004 or 2006 ! Nor did they have the money and organization the once powerful Liberals did !

      You're not helping.

      Mulcair is out there talking about forming government. If he pulls a Wildrose ... Get back to work people, don't count your chickens before they hatch.

      Every election since 2004 Harper has been growing more and more powerful.

      And the bump has been growing. Elderly people didn't just start voting for Harper all of a sudden. They've always been with him.

      No something is going on there.

      I've read about this.

      Its like -3% in 04, -1% in 06, +3% in 08, and +5% in 11.

      That trend line is pretty clear. Maybe the last election had to do with robocalls though !!

      Either way we know for certain that there IS a growing election day bump.

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  9. I'm giving the Environics poll more weight as some others recently have had the Federal NDP too low in BC. I just don't buy that they are polling so low federally, below 35% according to Environics, given the favorability of the BC NDP and both parties opposition to the Enbridge pipeline. That being said, the trend-line is certainly stable, with a dead heat for both parties that the Federal Liberals struggling to stay above 20%.

    -Ryan Painter

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    1. Environics has a small sample size while Ipsos-Reid is more recent and has a large sample size. And about the BC situation, I think the NDP really has a narrow lead over Tories in BC. Provincially, the NDP is popular not because BCers agree with their policies, but more because of anger at the provincial Liberals(Conservatives). Since the federal Tories have no baggage in BC, I think they could very much be neck and neck with the NDP in BC right now.

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  10. According to the Post the Liberals have a major lead in Etobicoke-Centre according to a riding poll by Forum !

    47% Liberal
    37% Conservative

    Looks like the CPC scandals are out weighing any "sore loser" spin against the Liberals!

    And Etobicoke-Centre was also one of the RoboGate targeted ridings!


    EM

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    1. Derek Andrew24 May, 2012 04:35

      Is the seat officially vacant?

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  11. Even though the NDP is up in Ontario, they are losing ground in the prairie provinces. Those extra seats in the prairies is the difference between an NDP minority and a CPC minority. This shows Mulcair's "Dutch Disease" comments have hurt him more than help him. The NDP should stop being arrogant and cater more to prairie voters.

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    1. Uh, what? Even on the IR numbers, the NDP is winning seven seats in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. I would imagine those seats are Winnipeg Centre, Winnipeg North, Churchill, Elmwood-Transcona, Desnethe-Misissipni-Churchill River, Saskatoon-Humboldt and Palliser. Every one of those except Winnipeg Centre and Churchill (which they already hold) would be direct pickups from the Conservatives.

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    2. Yes, I agree. The NDP have just became the same as Trudeau Liberals. Arrogant, divisive, and ignorant of the west.

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    3. Remember that Trudeau was Prime Minister for 10.5 years.. Just sayin'.

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    4. The NDP is at 35% in the most seat-rich province, one point behind the CPC, according to the largest recent poll of federal voting intentions in Ontario by Forum. And you are saying the NDP are in trouble? You better revisit your electoral math.

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  12. Etobicoke Centre will be fun to watch, and will be an interesting test of Mulcair's leadership and of Liberal strength.

    This reminds me of the Outremont by-election (which, hilariously and ironically, Mulcair won!). It was one of the first tests of his leadership, and when he lost his popularity within the party fell. Could this happen to Mulcair? While I will admit that the Liberals were expected to win Outremont while the NDP can't expect to win Etobicoke Centre, if Mulcair performs badly this could impact his leadership and popularity.

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    1. South Parkdale Jack22 May, 2012 12:33

      The median family income in Etobicoke Center is approximately $73,800 (2011) - $10,000 higher than the Canadian average; not very likely going NDP anytime soon. Don't think one can judge Mulcair's leadership from any results there unless they massively improve on their 14 % tally of last time (or spiral downwards).

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    2. If we're doing comparisons, however, Outremont is one of the wealthiest neighbourhood's in the country. Income isn't the issue here, party loyalty is.

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    3. According to the 2001 Census the average income in Outremont was $31,000. That was 11 years ago. Can anyone out there update. Even I was making more then!

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    4. Outremont contains wealthy areas, but also has a large student population (McGill, Concordia and Universite du Montreal) and more diverse areas with recent immigrants. None of those latter groups are known for being particularly wealthy.

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    5. Liberals will probably win Etobicoke Centre. They have virtually swept the 416 in the provincial elections last year, plus their lead in the 416 has been consistent for about 6 months now. This simply shows that many people in Toronto feel remorse for not voting Liberal in the last federal election. I think this seat will be a slam dunk for the Liberals.

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    6. @South Parkdale Jack

      NDP leads with all but the highest incomes over $100k

      http://www.environics.ca/uploads/File/Environics-Research---Federal-Vote-Intention-May-17-2012%281%29.pdf

      EM

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    7. There is a low income section of the area, but also one of the richest in the country. There's a lot of wealth tied up in there.

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  13. Eric, I'm curious about your opinion on this. How long do these supposed "honeymoon" periods last for new leaders?

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  14. There are way more seats in Quebec than there are in Alberta and Saskatchewan combined...yet the Tories seem happy to be blatantly anti-Quebec and to do everything in their power to make themselves repulsive to Quebecers - yet they won a majority. If you can win a majority without Quebec, it should be even easier to win a majority without Alberta!

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    1. It is the same old politics by the Liberals (er NDP), pit one part of the country against another. Trudeau and the NEP (and there are still people mad in Alberta about that), Chretien going to the East Coast and explaining to people "those people aren't like you & I" and now Mulcair, complaining about oil and the loss of manufacturing jobs.

      If the goal is to keep Canada as a country with a 70 cent dollar, I think Mulcair is a perfectly cromulnet choice.

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    2. Most everyone knows that Mulcair is not trying to pit one part of the country against the other. These are Con talking points.

      Like if you're not for the war in Afghanistan, you're a Taliban lover. If you don't love the tar sands, you're against Alberta -- who would of thought Albertans to be so sensitive!

      The Cons are the masters of wedge politics and division. Let's start a dialogue on the health of the country as a whole, and get all regions prosperous.

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    3. So Mulcair's stance is "pitting one part of the country against another", is it? What then is the Tory plan to reduce the benefits of repeated EI applicants, which will disproportionately hit Atlantic Canadians who work in the fisheries and tourism industries?

      Also, playing to regions is a long-time part of Canadian politics. Every successful electoral coalition has been cobbled together from various regions that were appealed to. The Liberals in the early part of the century were built on Quebec and the West. Then Diefenbaker built a Conservative coalition based on Alberta, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada. The next Liberal voting coalition was based on Ontario, Quebec and about half of the Atlantic, which morphed in the Trudeau, which held until Mulroney built a voting coalition based on the West, Quebec and about half of Ontario. The Liberals responded by building probably the narrowest voting coalition ever to win a majority, essentially just Ontario, half of Quebec and the Atlantic. That lasted until the current voting coalition to take power under the Conservatives, the West and Ontario.

      Regionalism and regional politics is how elections are won in Canada. It's not pretty, but is politics ever pretty? In politics, if you like what you see, chances are good that you are being lied to.

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    4. DL, you just contradicted yourself there. Quebec has 75 seats, while Alberta have less than 40 seats. Of course it's going to be easier to win a majority of seats without Alberta. But is it going to easy to win a majority without western canada (BC, AB, SK), whose number of seats can equal that of Quebec? I think not.

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    5. Who said anything about BC? In BC people hate the oil sands and hate the idea of tanker traffic. BC votes like Ontario - not Alberta

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    6. The NDP coalition basically seems to be Quebec, most of BC, half of Atlantic, and significant inroads into Ontario, Manitoba, Sasketchewan (yes, they will win seats if they're up this high in the Prairies). Heck, maybe even a second in Edmonton. BC also had a notable Liberal contingent during the Chretien/Martin era (7 seats usually). So it'll still be different coalition ball-game. And who knows, maybe the NDP will win Bob Rae-like in Ontario with 39% of the vote, or maybe Horwath's ONDP form a minority government in the next election (as they are on the upswing).

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  15. Eric... Is there any chance of you putting together historical polls at the same time slice in a Majority government?

    I would make a guess.... totally not validated by any facts.... that at the one year point of any majority government the polls would show the government down by a considerable margin to what they got in the election.

    From a political prospective the government would be doing the unpopular cutting and adjusting of programs or raising taxes in the first 2 years and handing out vote getting goodies starting in the 3rd year.

    If the CPC is able to get 37% at this point in time I can't imagine how high they will go when and if they present a balanced budget.

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    1. That sort of decrease and bounce back happens every time until it doesn't.

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    2. 37% is also markedly higher than most other polls, which have them at 30-32%.

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    3. The CPC will not present a balanced budget ever. Their jets and jails will see to that.

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  16. so you don't incorporate past results into your prediction models?

    I guess that the people at Gallup have it wrong when show exactly how every president's approval rating after x days of his term compares to every other president's approval rating at the same time of their term.

    They are foolish enough to use this to show that Obama is tracking to the same pattern as Jimmy Carter and well behind the presidents that do get elected for a second term.



    I guess Obama has a chance to show that this data information is just a freakish coincidence.

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    1. I guess we're stuck with BC Voice Of Unreason Can we say Tory troll ??

      Go look here and see just how warped your view is. Majority of states will vote Dem

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/

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    2. If the Conservatives are experiencing a dip that happens with every majority early in the term, that does not mean they will automatically come out of it and win in 2015. Governments are eventually defeated. Patterns are eventually broken.

      And in response to your example, assuming it is accurate, Obama absolutely does. There aren't enough data points to make it very unlikely for the next election to be an exception. How many presidential elections with polling data do we have to make up the sample? I can't imagine that it is much more than 15 or 20. That is hardly a robust sample.

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    3. Whoa Peter that's awful rude of you.

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  17. "Go look here and see just how warped your view is. Majority of states will vote Dem

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/"

    Unfortunately, as much as I want Obama to win, the map on that website only gives the results of the 2008 election, not polling for the 2012 election.

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  18. All you Tories, go ahead, say anything you want about the NDP. The fact is Harper's days are numbered, Canadians have you guys figured out for the Ayn Randian, Tea Baggers that you are, and your days are numbered. And for all you Winnipeg Libs, from this Winnipeg North New Democart supporter, Bye Bye Lamoureux, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    Arthur Cramer, Winnipeg

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    1. Derek Andrew25 May, 2012 15:07

      Arthur,

      As recent seat projections and polls indicate the Tories have a considerable geographical advantage along with all the benefits of incumbency. Will the Tories be defeated one day absolutely but, to do so the NDP will likely need to receive a significantly higher percentage of the popular vote than the Tories. A +2/3%NDP point spread leads to a Tory minority.

      The other aspect I would point out is the efficiency of the NDP v. the Tory vote. In BC the NDP vote is generally very efficient so few votes are wasted on large majorities (except in places like Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant and Vancouver-Hastings) whereas, in Alberta the Tory vote is inefficient-they rack of large majorities in almost every riding and hence have wasted votes. I do not know how the NDP v. Tory vote compares in Ontario but, such a comparison is important to determine what the polls will predict in that province. My intuition says the Tories probably have some advantage on that front.

      Finally, the Grits are a wildcard both before, during and after an election. As the old adage goes: oppostion don't defeat governments-governments defeat themselves. So while the polls show a climb for the NDP their support may simply be a rejection of the government as oppossed to support for the Dippers. If so another opposition party may equally appeal or surpass the NDP as the favoured anti-government option.

      If the Liberals are again returned as the third party they will have little incentive to cooperate with the NDP. Their big donors are often Blue Grits and many of their policies closer to the Tories than Dippers. As the LibDems have experienced in Britain and the NDP in Ontario in the mid-80's there does not appear to be a political advantage going into coaltion as the junior partner. A good debate performance could sink Mulcair as easily as Layton torpedoed Iggy.

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  19. while the polls have the NDP in their all time highs with visions of power they remain 3rd in fund raising.

    In Q1,2012 when the NDP were running their leadership they were still third behind the CPC and the "going out of business" Liberals:

    CPC $5M from 36,200 donors
    Liberal $2.3M from 22,900 donors
    NDP $2M from 20,000 donors

    How in the world would the NDP be trailing the Liberals in the number of donors while the Liberals were licking their wounds and The NDP were the media darlings due to their leadership event??

    Does the NDP have some secret plan to double the per vote subsidy instead of cutting it?

    Will they have enough money to run a quality election?

    They have already made a major spending spree with the "How great is Mulcair" ads.

    Layton did not have to waste non-election spending building up his reputation and good will.

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  20. BC Voice or reason, yep you keep clutching at those straws.

    Arthur Cramer, Winnipeg

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  21. Derek Andrew24 May, 2012 04:28

    The NDP result in Atlantic Canada is somewhat surprising for me. While most other polls have shown the NDP rising post-leadership convention in Atlantic Canada they appear to be sliding; Even if results in the high 20's and low 30's are favourable compared to historical averages.

    It is likely Dexter will call an election within a year (although he could wait 'til June 2014) are these polls the first indication of a softening of support for the NSNDP? Are they simply rewarding the Tories for the Iriving shipbuilding contracts?

    Who knows but, it is interesting that Atlantic Canada is bucking the trend.

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