Thursday, June 28, 2012

Three federal polls, 2.5 NDP leads

Three federals polls have been released over the last few days, all showing the New Democrats narrowly ahead or tied with the Conservatives. Let's go through them one-by-one.
Harris-Decima was last in the field Apr. 26-May 6, and since then the New Democrats have slipped two points to 32%. The Conservatives are up one to 31% while the Liberals are up three to 23%.

The Greens trail with 7% and the Bloc Québécois is at 5% nationally.

The gap is just as narrow between the NDP and Tories among men and women, with the NDP holding a three point advantage among females and the Conservatives holding a two point edge among males.

The NDP leads in British Columbia (-3), Quebec (-2), and Atlantic Canada (-8) with 36%, and is running second in Ontario with 32% (+1), the Prairies with 30% (-9), and Alberta with 16% (-1).

The Conservatives lead in Alberta with 62% (+7), the Prairies with 47% (+4), and Ontario with 33% (+1). They are trailing in second in British Columbia with 33% (+1).

The Liberals are second in Atlantic Canada with 35% (+5), while the Bloc is second in Quebec with 21% (-6).

The narrow gaps in British Columbia and Ontario are important in this poll, as they are the main drivers behind the narrow gap nationwide.
Ipsos-Reid was last in the field May 8-10, and since then the NDP is up three points to 38%, putting them ahead of the Conservatives. The Tories are down two points to 35%, while the Liberals are down one to 18%.

The Bloc has 6% nationally while the Others has 4%. Ipsos-Reid did not separate the Greens from the Others in this survey.

It is worth noting that this poll was conducted online by Ipsos-Reid, while their previous poll had been a hybrid telephone and Internet poll. The methodological difference could be playing a role in the shifts in support between this poll and their last one.

It is also worth noting that the NDP's lead may be somewhat illusory, as it might not turnout in a real election. The Conservatives hold the lead among those aged 35 years or older (those most likely to vote), with 40% to the NDP's 35%.

Among Canadians born in this country, the NDP holds a narrow two point lead with 38% to the Conservatives' 36%. Among foreign-born Canadians, however, the NDP is far ahead: 36% to 30% for the Liberals and 28% for the Conservatives.

The NDP leads in this poll in Ontario (+5) and Quebec (-5) with 40%, and are also ahead in Atlantic Canada with 38% (+11). They trail in second with 43% in the Prairies (+6), 35% in British Columbia (+2), and 24% in Alberta (+5).

The Conservatives are ahead in Alberta with 67% (+4), the Prairies with 45% (-4), and British Columbia with 37% (-14). They are second in Ontario with 34% (-2), while the Liberals are second in Atlantic Canada with 30% (-5) and the Bloc is runner-up in Quebec with 26% (+3).

The big NDP lead in Ontario is the stand-out regional result from this poll, but it has yet to be repeated anywhere else.
Abacus was last in the field on May 15-16, and since then the Conservatives have dropped two points to 35%, putting them in a tie with the steady NDP. The Liberals are up three points to 20%, while the Greens are at 6% and the Bloc is at 5%.

Abacus puts the NDP ahead in Quebec with 43%, up two points, and in British Columbia with 39%, also up two. They are in second in the Prairies with 39% (+11), Ontario with 31% (-4), and Alberta with 25% (+6).

The Conservatives lead in Alberta (61%, -7), the Prairies (53%, -2), and Ontario (37%, -1). They are tied for the lead in Atlantic Canada at 30% (+3) with the Liberals, and are second in British Columbia with 38% (-2).

The Liberals dropped one point to 30% to tie for the lead in that region, while the Bloc is second in Quebec with 22% (-1).

In terms of seats, all of these polls give the Conservatives a plurality. They also give the NDP and the Liberals a combined majority, if they were inclined to work together.

The best poll for the Conservatives is Abacus Data's, as it would deliver 140 seats to 113 for the NDP and 50 for the Liberals. The Bloc would win four and the Greens one. The Conservatives bank on strong performances in the West to hold on to the lead in seats, while the NDP still struggles in Ontario.

The best poll for the New Democrats is Ipsos-Reid's. Their numbers award them 131 seats to 132 for the Conservatives, 37 for the Liberals, seven for the Bloc, and one for the Greens. Here, it is the NDP's stellar result in Ontario that makes the difference, but they would need to be doing better in British Columbia in order to come out on top.

And the best poll for the Liberals is Harris-Decima's, as it gives them 69 seats to 111 for the NDP and 123 for the Conservatives (the remaining five going to the Bloc and Greens). Strong numbers in Atlantic Canada and Ontario give the Liberals most of their seats in this poll.

But that brings us to the Liberal leadership race. Abacus surveyed whether Canadians had a favourable or unfavourable impression of some of the likely (and not so likely) candidates, finding that Justin Trudeau is head and shoulders above the rest: 50% favourable to 28% unfavourable and only 22% unsure.

Next on the list was Marc Garneau, with a split of 33% to 23%. But 44% were unsure, indicating that many Canadians know little about him. That is also the case for two other likely candidates, Gerard Kennedy (62% unsure) and Dominic Leblanc (70% unsure). For what it is worth, neither had positive scores: Kennedy had 18% favourable to 20% unfavourable, while Leblanc split 14% to 16%.

Among Liberal supporters, though, they had better splits: 29% to 16% for Kennedy and 24% to 12% for Leblanc. Garneau's was even better at 46% to 14%, but Trudeau was, again, well ahead of the pack with a favourability rating of 70% among Liberal supporters, to only 15% unfavourable.

Put Trudeau at the helm of the Liberal Party, and their fortunes improve. They would take 32% of the vote, narrowly behind the Conservatives, who would be at 33% support. The NDP would sink to only 24%, suggesting that their support is remarkably soft.

In terms of seats, the Tories would still come out on top with 131. The Liberals would win 99, however, with 74 going to the NDP. Again, the Liberals and NDP could combine for a majority, though in this case it would be the Liberals calling the shots.

But there is plenty of time yet for Trudeau not to run, to lose if he does run, or to whittle his support down between now and 2015. Nevertheless, this is another demonstration of what Trudeau would do for the Liberal Party. Far from writing them off, he would entice Canadians to give them another look. The fate of the Liberals would then depend on what he would do with that attention.

30 comments:

  1. Just want to point out that for the Abacus numbers, the Liberals are actually up 3 points from that company's last poll as opposed to being down 3 points.

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    1. Right you are, fixed. Thanks.

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  2. Halifax Libertarian28 June, 2012 11:39

    Love your site and visit it almost every day. Are you ever going to publish the seat by seat breakdown as you did during the last federal election? I am very interested in how the seats fall in Ontario with such massive NDP numbers. One small grammatical error, in the first sentence after the seat projection, you wrote: "In terms of seats, all of these polls gives the Conservatives a plurality." Should be "give", should it not?

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    1. Thanks for catching the typo.

      No, I don't post seat-by-seat breakdowns outside of election campaigns, or in the run-up to them. I just don't think it is worthwhile, I don't want people to get too hung up on them. What's important are the overall results.

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    2. Well, if we're fixing grammar the phrase should read "all of the polls give". One does not need to put "these" since we are not differentiating between various sets of polls.

      OED

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    3. But as I am constantly writing about polls on this site I don't think it is out of place. Otherwise it might be misconstrued as me saying that ALL polls (everywhere) give the Tories a plurality, rather than just the ones I wrote about today.

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  3. Are we seeing trends or fractionation ??

    Hard to say at this point.

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  4. It is also worth noting that the NDP's lead may be somewhat illusory, as it might not turnout in a real election. The Conservatives hold the lead among those aged 35 years or older (those most likely to vote), with 40% to the NDP's 35%.

    This is extremely subjective editorialisation, and could be said about ANY party. Why is the NDP's support illusory, but other parties aren't? Also, I would challenge your statement above based on new data: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/27/pol-pnp-nanos-survey-parties.html

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    1. The "why" is explained in what you copied-and-pasted. It is more illusory because those under the age of 35 tend not to vote very much, while the older you are the more likely you are to vote.

      So while the NDP might be leading nationally among all Canadians, that vote might not turnout to the polls in a real election. This was the case in 2011, when the NDP was the leading choice among non-voters.

      And while that Nanos poll shows the NDP could make in-roads among older Canadians, the question is not the same as one about voting intentions.

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  5. I'm very curious what the seat breakdown results were for Ontario according to the Ipsos poll that showed the NDP at 40% in Ontario. Can you tell me what the Ontario seat breakdown was for the stellar NDP result of the Ipsos poll?

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    1. It was 55 CPC, 41 NDP, 10 LPC. The NDP was eating too much into the Liberal vote and not enough in the Tory vote to start winning Conservative-held seats in the GTA.

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    2. Halifax Libertarian28 June, 2012 14:38

      I second that...

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    3. How much can the NDP's problems in Ontario be attributed to the variance in district size? The general rule is +/- 25% from the mean, with urban ridings generally +25% and rural ridings -25%, which can add up to about a 67% difference between the smallest and largest. Of course, it might not really be a factor, since the NDP does well in the Northern Ontario ridings...

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    4. With these kind of numbers, it would be really nice if it was possible to get a sub-regional breakdown in the polling data to see where the NDP has spiked. I would assume there is a substantial concentration of the vote in Northern Ontario, the 416 and Southwestern Ontario by making a crude comparison with the breakdowns for the Ontario provincial polling.

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    5. So Éric, based on the Ipsos Reid poll alone, just for the fun of it, how many seats would the parties win? With 41 seats in Ontario, I imagine the NDP would be pretty close to majority territory, or at least a strong minority?

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    6. Seats projections for each individual poll is included in the post.

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    7. I'm obviously losing my mind.. having already read that! :-)

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    8. @TS
      "concentration of the vote in Northern Ontario, the 416 and Southwestern Ontario"

      That may be true, but I think a lot of the new NDP support may actually be in the middle class "905" area that is being directly targeted by Muclair!

      Unfortunately without more detailed Ontario breakouts it's an unknown!

      EM

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  6. In fact, the results for the Greens in the Ipsos-Reid poll can be found here, at the end of the page: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/22/ndp-out-ahead-of-the-tories-with-38-support-liberals-struggling-poll/.

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    1. The National Post equated the "Others" with the Greens, which is not what was done in Ipsos-Reid's actual data tables. Nor was it possible for IR to separate the Others from the Greens when I asked them directly.

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  7. Very interesting numbers here, could you tell us the regional seat breakdown for the three federal polls? Was there a regional breakdown for the Trudeau poll? Thanks

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  8. Curious Eric. With Trudeau at the helm, would a riding like York-South Weston go Liberal again?

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    1. Possibly, the margin was only seven points in 2011.

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  9. Why would anyone ask about York South-Weston in particular? I don't see the Trudeau name having any particular "equity" there compared to anywhere else. It didn't even vote Liberal in 1968 the year of Trudeau-mania!

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    1. Demographics and ridings change over the years. That specific riding may not have been Trudeau friendly in 1968, but is now in 2012.

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    2. I don't see Trudeau running for leader. Like Bob Rae, Trudeau does not have enough to differentiate with Mulcair's NDP on policy. Worse for Trudeau is that both he and Mulcair are both center-left politicians based in Montreal.

      A Trudeau-led Liberal party would rely way too heavily on their leader's personality, which can be damaging come election time.

      I think the Liberals would end up with Marc Garneau. Garneau has the popularity to win a leadership race and keep the Liberals afloat. Garneau is one of the more right-leaning Liberals, who can be able to differentiate between Mulcair and Harper.

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    3. Garneau is not a right-leaning Liberal. He is just like Stephane Dion and Jean Chretien. He wants more taxes on the rich and more protection for the environment. He even wanted to have a discussion during the Liberal leadership convention about whether Canada should stop being a constitutional monarchy and become a republic. He is nowhere near to the right like Ralph Goodale, Paul Martin, John Turner, etc.

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  10. however you look at it, the left is split, but either way there wouldn't be a majority again.

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  11. however you look at it, the CPC would never be able to drive through an omnibus bill again.I think the next election will show us if the Liberals are alive or is a merger in the making.

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    1. " is a merger in the making. "

      History says it isn't necessary either. Pearson-Douglas worked awfully well !! As did others that followed !!

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