Monday, June 18, 2012

Tories slip as NDP makes modest gains

Two polls that have been released over the last two days show the New Democrats making small gains as the Conservatives tumble by two or three points. They also show that a hypothetical Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party could be instantly competitive - and that he is the only potential candidate for the leadership that anyone is thinking about.
Angus-Reid was last in the field on May 22-23, and since then the New Democrats have picked up two points to lead with 35%. The Conservatives are down three points to 34%, a swing of five points in less than a month.

The Liberals are up one point to 19%, while the Bloc Québécois sits at 6% and the Greens at 5%.

The NDP leads in Quebec with 42% (-1), British Columbia with 40% (=), and Atlantic Canada with 36% (+8). They trail in second in the Prairies with 33% (+10), in Ontario with 32% (+1), and in Alberta with 22% (-1).

The Conservatives lead in Alberta with 58% (-3), the Prairies with 55% (+6), and Ontario with 38% (-3). They are second in British Columbia with 34% (-7) and Atlantic Canada with 30% (-2).

The Bloc is runner-up in Quebec with 23% (-4) while the Liberals get their best results in Ontario and Atlantic Canada (24%, +1 and -11, respectively).

Particularly because of their good numbers in the Prairies and Ontario, the Conservatives come out on top with 147 seats to 116 for the NDP and 39 for the Liberals, with the Bloc winning five seats and the Greens one.

The Conservatives win 15 seats in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, 21 in the Prairies, 66 in Ontario, five in Quebec, 12 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The New Democrats win 15 seats in British Columbia, one in Alberta, seven in the Prairies, 25 in Ontario, 58 in Quebec, nine in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The Liberals win five seats in British Columbia, 15 in Ontario, seven in Quebec, 11 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

Angus-Reid measures "momentum", in terms of whether opinion is improving or worsening for each of the leaders. Canadians tend to dislike their politicians, so momentum is usually negative. Thomas Mulcair, however, scored a +2 result, better than Bob Rae's -2 and Stephen Harper's -30. He is also the only leader with a positive approval rating, at 45% to 33%. Rae splits 38% to 44%, Elizabeth May 35% to 37%, and Harper 38% to 53%.
Forum was last in the field on May 23, and since then the New Democrats have picked up one point to lead with 37%. The Conservatives are down two points to 30% while the Liberals are up two to 22%.

In this flash one-day poll, the Bloc has 6% support while the Greens are at 5%.

As this survey and the last one were taken at around the same time as Angus-Reid's last two surveys, we can compare some trends. Federally, both firms have the Tories down (two to three points) and the NDP and Liberals up (one to two points apiece). They also both show consistency in Alberta (Tories and NDP losing support) and Ontario (Tories down, NDP/Liberals up).

Ontario is a tie in Forum's polling, with the NDP (+1) and Tories (-1) at 34% each. The NDP leads with over 40% support in Quebec, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada, and British Columbia, with the Conservatives leading in Alberta only. It is a remarkable set of numbers for the NDP. For a polling firm, however, it is always best to have the least remarkable numbers. Such a large lead has not been recorded elsewhere, though that is not to say that it won't be in the coming weeks.

With this poll, the New Democrats easily come out on top in the seat count with 135 to the Conservatives' 111. The Liberals win 57 while the Bloc takes four and the Greens take one.

The New Democrats win 22 seats in British Columbia, one in Alberta, 16 in the Prairies, 27 in Ontario (still their Achilles' heel), 56 in Quebec, 12 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The Conservatives win nine seats in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, eight in the Prairies, 50 in Ontario, five in Quebec, 11 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

The Liberals win four seats in British Columbia, four in the Prairies, 29 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, nine in Atlantic Canada, and one in the North.

On leadership, Forum gives Harper a 31% approval rating, with 61% disapproving. Mulcair scores a net positive rating with 39% to 31%, while Rae has an approval rating of 40% to 32% disapproval. Mulcair is still a bit of an unknown - his "don't know" score sits at 31%, higher than either Rae or Harper. He had 22% "not sure" in Angus-Reid's poll, also higher than Harper or Rae.

But Bob Rae is on his way out. Who will replace him? Justin Trudeau is the only plausible candidate with any real support/name recognition, registering 23% in Forum's poll on who is the best person for the job, 16 points ahead of the next favourite option (John Manley). Trudeau also had the best "good choice" score in Angus-Reid's poll.

Interestingly, both surveys asked how Canadians would vote if Trudeau was Liberal leader. Obviously, the difference between hypothetical and reality is something François Legault could tell us a lot about. Nevertheless, it is indicative of Trudeau's popularity.

Forum had the most modest score for a Trudeau-led Liberal Party, with 28% support to 28% for the Tories and 32% for the NDP. Based on their regional breakdown, this would deliver 86 seats to the Liberals, putting them not far behind the Conservatives (at 106 seats) and the NDP (at 113). The Trudeau Liberals would win 23 seats in Quebec and 36 in Ontario.

Angus-Reid provided no regional breakdown so there is no way to run a seat projection, but they did give the Trudeau Liberals a massive 40% score. This shoved the NDP down to 21% and the Conservatives down to 30%, a certain majority for the Liberals. Perhaps more interestingly, though, they compared Trudeau's numbers to those of other potential leaders. Of those listed, Dominic Leblanc performed the worst (35% CPC to 31% NDP and 20% LPC). Marc Garneau, seen as a likely candidate, managed 28% to 27% for the NDP and 32% for the Tories.

The numbers are odd, though, since they all resulted in the NDP losing support whether or not the Liberals gained any. Why would the Leblanc Liberals manage to drop the NDP by four points while only taking one for themselves?

Until the Liberal leadership race actually gets underway and we know whether or not Justin Trudeau runs, these numbers do not tell us much. They do show, however, that the Canadian public likes the idea of a Trudeau-led Liberal Party. In politics, merely getting your foot in the door is half the battle. It points to potential for the Liberals if all of their cards are played right and Trudeau turns out to be what some Canadians hope he can be. Those are big ifs, but considering the 2011 debacle a "maybe" is not a bad thing for the Liberals.

32 comments:

  1. Mulcair is old. Harper is old.

    Trudeau is something young and new. I have a feeling young people would be motivated to actually get up and vote for him.

    Just as the "Orange Crush" was an irrational wave of mass popularity that suddenly hit after Layton having run multiple elections without a similiar happening, we could see Trudeau mania 2.

    Or not! Nobody can predict such waves.

    However, its not certain that the NDP will always be opposition party or first place party forever and ever now. They could just as easily slip back to third if Quebec's mood shifts to something glitzy and new.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll take what hope I can get lol.

    What I don't understand is how Angus Reid has the worst numbers for the Liberals under Rae but the best numbers for the Trudeau-led Liberals. How in the hell does that work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Trudeau numbers just seem wonky. It seems highly unlikely to me that the Liberals really pick up 21% of the vote just from a change in leader.

      Delete
    2. The NDP picked up 20% of the vote in Quebec just from changing leaders as well.

      Trudeau's appeal could potentially be nation-wide.

      Delete
    3. The bump from Mulcair's election was a different phenomenon - the Quebecois had voted NDP, and were waiting to see if the candidate who was based in Quebec would win. The Liberals are in a long-term structural decline, and have been since the 1970s.

      Delete
    4. Perhaps that decline has ended. Mike Harris came third in his first election and then won two majorities in Ontario. The Conservatives came third behind the Progressives federally too. They're alive and well...

      Delete
    5. There is no evidence that the Liberals have managed to curb the structural decline. They have seen a steadily shrinking base, and nothing in these numbers have indicated that that has changed. They have simply maxed the remaining categories/areas where they do well. That's what make me think that these Trudeau numbers represent a Liberal ceiling, not something that would be a new normal. When the NDP surged in the 2011 election, it was telling precisely because the surge was happening outside of traditional areas of NDP support.

      Delete
    6. Well we have no idea where that surge is thanks to Angus Reid not giving a breakdown, so can't really say one way or the other.

      Delete
  3. This will just feed the Liberal messiah fixation, this idea that they are only the right leader away from winning again.

    I think the only useful thing these "what if Trudeau was leader" results tell us is that the Liberal brand is not dead. It is capable of being revived under the right conditions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Before everybody gores ballistic for Justin they should read Jeffrey Simpson

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/liberal-problems-run-deeper-than-who-will-be-the-next-leader/article4264962/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting.
    What is your opinion of Forum as a poller?
    Have they been accurate in the past with their polls on election day?

    ReplyDelete
  6. A little hiccup in your writeup...

    You write that:

    "Federally... they also both show consistency in... Ontario (Tories up, NDP/Liberals down)."

    But you also write that...

    "Angus-Reid.... The Conservatives lead in... Ontario with 38% (-3)."

    and

    "Ontario is a tie in Forum's polling, with the NDP (+1) and Tories (-1) at 34% each."


    In other words, in your summary, you have tories up Lib/NDP down, whereas you report the results to be exactly the opposite, Tories down, NDP up. (could not find Lib movement but I assume it's up in Ont in both polls)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the catch, Tories indeed down in Ontario, NDP/Liberals up.

      Delete
  7. Too bad that we can't see the Prairies split for A-R.

    I have a feeling that most of the CPC support is concentrated in SK & way down in MAN!


    EM

    ReplyDelete
  8. Try and catch Don Martin's show on CTV tonight

    Features Justin as assistant moderator. Should be interesting ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He wasn't. I was ready to vomit from the pandering, especially Martin's.

      Delete
  9. I've been wondering lately what would/could happen if Harper resigns, and even quits politics, before the next election. I guess it would depend on who takes over, but if they time it right, the public could see this as a revitalization of the CPC, especially if the new leader isn't as far right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More likely you'd see a collapse like the post Mulroney debacle.

      JKennethY

      Delete
  10. Justin has been annointed by the media as a messiah for the Liberals, and I really don't understand why. What has he really done in his political career that is of note? His major accomplishments appear to be calling Enviro Minister Kent "a piece of shit" (while undoubtedly true, this hardly put wind beneath the wings of rhetorical poesy) and TKOing an out of shape reprobate Con senator in the ring.

    Seriously folks, name me a single accomplishment of Justin's other than managing to get elected, and even Bob Anders manages that much.

    JKennethY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One could say the same thing of Jack Layton, a guy who could not win election as mayor of Toronto, yet people quite liked him. (I am not disagreeing with you, just noting that such things are not as important as people might think).

      Delete
    2. His only major accomplishment is managing to be born as Pierre Trudeau's son.

      Delete
    3. @Dave:True, but it took Layton three elections to make his breakthrough. I am not saying Justin couldn't do the same but not overnight.


      It also took harper several elections to make his breakthrough.

      JKennethY

      Delete
    4. South Parkdale Jack19 June, 2012 10:37

      @Dave Brodbeck-

      Jack Layton had an extensive municipal political career of over 20 years practicing his characteristic ability to "get things done" for working people. He did a year as head of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, encouraging "cities" to be heard at the federal/provincial table. He didn't always succeed. He grew over the years, especially in his job as NDP leader. He was also a husband and father.

      With all due respect to Justin Trudeau, his CV is quite thin, especially considering he's 40 years old.

      He is no Jack Layton .... not by a long shot.

      Delete
    5. "He was also a husband and father."

      Trudeau isn't?

      Delete
    6. Don't think the "husband/father" was a reference to Trudeau, just a comment on Layton.

      Delete
    7. I fail to see how someone's marital status matters, though I am pretty sure Trudeau is a husband and father. I am a husband and a father, so perhaps I will run for the leadership of the Liberal Party.....

      I doubt Trudeau would right everything for the Liberal Party in one election cycle, or, perhaps ever. That said, he has been elected to a national office at a relatively young age. (Though, of course, his name recognition has not hurt him....)

      Delete
  11. If Harper quit as CPC leader I think you would see an extraordinarily long, expensive nasty divisive battle to succeed him. There is no obvious successor, the stakes would be very high and the old Refom vs. PC cleavages would quickly come to the fore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it would be fun to watch( oh to dream)

      Delete
    2. i believe, if by the next election, the CPC numbers are in the tank, harper will resign rather than face defeat. i also believe his form of tight reign will leave the party with no clear direction or leader. ( it would be fun to watch)

      Delete
  12. 2015 Election will be between CPC Canada having free trade with the TPP of a $20 trillion dollar market or the No TPP free trade of the NDP who want to cancel some trade aggreements Canada already has!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry but that's total bullshit !!

      It will be about the performance of the leading parties and about programs !!

      On either count the Tories lose !!

      Delete
  13. I don't know how many of you got the Don Martin show tonight ??

    The STAR, as far as I was concerned, was Shawn Atleo of the First Nations !!

    Damn I wish he was running for a national party ??

    Because he sure would get MY vote !! This guy is BRILLIANT !!

    ReplyDelete

COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.