Wednesday, July 11, 2012

June 2012 federal polling averages

The Conservatives took a step backwards in the month of June, as their polling average dropped by 1.2 points and opened up a 2.2-point margin between their support and that of the New Democrats. The NDP remains the most popular party in the country, and is leading in three of six regions.
Eight national polls were conducted during the month of June, while both British Columbia and Quebec had one federal poll conducted exclusively within their boundaries. Two polls were also conducted in Ontario. In all, about 16,590 Canadians were polled on their federal voting intentions in June.

The New Democrats barely budged from their May 2012 result, picking up one point to hit 34.8% support - their highest yet on record since monthly averages were first calculated by ThreeHundredEight.com in January 2009.

The Conservatives were down 1.2 points to 32.6%, and they have been struggling to get out of their rut of 33% to 35% since December 2011. The Liberals, after suffering losses for three consecutive months, finally stopped the bleeding with a 0.2-point gain to return to 20%.

The Bloc Québécois was up 0.4 points to 6% while the Greens were up 0.8 points to 5.9%. An average of 0.9% of Canadians said they would vote for other parties.

The greatest amount of shifting in support occurred in British Columbia, but the New Democrats held firm at 38.5% (they have been around 39% for three months now). The Conservatives dropped 3.8 points to 33.2% in the province, their lowest mark since November 2010. The Liberals were up 2.1 points to 17.8%, while the Greens were down a point to 9%.

The New Democrats continued to lead in Atlantic Canada, picking up 0.5 points to reach 37.5% support. The Conservatives were down two points to 27.5% and the Liberals were down 2.2 points to 27.3%. The Greens were up 2.1 points to 5.9%.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives slipped 0.5 points to 44.2% while the New Democrats hit 36.9% with a 3.4-point gain. At almost 37%, the NDP is at its highest point in Manitoba and Saskatchewan since at least January 2009. The Liberals, who dropped 1.1 points to 13.8%, have not been this low since the May 2011 election. The Greens were also down, slipping 1.6 points to 4.4%.

The New Democrats were up 1.8 points in Quebec to 42.1%, putting them well ahead of the Bloc Québécois, which was up 0.6 points to 22.6%. The Liberals were up 0.1 point to 15.8% and the Conservatives were down 0.7 points to 14.9%. The Greens, at 3.9%, had no change in support. After a roller-coaster ride in the province, voting intentions in Quebec have stabilized for all parties since Thomas Mulcair became NDP leader. Intentions are generally back to where they were on election night.

The Conservatives picked up 0.5 points in Ontario to lead with 36%, while the New Democrats dropped 1.4 points to 32.1%. The Liberals stopped four months of decreasing support with a modest 0.4-point gain. They averaged 24.8% support in the province in June. The Greens were up 0.3 points to 5.6%.

The most stable province was Alberta, where no party had more than a 1.1-point change in support. The Conservatives were up 0.7 points to 60.2% and the NDP was up 0.1 point to 19.1%, while the Liberals dropped 1.1 points to 12.7%. The Greens were up 0.6 points to 6.1%.

(Note: References to May's support may not line-up exactly with what was reported in last month's breakdown, due to a Nanos poll that was released after May's federal averages were originally calculated.)
Despite trailing by 2.2 points, the Conservatives would have still been able to win a plurality of seats in a June election. They would have won 133 seats, representing a drop of seven from the May projection.

The New Democrats increased their seat haul by three from May and would have won 121, while the Liberals were up four seats to 48.

The Bloc Québécois, at five seats, and the Greens at one were unchanged.

British Columbia was the main source of problems for the Tories, as they slipped four seats to only 15, tying them with the New Democrats. They were also down two seats in the Prairies to 17 and one in Atlantic Canada to nine, compared to where they were in May.

The New Democrats were up two seats in the Prairies to nine, two in Atlantic Canada to 10, and one in British Columbia to 15, but were down two seats in Ontario to 27 due to the gap between themselves and the Conservatives widening by almost two points.

The Liberals made their biggest gain in British Columbia, picking up three seats from May. They were also up two in Ontario but down one in Atlantic Canada.

A rough estimate gives the Conservatives 149 seats, the New Democrats 131, and the Liberals 52 seats on the 338-seat map (most of which remains unknown).

Along with voting intentions, ThreeHundredEight.com will now be tracking the approval ratings of the party leaders. This being the first month that it has been calculated, there is nothing with which to compare the results.

Nevertheless, Thomas Mulcair had the best numbers in June with an average approval rating of 41%. Bob Rae was not far behind with 38%, while Elizabeth May scored 35% approval. Stephen Harper, at only 34.8% approval, had the lowest rating of the four leaders.

He also had the highest disapproval rating at 55.5%, much higher than Rae's (37.7%), May's (37%), or Mulcair's (32%). Part of that is due to his high degree of renown - an average of 8% of Canadians did not know whether they approved of Harper or not, compared to 24.3% who said the same of Rae, 27.3% for Mulcair, and 28% for May.

In terms of who Canadians see as the best Prime Minister, there is no average to calculate as only one poll asked that question in June. Stephen Harper came out on top with 30%, compared to 20% for Mulcair, 10% for Rae, 8% for May, and 2% for Daniel Paillé. Another 19% thought none of them would make a good Prime Minister.

It was a bit of a mixed month for all parties, as none had any unambiguously good news. The New Democrats come out on top for June, having marginally gained support and - more importantly - increasing their lead over the Conservatives. Improving situations in British Columbia, the Prairies, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada bode well for the party, but a slip in Ontario is potentially more consequential.

June was not a horrible month for the Liberals, as they managed to stop their national losses. They were also up by a decent amount in British Columbia, but dropped big in Atlantic Canada and look flat in Ontario. Those two regions are their most important, and they need to be doing better in them. Though it is true that they have no leader, nothing says they can't improve their position in the interim. Gains that are not made now will have to be made later.

The only real horse in the race for the Greens is in British Columbia, and they dropped support there. But they are not in danger of losing May's seat and, at 5.9% national support, are doing better than their 2011 election result. For the Bloc Québécois, they are holding steady from the last vote. That is not a good thing for them, but the provincial election could shake things up for the Bloc in the coming months.

June was roughest on the Conservatives, who lost more than a point nationally and were down by significant margins in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. They are also continuing to struggle in the Prairies and are well below their election score in Ontario, which all points to losing their majority. But it is still early in their mandate (when support can be expected to be at its lowest), so things may not be as dark as they appear. Nevertheless, glory is fleeting and the Conservatives will not be in power forever. Will they recover?

31 comments:

  1. The NDP has to start putting some real effort into Ontario. Make decent gains there and they are in reach of power.

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    1. Why do you assume the NDP isn't putting effort into Ontario? There are a huge number of ridings where the NDP has been largely absent for decades. Building the kind of grass roots machinery the NDP's strategy builds on takes a long time, and until it starts paying off is not reflected in the polls.

      The party has been focusing on building local organization all over southsern Ontario (the organization is already in place in northern Ontario). I know because I asked precisely these kinds of questions of organizers within the party at the convention in March.

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    2. I still think that a lot of the new NDP support is being concentrated in the 905 region, while the former "fortresses" for all parties are remaining fairly stable!

      The same with the Prairies with most of the NDP growth being in Manitoba, versus Saskatchewan!

      In both cases, until there is some more detailed breakouts in the Prairies & Ontario it is very hard to get a good fix on seat counts!

      EM

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  2. With all these scandals and government mismanagement, the Tories are probably content with support hovering around 32.6%. Harper does not like change which was evident as Oda was replaced by Fantino. If Harper truly wanted to change

    The NDP should stay course with they are doing. I am sure we will have Mulcair saying some polarizing statements in fall, to divert media attention away from the Liberal leadership race.

    And of course the Liberals are the wild cards. But we would not know the full story till the same time next year.

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    1. Ontario is traditionally slow to move federally, but the NDP have been making significant gains there over the last 10 years. The newfound popularity of their provincial brethern (and sistern) may hasten the improvement. A couple of polls have shown them tied with or slightly leading the cons in Ontario. That fits with the overall trend which Eric shows they are about 6% ahead of where they were on election day.

      JKennethY

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    2. I would certainly hope the prov party can help the federal in Ont but I have to point out that Prov PC's are doing even better in the polls !!

      I live in Eastern Ont in a riding the Liberals used to own until their member retired.

      The last Federal election the Liberals were weak, the NDP pathetic and the CPC, with one of their most useless members, romped to a win !!

      There is a minimal Lib presence here, NO NDP presence at all !! And the CPC are laughing !!

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  3. The NDP went from 18% in Ontario in the 2008 election to 26% in the 2011 election and are now polling at over 30%...I think most people would call that pretty significant progress. It could take another leap once another chunk of former Liberal voters wake up and smell the coffee that their party is dead and start to support the NDP as the only party that can beat the Tories.

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    1. Sorry DL but that's not going to beat the Tories!!

      The NDP needs to engage all those Liberal supporters who have "disappeared" !!

      Until they do the NDP will remain in second place in a province they ought to own !!

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    2. A good portion of Liberals would join the Tories before the NDP especially in Ontario. I don't think it only a matter of "Liberals waking up" the NDP needs policies that are popular with people.

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    3. That's true in BC as well. ~60% of federal Liberals are BC Liberals too...

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  4. Globe and Mail reporting a Quebec election to be called for Sept. 4th.

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    1. I was planning more for Sept. 17, but I am working on getting the model ready. Should be finished this week. Will probably wait for a new poll to launch it, though.

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    2. Look forward to it Eric.

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  5. The race out here on the Left Coast is interesting. I've been wondering if the stench of the their association with the hated provincial Liberals would start to hurt the CPC here, and your analysis shows it might be. The party which might benefit most from the plunging support for the CPC (and the provincial Liberals for that matter) is the federal Liberals. I know, this is confusing, but remember we're talking about BC politics, which are almost as strange as those in Quebec.
    And with all due respect to DL, Peter and Derek, I think when the Liberal voters wake up they will be voting Liberal.

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    1. I agree pinkobme I think most Liberals do not want a merged party.

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    2. Yet, I suspect, more Liberals than NDPers want a merged NDP/LP... one reason being, the Liberals are more in need of an uptick than the NDP. Another, fundamental, reason has to do with the two parties' different policy platforms/traditions...

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    3. Actually chimerenga I don't think there's much of an appetite in either camp. We'll have to wait at least until the Libs pick a new leader to see how things shake out but I doubt there'll be a merger. Now a working partnership if the NDP forms a minority government after 2015, maybe. This merger business is generally a right-wing wet dream. CPC types want the choices to be them and a left-wing opponent. That way they'll have a better chance of holding office more often.

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    4. I actually think there's a bit of the opposite going on here pinkobme. Christy Clark took great pains to associate her brand with the CPC brand, right when the CPC brand began to weaken. Probably this is going in both directions...

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    5. pinkobme, I agree. I don't think there's much taste for a merger in either party, only that, inasmuch as there's any taste at all, it would be with the Liberals. Also, not only is the merger scenario a right-wing wet dream, it's founded on a conventional wisdom among the mainstream media, some of whom are slathering after a two-party system and some of whom can't imagine politics beyond the traditional Conservative-Liberal contest. And of course, some refuse to believe there really is support for a progressive (egads, even socialist?!) party.

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  6. @Derek

    The CPC is too far gone for even the "blue" liberals!

    And your theory wasn't really born out in the election either!

    EM

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    1. EM

      Well, I am not sure how a future event can be evidenced through a past election but, I think the evidence at least somewhat in my favour.

      The conservative vote increased by 5% in Ontario, the NDP by 7% and the Liberal -8%. Obviously some of the Liberal vote went to the NDP but, a good portion also went to the Tories. This can be evidenced through the Conservative 20 seat increase most of which were located in Toronto and the 905 turning from Liberal to Conservative.

      I think most blue Liberals do not want a merged NDP-LIb. party. How the cards will fall should a merger happen is anyone's guess but, my feeling is most would vote for the Tories, Green or another party rather than the merged entity. Of course much of that potential vote would depend on who became party leader and the agreed upon policies etc...

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  7. @Eric
    I think some of the polls do provide a split on Saskatchewan & Manitoba!

    Any way to see would it would look like if their "relative" proportions were applied to the other polls!

    EM

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    1. Only one recent poll broke it down, so not really enough information to go by.

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  8. Even with current polling and bad numbers for the provincial party, the federal NDP can hope to pick up seats in the province in 2015 because of the redrawing of constituencies, which will likely see Saskatchewan cease to be the only province without strictly urban ridings. NDP support in Saskatchewan is strongly concentrated in Regina and Saskatoon, but the current drawing of the electoral map means that urban NDP votes are overwhelmed by rural Conservative votes.

    The provincial numbers are influenced by Premier Wall's charisma and a leaderless provincial NDP. Harper is not as popular as Wall.

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    1. I'm not really sure why you think this redistribution will end the lack of completely urban ridings. Sure, both Regina and Saskatoon have the populations to qualify for approximately two ridings apiece, the current pattern of 'pie slice' ridings has been maintained over multiple redistributions since the 1960s at least. There is no real reason to expect it to change now.

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  9. Actually Regina and Saskatoon have both grown enough in population that you could have three purely urban ridings in each as opposed to having four "rurban" ridings in each. There is ZERO community of interest between someone living in downtown Saskatoon and someone living on a farm 200 kms away - so keep these gerrymandered "rurban seats" is absurd. They were first created in the 1997 redistribution, before that there were ridings in the two cities that were way more urban

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    1. How do you figure the population?

      According to the 2011 population numbers, the population of Saskatoon was 222,189 and the population of Regina was 193,100. Neither of those is enough to justify three ridings.

      The electoral quotient for this redistribution is 119,604. Applied to Saskatchewan's population of 1,033,381, that produces an entitlement to nine seats. Producing the electoral quotient internal to Saskatchewan, then, says that every seat in Saskatchewan should have 114,820 people. Saskatoon has almost exactly the population for two seats, while Regina has the population for about 1.75 seats.

      Where is this notion that each city has the population for three seats coming from?

      On that basis,

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    2. The population of the metropolitan area of Saskatoon is 260,000 and Regina's is 210,000. I'd say the CMA is probably a better measure.

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    3. Not sure on your math, TS. If Saskatchewan has 1.03 million people, and 14 seats, that means each seat has about 74,000 people in it.

      By that measure, the CMA of Saskatoon is entitled to 3.5 seats and Regina's is entitled to 2.8.

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    4. Yeah, you're right Eric, I forgot about the grandfather clause.

      DL, I'm sorry about that. You were right.

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    5. I wish we could all forget the grandfather clause.

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