Wednesday, August 8, 2012

July 2012 federal polling averages

UPDATE: A Forum poll conducted at the end of July and tucked away in a graphic for an article by The National Post was missed, but Forum has just released the data and I have updated the graphics and text below. My apologies.

This being the summer, it is no surprise that only three federal polls were released during the month of July. For that reason, the monthly polling averages have far less to tell us than they usually do. Accordingly, I will not spend too much time analyzing these numbers. I post them more for the sake of continuity.
The weighted average of these three July polls gives the New Democrats 32.6%, down 2.2 points from June. The Conservatives were down 1.2 points to 31.4%, while the Liberals were up 2.3 points to 22.3%.

The Greens were up 0.8 points to 6.7% and the Bloc Québécois was down 0.9 points to 5.1%.

The Conservatives led in the Prairies (34.1%), Ontario (36.3%), and Alberta (55.7%), while the New Democrats led in Atlantic Canada (36.9%), British Columbia (38.8%), and Quebec (39.3%).

The Liberals had their best results in Atlantic Canada (31.6%), the Prairies (23.4%), and Ontario (26.4%).

There was only one poll on approval ratings and none on who Canadians feel is the best person to be Prime Minister.

In terms of seats, the Conservatives would win 127 on these support levels, with the New Democrats taking 119, the Liberals 59, the Bloc Québécois two, and the Greens one. Compared to June, that is a loss of six seats for the Tories, three for the Bloc, and two for the New Democrats. The Liberals are up 11 seats.
The numbers in British Columbia and the Prairies are pretty good for the New Democrats, but the Conservatives' strength in Ontario (and Alberta, of course) gives them the edge.

A rough estimate puts the Conservatives at 143 seats, the New Democrats at 128, and the Liberals at 64 in the expanded 338-seat House.

If they were so inclined, the New Democrats and Liberals could come together to govern with a majority, which is a dangerous situation for the Conservatives. It will be a majority or bust for the Tories in 2015 after nine years in power. That is, of course, unless the New Democrats and Liberals rule out any sort of cooperation. The identity of the next leader of the Liberal Party may play a role in how that plays out.

38 comments:

  1. I guess this aggregate of July polling is largely those two Ekos polls earlier in July?

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    1. No, the first of those polls was done at the end of June. So, the two polls are by EKOS and Nanos (as pointed-out in the graphic).

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    2. If June was only EKOS and Nanos too, what would those numbers would have been?

      I'm curious as to how much of the changes are from house effects and how much are actual changes in the opinions of the electorate.

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  2. Didn't Forum also have a poll out in the National post this weekend that was fielded in July that had NDP 35%, CPC 31% and Libs 22%?

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    1. I did not see that poll, there is nothing about it on Forum's website.

      It turns up in a graph on the Post's article on gun crime, though. I'll see if Forum can send me the details and update if they do.

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    2. The full report has *just* been made available on Forum's website. Gee, Éric, that's like twice in the last 3 months that your monthly polling averages have been thwarted by these laggard pollsters! Don't they have any regard for your pivotal, momentous, impactful work here??? ;)

      Dom

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    3. Perhaps due to my requests today. I am about to update.

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  3. Eric, Did you see that Forum conducted a poll of 1639 Canadians from July 25th to 26th. It was mostly about crime but they did ask party preference. It showed 33% Conservative, 22% Liberal, 35% NDP, 5% Green, 6% Bloc.

    The results are on the botom of this article, but I'm not having much luck finding anything more detailed:

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/04/canadas-inexplicable-anxiety-over-violent-crime/

    AP

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    1. FYI, it put Conservative support at 31%, not 33%.

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    2. Opps, that was a typo. Nice catch chimurenga.

      Also, thank you Eric for requesting this data. I'm glad they shared the crosstabs for party preference in the other polls. I'm sure many of the results are meaningless but it is interesting to know that Liberals are more likely than the NDP to underestimate the value of items brought abroad to Customs Officials (the result is significant too). (See the Canada-wide - Customs report for these results)

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  4. Nanos is one-half of the month's polls ... no wonder the NDP got whacked and the LPC took a jump.

    Amazing how the NDP are leading in BC and the Atlantic and yet come 2nd and 3rd respectively in seats in those regions. They've got to get more efficient with the vote or it's going to cripple their efforts to go any higher.

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    1. A lot of it has to be riding size. Urban ridings have more people than suburban and (esp.) rural ridings.

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    2. That will, to some extent be corrected with redistribution. The new seat distribution in BC looks to be at least somewhat good news for the NDP, and the seat redistribution in Saskatchewan is VERY good for the NDP, considering that it creates five entirely urban ridings, of which the NDP ought to win four (the Liberals will hold Wascana).

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  5. Canada will never allow a coalition of losers. That is not what happens here. The winner forms government. Period. If the losers tried to form government, against the democratic will of the Canadian people, the writ would immediately be dropped again and there would be blood in the water.

    So don't say things like it's majority or bust for the Conservatives. It's absurd. It has never happened and never will.

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    1. Where was your crystal ball when Alberta went to the polls?

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    2. History disagrees with you Anon 13:00.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_general_election,_1985

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    3. Gee Anonymous 13:00, partisan much? As much as *you* may not like the idea, it only makes sense, *especially* if fewer than one third of Canadians vote for the party that squeaks out a plurality of seats and the 2nd place party finishes a mere 0.3% points behind. What do you mean "Canada" will never allow it? The 31.7% will take up arms to prevent it from happening? Harper will prorogue parliament indefinitely? The 68.3% that wished for a different government will humbly refrain from supporting the legitimate right of the parliamentary majority to unite? This happened before in Ontario, you do realize? 1985; go read up about it. The world didn't come to an end. Sheesh...

      Dom

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    4. Ah, so then you would have disapproved of the Liberal-Conservative coalition that held power in BC from the Second World War right on through to the rise of Social Credit? That too was a coalition of the second and third place parties, but I suspect your complaining won't encompass it for strictly partisan reasons.

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    5. Anonymous 13:00, educate yourself on the constitution, and on the history of Canada, and then come back. A government by the second place party supported by the third was formed in Ontario after the 1985 election.

      In a situation such as this one, the Conservatives would also have been the second place party in terms of percentage of the vote. Losing the popular vote deprives a Conservative attempt to cling to the reigns of power of a lot of its legitimacy.

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    6. What if fewer than a third of the people vote for the party that wins a majority? That's how Alberta's election went in 1921 - the UFA won a majority with 29% of the vote (the Liberals won 34% of the vote, but lost power).

      The popular vote doesn't matter. Only the seat distribution matters. And I agree that the 2nd and 3rd parties are well within their rights to defeat the throne speech and try to form a government themselves.

      We don't elect parties. We elect representatives.

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    7. It will be a majority or bust for the Conservatives in 2015.

      A "coalition of losers" could have occurred in 2008 and be publicly accepted, if the Liberals and NDP executed it properly. The biggest mistake was having Gilles Duceppe present during the signing, which gave the impression that the separatists were involved in the coalition government. Moreover, the Liberal Party had internal divisions with Ignatieff and co. believing they can win the next election outright and not rely on NDP support. This made the proposed coalition seem very flimsy.

      The Conservatives were very clever in demonizing the coalition, and even used the coalition boogeyman in the 2011 election. Any attempt of the Conservatives demonizing a coalition in 2015 would backfire as moderate voters may be more comfortable with a NDP government propped up the Liberals, rather than an outright NDP majority.

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    8. While the popular vote is not the controlling or primary consideration, it goes to the public perception of legitimacy. The FPTP system produces absurd results like the UFA result, which is one of its primary problems. As the 2008 coalition crisis proved, it isn't enough for an arrangement to be formally legitimate. It has to be seen by the public to be legitimate.

      And while we technically elect representatives, not parties, I think you'd be hard pressed to find more than about 10% of the electorate who are voting for their local candidate as opposed to the party whose banner the candidate happens to carry.

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    9. I presume the OP listen a little too closely when the opposition was talking to form a coalition, in 2010 I think. The conservative quickly got in a propaganda too denounce such thing as anti democratic, and add a little bit of Quebec bashing as the Bloc Québécois would had been part of such coalition.

      The presence of a separatist party can bring questions up, but still it fail to see that the BQ are there too defend the interest (or what they think is the interest) of the Québécois 'till Quebec get independence or is satisfy with the federation. Québec's independance would never be solve at the Canada's parliament, but by a referendum in Quebec.

      Plus it completely miss the point that the government is form by holding the trust of a majority of the deputy. A conservative government could theoretically lose such trust if some of it's deputy were to stop voting with it. And deputy of different party could be assign a ministry. Tradition are not law, nor habit. The actual constitution only require that whoever form the government hold the trust of 50%+1 of the member of the parliament.

      We could have seen an NDP government (back when they were the third party) support by Liberals and Conservative, if they would have been so incline. The legitimacy of such government would have been as strong as the one we have actually, or any other we saw in Canada's history. As long as the rule are respected anything can be done.

      The fallacious thinking that elector elect the first party to lead and the others to be the opposition is nonsense. Elector vote for the party or candidate they think will better serve their interest and the interest of the society.

      Coalition government is the norm in many European country, and most of those have a better and more satisfying democracy. They might not manage as effectively their economy, but that beside the point as bad politician are bad, whatever the system. Also, it does happen in such place with an history of coalition government that the third party take the role of the government as the two bigger party can't agree on what to do. Rare, but it surprisingly work well for a time.

      I would also add that actually a majority of Canadian would be in favour of a coalition government, a few polls are conduct time to time and I fail to remember when their was less that 50%+1 of support for such idea. Not when a separatist party would be necessary, but that a misunderstanding of the role and power of the federal parliament. Liberals and NDP certainly do not qualify as separatist party anyways.

      So yea, their are still some Canadian that do not know how our political system really work.

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    10. A "Coalition of Losers" happened federally too. In the 1925 election, the Conservatives won 115 seats, the Liberals 100, and the Progressive Party got 22. But the Liberals continue to govern with the support of some Progressives in order to outnumber the Tories.

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    11. Ira,

      You realize that point that we elect representatives, not parties, actually supports the principle of coalition governments, right?

      If a majority of the representatives say that person X is prime minister, that's what happens.

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    12. I don't think Ira was challenging that point. He seemed to be responding to my point about the popular vote and the loss of legitimacy of Conservative attempts to cling to power.

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    13. Anon:1:40,

      Governments are not formed by the House of Commons. That power lies exclusively with the Crown. In this way a vote of confidence is a vote to determine what party should enjoy the confidence of the Crown legitimised and affirmed by the elected Commons.

      No doubt exists that the Monarch or Governor may choose whomever he sees fit but, convention has developed that the Government must maintain the confidence of the House and the ability to pass supply in order to stay in office as you point out.

      Sir Allan Lascelles, private secretary to George VI best explains these conventions in a letter to The Times on the power of dissolution:

      To the Editor of The Times

      Sir,—It is surely indisputable (and common sense) that a Prime Minister may ask—not demand—that his Sovereign will grant him a dissolution of Parliament; and that the Sovereign, if he so chooses, may refuse to grant this request. The problem of such a choice is entirely personal to the Sovereign, though he is, of course, free to seek informal advice from anybody whom he thinks fit to consult.

      In so far as this matter can be publicly discussed, it can be properly assumed that no wise Sovereign—that is, one who has at heart the true interest of the country, the constitution, and the Monarchy—would deny a dissolution to his Prime Minister unless he were satisfied that: (1) the existing Parliament was still vital, viable, and capable of doing its job; (2) a General Election would be detrimental to the national economy; (3) he could rely on finding another Prime Minister who could carry on his Government, for a reasonable period, with a working majority in the House of Commons. When Sir Patrick Duncan refused a dissolution to his Prime Minister in South Africa in 1939, all these conditions were satisfied: when Lord Byng did the same in Canada in 1926, they appeared to be, but in the event the third proved illusory.

      I am, &c.,

      SENEX.

      April 29.

      Since, Prime Ministers have the right to test the confidendce of the House the basic rules laid out in the letter can be applied to Government formation even though the letter is concerned with the power of dissolution.

      Arguably a coalition containing the Bloc Quebecois would be unable to guarantee points 1,2 and 3. A Coalition with the BQ could not guarantee an effective Parliament whatever agreements. Their loyalty does not lie with Canada and it would be unwise to think their MPs have the interests of the country, constitution and Monarchy at heart. A coaltion government dependent upon the BQ may be detrimental to the national economy (pt2) and that any such Government could guarantee to continue for a "reasonable amount of time" is debateable. The BQ has little interst to maintain the first and third point and presumably since their loyalty is toward Quebec any action that increased or brought forth independence would trump any coalition agreement as well as pts 1 and 3.

      This is not to say a coalition with the BQ is impossible the Crown has absolute discretion to appoint whomever but, a coalition of federalist parties appears far more probable and palatable to the Crown.

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    14. Anon 18:39,

      The BC election of 1941 had the Liberals with a plurality with the conservatives as the third party. They subsequently formed a coalition after Patullo resigned.

      In the elections of 1945, 1949 members ran as coalition candidates, although generally speaking voters knew what side of the coalition candidates supported. It is incorrect to state the BC coalition was made up of the second and third place parties since mathematically such a result would be impossible.

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  6. We have no way of know how efficient or "ineffecient" the NDP vote actually is in those places until we see the new riding boundaries and we see what happens in the 2015 election. We are in uncharted territory right now

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    1. The new riding boundaries are out for all the Maritime provinces except PEI. The long and short of it is not much changed.

      I think the proposed boundaries are out for every Province except Manitoba, Ontario and PEI actually.

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    2. The proposed boundaries for Manitoba and PEI are now out.

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  7. mr 308 could you do polls in the upcoming byelections vaughan and KW? I enjoy reading your polls.

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    1. I appreciate that, but I don't conduct my own polls. If any new polls are done for these ridings, I will report on them!

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    2. New polls were reported on in the Star today but they are not yet up on the Forum Website though.

      http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1241559--ontario-liberals-supported-in-vaughan-but-lose-ground-in-kitchener-waterloo-new-polls-show

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  8. Éric, are there regional breakdowns for the Forum poll?

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    1. If you visit here you can see the regional break down:
      http://www.forumresearch.com/polls.asp
      It's currently the sixth from the top.

      But while you are there if you take a look at this one:
      Jul 27, 2012 Canada-wide - Baseball (10th from the top currently). You can see that Green party supporters oppose the DH rule in baseball more than anyone else.

      AP

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  9. Well that's an easy coalition (agreement)Govt for the NDP-Liberals

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