Wednesday, September 12, 2012

August 2012 federal polling averages

We are slowly emerging from the polling doldrums of the summer. With only two national polls and one provincial poll (in British Columbia) having been conducted during the month of August, the polling average does not tell us too much. Nevertheless, as after the month of July, I present the August federal polling averages for the sake of continuity. Hopefully, with Parliament returning in September, we will have a more robust set of data with which to work next month.
The Conservatives averaged 35.4% support in the month of August, an increase of four points over their July numbers. The New Democrats slipped into second but did pick up 0.2 points, and sat at 32.8% support.

The Liberals were down 1.5 points to 20.8%, while the Bloc Québécois was up 0.9 points to 6% and the Greens were down 1.7 points to 5%.

The regional results do not show any major shifts or variations from the July averages, or from the general trends we have been seeing since Thomas Mulcair became leader of the NDP.

The Conservatives were ahead in Alberta, the Prairies, and Ontario, while the NDP had the edge in British Columbia, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

You'll notice I have added a pale orange bar to the monthly federal averages chart, indicating the month in which Mulcair won the NDP leadership race. I will do the same when the Liberals choose their leader.

I have updated the seat projection model to reflect the likely results on the new 338-seat electoral map, using the proposed boundaries. Credit for the transposition of results has to go to the website Pollmaps.ca, and thanks go to Kyle at Blunt Objects for compiling the results into an easy-to-use spreadsheet. With this work seemingly already done (and the numbers of Pollmaps do closely align with the transposition I have already completed), I do not think it will be necessary to continue my analysis of the proposed boundaries.
With the August poll averages and the new 338-seat map, the Conservatives would win 160 seats, nine short of a majority government. The New Democrats win 123 seats, the Liberals 49, the Bloc Québécois five, and the Greens one.

The Conservatives rack up big numbers in Alberta (33 of 34 seats) and Ontario, enough to compensate for NDP gains in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, where the new boundaries are particularly helpful for the New Democrats.

It will be interesting to see what kind of results the new map will give if the Conservatives and New Democrats move back into a neck-and-neck race.

Only one poll had any numbers on approval ratings this month, so there is little to report on that front. Nevertheless, the chart to the right shows how the ratings of the various leaders have been shifting since the spring.

The fall political season in Ottawa begins generally where it left off, with the Conservatives and New Democrats trading the lead and the Liberals still well behind. With the Quebec election now over, it will be worthwhile to keep an eye on how the federal voting intentions of Quebecers will (or won't) shift in the coming months. The Liberal leadership race, slated to begin in earnest in November, will then become the focus both on the Hill and here at ThreeHundredEight. The next federal election is still years away, but there will nevertheless be plenty of things to keep us busy until then.

36 comments:

  1. Well that's 172 to 160 so if the numbers held it would be an NDP-Lib coalition.

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    1. Right on said the big NDP spider to the small LPC fly join with me in a coalition in my govt web. Watch you do not get stuck or I will have to eat you LPC fly. Nothing personal that just what a big NDP spider's would do to a small LPC fly.

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    2. Well since the Libs have done that to the NDP before it's only fair play !!

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    3. No it would be a Conservative minority government. LPC would be fools to join an NDP led coalition. Would destroy the party forever, see Lib Dems in UK for the results of being a jr member of a coalition. Unless LPC ruled out a coalition before the election many of their voters would end voting CPC to stop NDP.

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    4. The Liberals would be fools to prop up the Conservatives after 10 years of governance. This would only mean left-leaning Liberals and voters tired of the Conservatives would jump to the NDP.

      The Liberals don't need to form a coalition with the NDP. They can just agree to prop up the NDP for an agreed duration of time in exchange for certain policy requests.

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    5. Anon 23:09

      Absolutely correct. There is no need for a formal coalition at all, just a "Gentleman's Agreement" re support.

      It will to a large extent depend on who is the next Liberal leader and how big an ego they have but logically the "agreement" is the way to get the country back on track.

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    6. The liberals would never form a coalition with Tories. Throughout the whole history of the LPC, they have been opposing the Tories. Only a fool would join your enemy after an almost 150 year war.

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    7. Anon,

      May be you have been out of the country for the last 6 years. From 2006-2011 the Grits supported or abstained on legislation granting the Tories a de facto majority.

      In fact Liberals and Tories have joined together on many occasions most notably during First and Second World Wars and Macdonald's great coalition. There was Canadian Alliance and Tory support for Canadian involvement in Afghanistan etc...

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    8. Will, I have been in this country in the last 6 years, so please bring personal life out of this discussion.

      Yes, the Liberals supported or abstained from legislation, but it wasn't because they agreed to what the Tories did. They did it because the LPC was low on money, and won't be well supplied to face an election at those times. Only when the LPC has paid off its debt from the last elections, and fundraised enough money suitable for an election campaign, will they topple the government and start an election.

      Yes, there was Alliance and PC support for Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, because the UN mandated it. But the Alliance also wanted troops in Iraq, something the Liberals disagreed with because the UN never gave a mandate on that.

      Also, in the first world war, some Liberals (mostly from Quebec) didn't join with the Tories because they didn't support conscription. In the second world war, Liberals and Tories have worked together, but it wasn't a coalition. Also, MacDonald's great coalition was a coalition between Conservatives in English Canada and the more moderate Conservatives from Quebec, that's why MacDonald led both the Conservative Party and the Liberal-Conservatives. But the Liberal Party have always remained independent and formed the official opposition to MacDonald.

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    9. Macdonald not MacDonald. Macdonald denotes descent from the chief.

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  2. Wow Atlantic Canada is skewed by first past the post. The seat projection is completely opposite of the polling! The NDP with a 7 point lead loses to the Cons and the third place Liberals win? Just wow.

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  3. Any idea how much the change in popular vote intentions is due to Nanos not being in the field?

    It's frustrating that one pollster has such divergent results with the others, and that their decision to not poll or not introduces so much noise.

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    1. We can't know what Nanos would have reported had they been in the field in August, so we can only speculate on what effect their absence might have had.

      The noise is heightened by the lack of polls during the summer. That is why I just present the numbers rather than analyze them in detail as I normally do.

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    2. As a general rule, whenever Nanos is in the field, Liberal support surges drastically. I was told it might have to do with the fact that they don't prompt respondents with a list of all parties; they just ask the question open-endedly.

      Dom

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    3. I was wondering more what the change from July to August would be if your July hadn't had a Nanos poll either. The reason I ask is that given how crappy polls have been lately, I'm more interested in the trends than just the raw numbers lol.

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  4. Hmmm... I'm not sure these take proper account of advanced polling, I've done the same analysis for most Montreal ridings and have come up with quite different numbers.

    Whatever, good for the guy selling the maps I guess.

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    1. Close enough for government work, as they say. Once the boundaries are finalized Elections Canada should do an official transposition. This will do in the meantime.

      How significantly different were your results?

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  5. Three years to next election bit of time yet
    but Torys are ahead and PMSH is awarded World
    Statesman of the Year same as when PMJC won it in 2002 for this coveted award. Life is Good in one of the best nations of the world to reside in.

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    1. I wouldn't call the "World Statesman of the Year" by the Appeal of Conscience organization a coveted award. Even if the award is reputable, it would be equivalent of Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which doesn't say much.

      A 35.4% polling average during good times is nothing to be pleased about. Despite the governments best attempt to focus only on economic issues.

      The PM is disapproved by 57% of the electorate. Hard to paint that number as ideological leftists.

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  6. 338 / 2 = 169. A Majority is %50 + 1, so 170.

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  7. Hi Eric;

    Have you heard of anyone producing a poll by poll political map of Canada?

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    1. Hello, I've been trying to do that... problem is that it'd be MASSIVE. I've got Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec done, but again these are huge files.

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    2. Done:
      http://www.the506.com/elxnmaps/can2011/

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    3. Wilf, he means a poll by poll political map. Each riding has many polls on election day, and the results for a riding are made by combining the results of all the polls for that riding. Anon wants a map divided by polls, not ridings.

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  8. Whatever I can do to help out the wide world of Canadian polling projections!

    I was actually just glad to find that PollMaps website, I wasn't looking forward to doing the transpositions myself. The only downside so far is that they appear to have a new proposed riding map federally, but its over $500. Glad they didn't ask us to pay for the transposition info!

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  9. I was wondering if you are going to look at the proposed boundaries for Nova Scotia?

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  10. Eric,

    Thanks for the site. This helps to keep my political addition fed. I think that you really offer a great site and keeps all of us partisens entertained during a none election cycle. Now that we have a majority government. (At least in Ottawa). I also really enjoy provincial election coverage as well. It gives me the opportunity to see what is happening outside of my home province.

    Thanks,

    Rocky

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  11. Quarterly provinical Atlantic polls by Corporate Research Associates are out. It seems that all four incumbents are not really doing that well (though NB's PC Premier Alward is still leading by a lot).

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  12. What's the sixth Conservative seat in Quebec? Lac-Saint-Louis? Or are the Liberals doing good enough in Quebec that they retain it?

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    1. It is Elzéar-Bernier, formerly Montmagny-etc.

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  13. Methinks Canadians will not want to turn the country over to another Quebec PM.Mulcair or Trudeau.with PQ in power in 2015!

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    1. You are wrong. Whenever the PQ was in power in the past, a Quebecker was PM. Remember Trudeau and Levesque? And Chretien and Parizeau? It's because a Quebec PM can understand Quebec and keep Quebec in Canada rather than someone who isn't a Quebecker and knows nothing about Quebec.

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    2. You forget John Turner.

      In fact Quebec PMs have demonstrated they are unable to renew the covenant of Macdonald. Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien all directed the country periously close to the brink. Some would say it is due to these men being Quebeckers that sovereigntists and nationalists more generally were able to exert their influence and cause national crises. Whatever their merits none of these PMs were able to solve the problem ergo, their knowledge of Quebec insufficient to build a modern country.

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  14. First of all, John Turner is not a Quebecker.

    Secondly, I disagree with you. Trudeau and Chretien both faced referendums, and both times the "No" side won. In fact, if it wasn't for those three PMs trying to give Quebec preferential treatment, I think Quebec would have left Canada a long time ago. Besides, once a region has shown some determination to seperate, you can't really "solve the problem" because there will always be people in that region who wants to seperate. The best you can do is to put sovereignty on the backburner by giving Quebeckers some better treatment.

    The biggest danger to Quebec seperation now is Stephen Harper, he has refused to give Quebec any special treatment, this can frustrate a lot of people in Quebec and give Quebeckers (both federalists and sovereigntists) a common enemy and can provide the fuel to re-ignite the sovereignty movement.

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    1. You are right Turner was not a Quebecker although he did represent a Quebec seat for a number of years.

      Secondly, the original statement was; while PQ was in office they had always faced a PM from Quebec. As Mr. Turner demonstrates this was not always the case if only for a brief period.

      Anon, stated a Quebec PM knows Quebec better than one from English Canada. I would submit that is because of this very reason that Mulroney, Trudeau and Chretien all failed to reach lasting agreements with Quebec nationalists. Although I agree with your point that once the "genie of separation" is out it is nearly impossible to put it back in the bottle. However, in my opinion Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien exaccerbated the situation. An Anglo PM may be better placed to stand up for Canadian interests in Quebec than a Quebecker. Nationalist knew that whatever offer was on the table would not be the final one with a Quebecker at 24 Sussex.

      Stephen Harper officially recognised Quebec as a nation. If that is not special treatment what is? Surely, Newfoundland, First Nations and the Metis are worthy of similar distinction?

      Everyone I know is a strong fedweralist but, Quebeckers need to understand that Canadians' paitience is limited. Canada was founded as a partnership increasingly it seems Quebeckers unwilling to participate. Yes, the election of the Tories explains some of the alienation but, in general there appears to be a lack of motivation on Quebec's part to improve their situation (economic, political, corruption) and more generally a willingness to contribute to Canada.

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  15. Harper needs to make a stand against quebec and he will have another majority. Just say no to any demands.

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