Tuesday, October 9, 2012

September 2012 federal polling averages

Five polls surveying a total of 7,922 Canadians in September found that both the Conservatives and New Democrats took a slip from their August polling. That means that the Tories still hold a narrow lead.
The Conservatives averaged 33.5% in September, a drop of 1.9 points from August. The New Democrats, meanwhile, were down 1.5 points to 31.3%.

This represents three months of decline for the NDP at the national level.

The Liberals were up 1.5 points to 22.3% while the Bloc Québécois was up 0.8 points to 6.8%. The Greens, at 5.1%, were up 0.1 point. Other parties and independents averaged 1% support.

Federal averages
The most dramatic shifts took place in British Columbia, where the Conservatives picked up 2.4 points to lead with 37.4%. The New Democrats were down 5.7 points to 34%. The two parties have been heading in opposite directions for two consecutive months and this is the first time that the NDP has not led in B.C. since February. The Liberals were up 2.1 points to 18.5% and the Greens were up 0.1 point to 8.8%.

In Quebec, the New Democrats have slid by eight points since June and 3.5 points since August, dropping to 33.7%. The Bloc Québécois was up 2.8 points to 26.2%, their highest number since March. The Liberals were up 0.8 points to 21.5%, representing a gain of six points since June and their best result since February. The Conservatives were down 1.4 points to 14.8%.

The Conservatives continue to lead in Ontario but dropped 1.6 points to 36.9%. The New Democrats were up 0.1 point to 30% while the Liberals hit their highest result since March with a 2.6-point gain to 26.9%. The Greens were down 0.8 points to 5.3%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives were down 5.6 points to 57.3%. They were trailed by the NDP at 21.3% (+2.1) and the Liberals at 13.3% (-1.7). The Tories were also ahead in the Prairies with 45.5% (+0.8), while the NDP was down 2.4 points to 32.5% and the Liberals were up 2.3 points to 15.7%.

The New Democrats, who have held a steady lead since March, were ahead in Atlantic Canada with 39.5% (+2.3). The Conservatives were down 2.2 points to 28.2% and the Liberals were down 1.1 points to 27.7%.
With these numbers, the Conservatives would have won 152 seats in a September election, using the proposed boundaries of the 338-seat map. That is a drop of eight seats from August.

The New Democrats were down 14 seats from their August totals to 109, while the Liberals were up 14 seats to 63. The Bloc was up eight seats to 13 while the Greens would win one.

The Conservatives took a big hit in Ontario, dropping 13 seats to 64. But they made much of that up in British Columbia, where they picked up six seats. The New Democrats were down eight seats in both British Columbia and Quebec, while the Liberals were up 13 in Ontario.

Approval ratings
Only one poll had approval ratings out for the leaders, and they showed better results for Stephen Harper and worse results for Thomas Mulcair.

Now that the summer is behind us and the polling will - we can assume - pick-up, we can get a better idea of where Canadians stand. If we look back a year ago, we see that the New Democrats have been holding steady (dropping to 31.3% from 31.5%) but the Conservatives have slid by a considerable amount: they had 39.1% support in September 2011. The Liberals have taken the most advantage over the last 12 months, rising from 19.5% to 22.3%. Regionally, though, the only major difference is that the Conservatives have taken a big hit in Atlantic Canada.

The continuing saga of minority government in Quebec, the Liberal leadership race running through to April, and the increased focus on British Columbia as we near their May election will undoubtedly play a big role in how the federal numbers will move over the next few months. Where will things be in September 2013?

32 comments:

  1. With the NDP at 40% in the Atlantic, but still in second to the third place (support) Liberals, there must be a fair number of potential swings - at what point does your model see these seats moving over?

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    1. There are three Atlantic seats where the NDP is within five points of the projected winner, so it wouldn't take much.

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  2. I read your article on the Liberal leadership, do you have the poll available? It's not up on the website and I'd be interested in seeing it.

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    1. There isn't all that much to it, but I'll probably post something about it later this week.

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  3. The Liberals'll do better in October now that Justin Trudeau's running.

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  4. With Trudeau running, I can even see Thomas Mulclair losing his own Outremont riding in the next federal election.

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    1. That is very unlikely. Mulcair is arguably the most popular politician in Quebec right now. He can appeal to federalists and soft separatists, along with leftists and moderates. Like Trudeau, he is a popular MP who can survive any potential major party collapse.

      The NDP's long term strategy seems to polarize the electorate between Western and Eastern interests. The battleground will be in Ontario and B.C, which tend to go either way.

      The Liberal strategy at this point is primarily reviving its base in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and their surrounding regions. However, many of the new Tory and NDP politicians are becoming more entrenched in these regions.

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    2. The Anglos and allos of the area might dump Thomas Muclair and they have very large numbers in the Outremont riding.

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    3. The Outremont riding overlaps the most progressive district in North America. Every election since the byelection in which Muclair was first elected he has substantialyl increased his support. It's very hard to envision any scenario in which he would lose this seat.

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    4. There are plenty of conservatives in Outremont. Last I checked the Hsadic Jews in the riding did not favour the NDP's stance on Israel/ Palestine. They are about 25% if not more of the riding.

      JB

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    5. According to the 2001 Census, Jews represent 10,2% of the residents

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    6. It surprises me the number is that low. I lived in the riding for a couple of years in the early 2000's and my impression was Hsaidic Jews were a larger share of the population.

      In any case I still think there are plenty of conservatives in Outremont. While at present Mulcair is the odds on favourite to win many famous politicians have lost their seat; Iggy, Sir John A. Macdonald, WLMK, Tommy Douglas...

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    7. Trudeau will be fairly popular in Quebec, but Mulcair will keep his seat.

      He'll keep his seat because Outremont is fairly Anglo and the guys are NDPers anyway.

      I, however, think that the Liberals and NDP should join. They'd be fairly popular in Quebec.

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  5. No shock the numbers are steady. The NDP has been stable with their leader (no scandals or big announcements that catch a person as odd) while the CPC has its core that won't shift. The Greens have a stable 4-6% range now it seems with the ability to poll at 10% but it seems no more than 6% on election day. The Liberal and Bloc voters are the big variables. Will the Bloc die off or rebuild for the next election? Will the Liberals grow or shrink and in either case where will the votes come/go to?

    The Liberals now are a great 'undecided' party. If you are NDP or CPC you can park there if you are in doubt about your preferred party for whatever reason as the Liberals always have tried to be everything to everyone. The Bloc is likely holding NDP votes which means they can decide how strong the NDP will be overall. If the PQ flops in power then the Bloc might drop quickly too. If another election is needed soon provincially it might suck more cash away from the Bloc as well. But if the PQ does well and can survive minority rule then the BQ could be big winners again. The BQ's future is in the PQ and NDP's hands now.

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    1. Voters in Quebec know that sovereignty is a deadbeat issue. I believe many have been voting for the Bloc as a protest vote against the Liberals and Conservatives.

      Pauline Marois manage to win a narrow majority by running as a leftist alternative to the Charest government. People wanted Charest out.

      The Bloc is toast with unknown Danielle Paielle as leader. The NDP can paint themselves as a party that can win government and represent certain Quebec interests. Though I'm sure the Conservatives and Liberals will be spending more time in the province in the next three years.

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    2. Good points, these. And "I believe many have been voting for the Bloc as a protest vote against the Liberals and Conservatives" is a point I have seldom seen elsewhere - quite true. The conventional wisdom is to brand the NDP vote in Qc as a mere protest vote, but people in Qc really do want progressive policies implemented and I think you're right that they largely supported the BQ as an alternative to the Liberals and Conservatives - and Quebeckers pushed the Bloc further to the left than they would otherwise have been (a party that included the rather right wing Lucien Bouchard, if you remember).

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    3. Anon: Oct 9 21:02,

      Marois managed to win a small minority not majority government.

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    4. She effectively lost.

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  6. The Liberal leadership race will bring more media attention to that party, so I'm sure there will be a bump for them in the polls.

    On the other hand, support the Liberals might stagnate if it seems like Trudeau is running without any major opposition. It can remind the public of the Liberal "coronations" of Paul Martin and Michael Ignatieff.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Tom Mulcair and his NDP will do to keep attention on his party. The NDP need to emphasize that they are the de facto alternative to the Conservative government.

    As for the government, I'm sure Harper and his party will cruise till spring. Scandals do not seem to hurt the Harper government and they continue to enjoy a strong base of 30-35% of the electorate.

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  7. There are months of Justin Trudeau's leadership race left. Let's see if he manages to look like something other than an amateur stage actor before we had him electoral victory (or even electoral relevance).

    I'm interested to see how the federal NDP numbers do after the NDP takes power in BC next spring. BC has some serious structural funding issues, both provincially and municipally, and the NDP modus operandi is usually to spend a ton of money.

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  8. The idea that Justin Trudeau will be popuular in Quebec beyond les Anglo's et Alo's is highly suspect. The French find the federalist extreme hard to swallow. The critical piece in Quebec are the "nationalists" ("we would like to stay but with a lot more autonomy...."). Mulcair does appeal to them with his "more for Quebec" stance.

    The NDP ought to begin now a steady drumbeat of "Only the NDP can defeat Harper, a vote for Justin is a vote for Harper..."

    It will be very interesting to see if the CPC will do the classic hatchet job on JT they did on Iggy and Dion. They seem to have ignored Mulcair. The NDP could loan them some money to help.

    DL

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    1. Outside of Quebec, the NDP go out of their way to hide their support for giving more powers to Quebec. Why doesn't the NDP clarify its position on Quebec outside of Quebec?

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    2. Not that this is necessarily the NDP policy/strategy, but it makes sense to engage Quebec-Canada relations on an issue-by-issue basis, rather than adopting a crude blanket approach.

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    3. JST,

      The reason they don't is because giving Quebec more powers/ money is a non-starter everywhere else in Canada except perhaps Ottawa. Why should Quebec have power over their immigration policy and not BC, AB or Ontario? Most immigrants head there not Quebec.

      A blanket approach may not be the best strategy but, the ad hoc one of the NDP is sure to create a complex web of agreements and sub-agreements with all the added costs and delays.

      JB

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    4. Thats what I am saying JB, the NDP is hiding its Quebec policy and the media haven't emphasized it. IF it is put under the microscope, the NDP might have to decide whether to keep its possible temporary Quebec support or sacrifice its voter support in the rest of Canada. It is a huge faultline that hasn't been brought out in the open. Something both the CPC and LPC could exploit.

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    5. JST,

      Agreed.

      Don't place much faith in the media look at the amount of scrutiny they placed upon Layton in the last election. We could have ended up with a PM Dewar or Nash or Ashton or Topp.

      Absolutely it will be something the Liberals will exploit especially among federalist in Quebec and Ontario. Big faultline within the party as well. The traditional Western protest vote of the NDP is a lot closer to EEE Senate folks than the Separatisits/ Quebec nationalists.

      JB

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  9. The NDP have the best records of balanced budgets in Canada.

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    1. Except in BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia!

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  10. Lets say the election results was as above;

    CPC=152
    NDP=109
    LPC=63
    BQ=13
    GRN=1

    I would hope that Mulcair would vote No Confidence right away and the GG would ask him to form a gov't with the LPC at least, maybe make Liz May Environment minister :)

    DL

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    1. Would all depend on the Grits. If they don't want to shack up with Mulcair the Tories will likely stay in power. A NDP-Lib government with these numbers would have a small majority 172-166-this could be problematic without strong coordination between the two parties.

      JB

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  11. They would have the social policy support of the BQ I suppose. They could trade this for French only federal policy in Quebec as per Mulcair policy.

    If Grits don't take the deal NDP will have a clear right to say "anything Harper does is on you. It is clear you are just the left wing of the Tory party." You can see the bait of 7-8 cabinet seats for Sr Grits.

    DL

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  12. Yes, but we must consider that Harper's "popularity" is tenuous at best. By 2015 he will also be quite stale. That is death to a politician. Harper has been on a steady but slow decline since the last election that is likely to continue right on through 2015. People will be bored of him at best, likely much worse, knowing him

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