Thursday, May 9, 2013

April 2013 polling averages

April was a jam-packed month, both on the political side and in the number of polls that were released. Justin Trudeau officially became leader of the Liberal Party, an election in British Columbia kicked-off, and 10 federal polls (eight of them national and one apiece in B.C. and Quebec) were published. In all, more than 16,000 people were polled in these 10 surveys giving us a very good sample with which to work. And it turns out that April was a rather remarkable polling month.
For the first time since June 2009, the Liberals led in the monthly averages with 33.4%, a gain of 5.1 points over their average support in March, and the third consecutive month in which the Liberals increased in support.

The Conservatives averaged 30.2%, down 1.1 points and their worst monthly average on record (going back to January 2009 - a lot of new records were set this month so keep that in mind). This is also their third consecutive month of decrease.

The New Democrats were down 3.3 points to 23.8%, their worst showing since April 2011. The party has been dropping, with a handful of months of stagnation, for 10 months straight.

The Greens were down 0.9 points to 5.6%, while the Bloc Québécois was down 0.6 points to 5.5%.

Unfortunately, there is no recent example of these six polling firms being active within another 30-day window. The most recent period in which all six were in the field was between Aug. 30 and Dec. 3, a little more than three months.
Nevertheless, the trends since then are clear. Both the Conservatives and New Democrats have suffered with the big gain in Liberal support. But for every vote the Liberals have stolen away from the Conservatives, they have taken 1.6 votes from the New Democrats.

Click to magnify
The most significant shift in support at the regional level occurred in Quebec, where the Liberals were up 11.5 points from March to 35.7%. That is, again, their best score on record and the first time they have led in the province since before 2009. The New Democrats were down 6.6 points to 26.5%, their worst result since March 2011 and the first time that the NDP has been under 30% under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair (I said the same thing last month, but that was before adding a CROP poll that had been omitted). The Bloc Québécois was down 0.8 points to 21.9%, while the Conservatives were down four points to 10.8%, their worst result going back to at least January 2009. Quebec is most definitely in flux.

There was less movement in Ontario, but the Liberals were still up 3.9 points to 35.8%, their best score since October 2010 and their first lead in the province since September of that year. The Conservatives were steady at 35.3%, while the NDP was down 3.7 points to 22.3%. In other words, the Liberal gain seems to have come entirely from the NDP, who are down to pre-May 2011 levels of support. The Conservatives have hit a floor at around 35%. The Greens were down 0.8 points to 5.3%.

The Conservatives were narrowly ahead in the April averages in British Columbia, with 31.6% (-1.3). The NDP was down two points to 30.6%, while the Liberals were up 5.6 points to 27.5%. The Greens were down 2.8 points to 9.1%. If we exclude the anomalous month of October 2012 (when the averages were dominated by an outlying Nanos poll), these numbers represent the best Liberal result since June 2009, the worst NDP score since October 2011, and the least amount of support the Tories have registered since November 2010. The B.C. election may be skewing the numbers here, though.

The Conservatives also led in Alberta with 55.5% (-0.3), while the Liberals were up 1.8 points to 21.7% (their best on record). The NDP, at 13.4% (-4.6), was at their lowest since March 2011. The Greens were up 1.3 points to 6.9%.

The Liberals had their widest lead in Atlantic Canada, where they were up 6.4 points to 48.2%. That is their best since February 2009. The New Democrats were down 6.2 points to 24.9%, their worst since April 2011, while the Conservatives were up 2.3 points to 21.3%. But they are still at their record low in the region, when including last month's total. The Greens were down 2.5 points to 4.9%.

And in the Prairies, the lone bit of good news for the NDP. They were up 2.4 points here to 26.1%, but that still put them in third behind the Liberals. They were up four points to 27.9%, their best score since April 2009. The Conservatives were down 4.4 points to 40.7%, and seem to have exchanged their back-and-forth wobbling for a few bad months. They may be taking a hit here. The Greens were down 2.7 points to 4%.
With these levels of support, the Conservatives put their better regional distribution in the West and Ontario to good effect, winning 131 seats in the projection model. That is down eight seats from March.

The Liberals win 123 seats, a gain of 26, while the New Democrats drop 16 seats to 74. The Bloc Québécois wins nine seats (-2) while the Greens take one.

The Liberal gain came primarily in Ontario, where they picked up seven seats, and in Quebec, where they increased by 14. The NDP's drop also occurred in these two provinces (down six and 10, respectively). The party did pick up three in the Prairies, though, compared to March. But the Conservatives are still in the best position with their dominance in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba - as well as their resilience in Ontario. We saw the same thing when the NDP was ahead in the polls: the Tories simply have a better a regional distribution of support.

But if the NDP and Liberals wanted to, they could out-vote the Conservative plurality as they have an easy majority of seats in the House in this scenario.

Click to magnify
There were some new numbers on who would make the best Prime Minister and on approval ratings, which generally show positive news for Justin Trudeau. The graph to the left has the details.

So, a good start for the Liberals and their new leader. The first poll of May shows that support for the party has not yet cooled off. I imagine that the Liberals will continue to lead for a little while, just as the NDP did after Thomas Mulcair became leader. But that did not last for the NDP. Will it last for the Liberals?

23 comments:

  1. There's an error in seats distribution graphic, exacly in case of Greens. Even though it says that GPC has one seat, it appears that there are no seats in regional breakdown.

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  2. New Oracle poll for BC. 4 point gap! :)

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    1. Ryan or Eric maybe can answer this for me. Who is Oracle and have they polled before? I don't remember them. By the way Ryan, the four point gap is nothing new. This poll just shows it's perhaps holding since last week, but not narrowing. And hey it's nice to see Dix and the NDP, aka The Good Guys, fighting back, in a positive way, of course.

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    2. Lol. Positive way? They're going negative, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. What's wrong is them lying about it.

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    3. And no, I'm afraid I don't know much about Oracle's track record. Which means we probably shouldn't give it much weight. It's still below the consensus of polls from last week though... we'll have to see what Angus Reid's next poll shows.

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    4. Oraclepoll's done at least one BC provincial poll before that I know of as well as an ON poll. Éric's got them in his list of pollsters on the right hand side below.

      But here's a new one. An attentive wiki editor dug up the following poll by Hill & Knowlton (May 7-8):

      NDP 41.1 Lib 34.6 Green 13.6 Con 7.5

      I'd never heard of H&K before but they look fairly legit:

      http://hkstrategies.ca/wp-content/uploads/BC-Perspectives-Panel.pdf

      Dom

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    5. Hill and Knowlton is a major lobbying firm. I don't quite understand what this is.

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    6. I know eh? I love how their five questions were:

      1. Which party would you vote for?
      2. How likely are you to change your mind?
      3. Who do you think would make the best premier?
      4. Do you prefer Tim Horton's or Starbucks?
      5. What type of car do you drive?

      Check out those latte-sipping Conservatives, SUV/Crossover-sporting Liberals, no-car-owning Dippers, and remarkably proportionally distributed sedans! Good ol' sedans: equally fancied by all political persuasions.

      Dom

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    7. The sedans are flip floppers. :p

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  3. Gonna throw this in for discussion.

    There has been some linkage shown between the CPC attack ads and their falling support.

    i:e: Every new attack ad against Justin has been followed by a distinct drop in support for the Tories. Could the CPC be shafting itself rather than Justin ?

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    1. I'd say yes and no. No because it's a tried and true method of slagging your opponent and keeps the faithful happy. Yes because they do stupid things like send out a 10-per-center with a picture of Justin Trudeau looking like a male model and expect that to hurt him. You gotta be kiddng me. And all those CPC MPs deciding not to send out the mailer did so because they realized it would backfire and not because it "isn't their style". They have no style except that Harper tells them.

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    2. I disagree with you peter because there are just too many variables in play to make a simplistic statement like that. Also, there is no evidence that the decline in CPC is due to their attack ads.
      Remember that correlation does not mean causation.

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    3. At the least it shows the ads were ineffective though.

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    4. It's not even really possible to say that the ads were ineffective. For all we know, the Liberals could be even higher right now were it not for the attack ads.

      Just after Trudeau became leader a Forum poll showed the Liberals at 45%, even. Unfortunately they seem to be the only firm that polled that week.

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    5. Anthony: I was only repeating statements made on major networks and media. So try again.

      Ryan I think you're right and the CPC has either ignored or not taken into account "charisma" !!

      Justin has it , Harper hasn't. 'Nuff said.

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    6. Peter: Then why don't you cite your sources? Beside, if I can make a reasonable rebuttal against your argument - I'm free to do so.

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    7. Unknown. Read my post again. I don't think that "major media" requires sourcing or that Eric wants this place plugged up with links !!

      Now I suggest everybody read the Andrew Coyne piece in today's National Post !

      Things they are a changing !

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    8. "Things they are a changing"

      They have always been changing since.....well confederation!

      If you look at Eric's chart showing polling support that goes back decades and decades, you would be hard pressed to find anything constant.

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  4. Are you going to include the latest Ekos poll; it falls partly in April. Or do you use the median polling date to determine where each falls?

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    1. I use the final date of polling, so the EKOS poll will count for May.

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  5. I spot an error in your analysis Eric, The NDP has not been losing for 10 months straight. Judging from your monthly average, they got an uptick in December 2012. That means the NDP only lost for 4 months straight.

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    1. That was why I stuck that "stagnation" in there. It was an uptick, but probably nothing real and certainty unlike the under-lying trend.

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