Thursday, July 11, 2013

June 2013 federal polling averages

Up until the end of the month, June was looking to be a polling desert. But in the end, six national firms and one Quebec firm reported by the end of the month, and in all over 9,000 Canadians were polled on their federal voting intentions. The result: Justin Trudeau's honeymoon may be on the wane.
Nevertheless, the Liberals have maintained a sizable lead over the Conservatives. They averaged 34.4% support in June, a drop of 5.6 points from where they stood in May. The Conservatives were up 1.3 points to 28.9%, while the New Democrats were up 0.5 points to 23.8%.

The Greens picked up 2.1 points to hit 6.2% and the Bloc Québécois increased by 1.2 points to 5.3% support. 1.4% of Canadians (+0.4) said they would vote for another party. On average, about 15% said they were undecided.

That drop of almost six points for the Liberals is certainly significant - the last time a party has dropped that much in one month was between April and May 2011, when the Liberals plummeted to 19%  in the election. The Liberal decline is positive news for both the Tories and NDP as they have arrested their four months of consecutive decrease.

But it is difficult to compare apples to apples, as these six national firms have not been in the field in such a small window since the spring of 2012. If we compare to the last time they were all in the field, which goes back to September-December 2012, we see that the Liberal rise that the leadership campaign and Trudeau's win caused took from both the NDP and Conservatives.
Since September-December, and looking only at these polling firms, the Conservatives and NDP have each dropped around five and six points, respectively. The Liberals have picked up almost 11.

But it has to be recognized that June was not a particularly good month for the Liberals, at least on the face of it. The party was down in every region of the country, but in several places they are coming down from at least four year highs. With the exception of the May averages, the Liberals are still polling at some of their highest levels since before 2009.

Starting on the West Coast, the Liberals averaged 30.1% support, a drop of 2.8 points, in B.C. The NDP was up 0.3 points to 28.5%, while the Conservatives hit their lowest point since before 2009 with 28.1% support. The Greens gained 3.4 points to hit 12.3%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives picked up 8.3 points to reach 55.5%, putting them where they usually are in the province. The Liberals dropped 9.7 points to 23.3%, but that was largely due to the anomalous Forum poll from May that put the party at an implausible 42% in Alberta. Ignoring last month, the Liberals are doing better than they have since before 2009. The NDP was up 0.5 points to 13.6%, while the Greens were down 0.5 points to 4.9%.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives were up 7.9 points to 45.5%, while the Liberals were down 8.3 points to 25.1%. The NDP continued at their post-election low, falling 0.8 points to 21.6%. The Greens were down 1.4 points to 6.4%.

The Liberals were down 3.7 points to 37% in Ontario, though with the exception of last month that is still their best since September 2010. The Conservatives were up 0.3 points to 33.6% and the NDP was up 2.5 points to 22.3%. The Greens gained two points, averaging 6.2% support.

In Quebec, the Liberals dropped 3.3 points to 37.7%, again their recent best with the exception of last month. The NDP gained for the second consecutive month (the first time that has happened since February-March 2012, when Thomas Mulcair won the leadership), picking up 0.8 points and averaging 28.5%. The Bloc Québécois was up 2.2 points to 19.5%, while the Conservatives dropped to single digits with a 0.2 point fall to 9.9%. The Greens were up 0.9 points to 4%.

And in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals fell 3.8 points to 47.2% while the NDP was up 5.4 points to 27.7%, approaching their haul from the 2011 election. The Conservatives were down 3.1 points to only 19.2%, while the Greens were up one to 4.7%.
With these levels of support, the Liberals would likely win 134 seats, with the Conservatives taking 120, the New Democrats winning 80, and the Bloc and Greens each winning two.

This represents a drop of 18 seats for the Liberals from the May projection, with the Conservatives picking up 11, the NDP six, and the Greens one.

That extra Green seat is Victoria, as I have added the by-election's results to the projection model. With the NDP down and the Greens up since that close contest, it follows that Victoria would fall into the Green camp - particularly since the area just elected its first Green MLA.

The Liberals dropped five seats in Ontario and four apiece in Atlantic Canada and Alberta, while the Conservatives were up five in Ontario, four in Alberta, and three in the Prairies. The NDP made four of their gains in Atlantic Canada.

In the end, the 40% support the Liberals were registering in May was probably never going to be sustainable. New leaders almost always experience a burst in support, and that does seem to be what was going on. If the party settles in at the mid-30s, it would be hard to call that anything but a spectacular success in the context of the last election. The Conservatives are still struggling mightily, but they may have hit their floor. How the NDP's support plays out in the coming months will be the thing to watch.

19 comments:

  1. No one should have expected the huge Trudeau bump to last. History teaches us that these bubbles are temporary.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The NDP wins more seats in Quebec despite being almost 10 points behind the Liberals? That's surprising.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing it's because the Liberals have an overkill of support in Montreal but not much anywhere else, whereas the NDP's support is more efficiently distributed. What's also astonishing is how the Conservatives manage to hold onto all five of their seats despite dropping from 16.5% to 9.9%. I'm guessing they must be hanging onto a very concentrated core of supporters in the Quebec City region and have lost almost all of their support everywhere else, where they didn't previously have enough to win any seats anyway.

      Dom

      Delete
    2. The thing is, though the Conservatives have dropped significantly, so have the NDP. And most of the CPC's seats are CPC/NDP races. With both of them dropping, the Conservatives are able to hold on because the NDP is not in a position to move ahead.

      Delete
    3. Are those the same five seats the Cons presently hold? I imagine they must be hanging on with support levels barely breaking 30-35%, with the NDP, BQ and Libs all clustered fairly close behind?

      Dom

      Delete
    4. That's pretty much it exactly. One of the ridings (can't recall which) had the CPC up by 0.1 points over the NDP. Even Bernier isn't totally safe.

      Delete
    5. Éric,

      Le basin de la droite est toujours dans la region de la Capitale-Nationale...

      Some things never change. Quebec City is bedrock territory for Conservatives and Caquistes alike. They can count on consistently enough support to at least remain competitive. Put another way, when both Harper and Legault are flushed down the dumper in Quebec, it won't likely be happening in selected seats in this region.

      Delete
    6. Perhaps - but it should be noted that the Conservatives currently hold no seats in Quebec City. Their CN holdings are on the other side of the river.

      Delete
  3. So Clark won her seat by a 33% margin (63 to 30), compared to 19% margin (55 to 36) from Forum's poll last week.

    I realize it's really hard to get good poll results for a byelection with low turnout, but I can't help but smile a little at the polls being off in the same direction again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forum did a final poll of 182 respondents on July 8-9 that showed Clark 52% vs. Gordon 36%, but considering the margin of error was 7%, it actually wasn't that far off.

      Dom

      Delete
    2. That's well outside the margin of error.

      Delete
    3. I should be clear here - but a margin of error of 7% in an individual number is equivalent to a margin of error of 9.9% for the spread between Clark and Gordon. 19%+/-10% - they were outside the margin of error.

      Obviously a small sample and a low turnout election. But still, when you're supposed to be within 10% nineteen times out of twenty, and you're outside that consistently in one direction, it says something about polling these days.

      Delete
  4. Georges Laraque (sp?) is apparently running for the Greens in Quebec ??

    Any feelings ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He'll certainly boost the Greens in Bourassa, but considering how they had less than 2% of the vote in that riding there is nowhere to go but up. Not sure he has the cachet to win it by himself, but he'll definitely inject an unusual dynamic to the race (the Greens are never a factor in QC).

      Delete
  5. Peter,
    Éric,

    Agreed but I think Pablo will take much of the steam out of the Green campaign, if he runs. My guess is that we will see a Liberal-NDP race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Generally I agree but, with the NDP losing over 25% support since the last election I think the BQ could very likely finish second.

      With the Grit's rise in the polls this should be a comfortable win for them.

      Delete
  6. The BQ will likely get less than 10% of the vote in Bourassa. Given that they have no money, no leader, no issues, a ridiculously unpopular PQ government they are linked to etc...its hard to see them doing much more than just putting a token name on the ballot in the Bourassa byelection. Even in the best possible circumstances, the BQ could not win Bourassa because its too non-francophone - so I think the BQ will be lucky not to come in fourth behind the Liberals, NDP and Greens likely in that order.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BQ has a leader, Daniel Paille and received 16% in 2011.

      Delete

COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.