Monday, August 12, 2013

July 2013 federal polling averages

Federal polling has hit a summer lull, with only two national polls having been released for the month of July, surveying almost 4,700 Canadians. Due to the small number of polls last month, I will only briefly go over the monthly averages for the sake of continuity.
The Liberals still led in July, with an average of 32.4% support. That was a drop of two points from June. The Conservatives were up 0.6 points to an average of 29.5%, while the New Democrats were down one point to 22.8%. The Bloc Québécois was up 1.3 points to 6.6% and the Greens were up 0.3 points to 6.5%, while 2.1% of Canadians said they would vote for another party.

That drop for the New Democrats is actually deceptive. If we look only at the last set of polls from EKOS and Forum, the two firms in the field in July, we see that the NDP has actually gained when comparing apples to apples:
EKOS and Forum were last in the field within a 30-day period between mid-May and mid-June. A simple average of those polls shows that the Liberals have dropped 3.7 points, while the NDP was up 2.2 points and the Conservatives were up 1.5 points.

Regionally, the Liberals were narrowly ahead in British Columbia and Ontario, while they held more significant leads in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. They were second in both Alberta and the Prairies, meaning they were first or second throughout the country. They are the only party that can say that.

The Conservatives were ahead in Alberta and the Prairies, and were second in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. They were tied for second in British Columbia with the NDP, and were fourth in Quebec.

The NDP was only tied for second in British Columbia and was third in every other region of the country. That meant the Bloc had displaced the NDP for runner-up status, the first time that has happened under Thomas Mulcair's leadership.

Thanks in large part to the close race in Ontario, the Conservatives would be able to win the plurality of seats despite their deficit in support. They would win 135 seats with these numbers, up 15 from the June projection. The Liberals dropped 17 seats to 117 and the NDP dropped 30 seats to only 50. With the NDP slumping in Quebec, the Bloc manages to win most of the francophone regions of the province by default and takes 34 seats, up 32 from June. The Greens would win two, both in British Columbia.

The polling data is a little too thin to draw any significant conclusions. But it does seem that the Liberals are coming down from their highs after Justin Trudeau's leadership victory and that both the Tories and NDP are winning back some of that lost support. Nevertheless, the Liberals remain ahead and the Conservatives and NDP are still showing signs of weakness in important parts of the country. The rebound of the Bloc is not likely to be anything definitive but they may have become the 'none of the above' option that will gather support whenever the Liberals and NDP fail to impress. Whether that support would show up at the ballot box, however, is another question entirely - and the answer will be vital to the hopes of both Trudeau and Mulcair in 2015.

17 comments:

  1. I suspect the BQ's fortunes are closely tied to the PQ's. When the BQ was down to 4-5% nationally around May and June, it coincided with some very weak numbers for the PQ government. No provincial polls have been released since the end of June, but Marois has received much praise for her response to the Lac-Mégantic disaster and I suspect support for the PQ has probably increased. Accordingly, I suspect this explains the increase in BQ support, evidently at the expense of the NDP.

    Dom

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    1. Possibly, but that just makes their vote all the more non-committed at crunch time.

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  2. Honestly Eric it looks like a typical mid-summer polling.

    I think we can essentially put it aside and wait for the Sept and Oct stuff to get a more realistic idea ?

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    1. In what way does it look like 'typical mid-summer polling'?

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  3. Too much variation from all the earlier polls we've seen this year. People are on vacation, not interested in politics, not really tied into the issues. In other words don't really care.

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    1. It would not be wise to dismiss these numbers entirely until we see where the trends take us. The trends from June have continued, and there were a good deal of polls in that month.

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  4. Éric,

    With Liberal support softening but still leading, I expect to start hearing that word again in short order:

    C-O-A-L-I-T-I-O-N, COALITION, coalition!!!

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    1. The nuance that the BQ isn't needed anymore to form one might be lost in the ruckus.

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    2. That's a pretty big deal isn't it.

      I feel that so long as NDP+LPC+Green seats > Conservative then a coalition government will be more likely than not, though it would be a weak government at best.

      If NDP+LPC+Green > 169 (an absolute majority), a coalition government is a slam dunk.

      With NDP+LPC+Green being exactly 169 in this projection and that being just one seat short of being able to pass a budget without the help of the Bloc... could be interesting times indeed.

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    3. If the numbers wound up NDP+LPC+Green=169, I would be beyond shocked if we didn't wind up with a BQ member as the speaker, and thus a working majority for the NDP+LPC+Green coalition.

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    4. I would be very surprised to see a BQ Speaker. Although the Denison rule does govern how the Speaker votes it is on occasion broken, most recently in Ontario when the Speaker vote in favour of the Government's budget. Secondly, the BQ are separatists therefore participating in Canadian institutions and especially that of Speaker is against their philosophy. The Speaker acts as a representative of Canada on a frequent basis often for state occasions, to welcome heads of state or government or as the Canadian liaison with other friendly parliaments. Obviously a separatist is not best suited for such a role.

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    5. I would have to believe that 169 in any column, or as a sum of any groups would create such an incredibly unmanageable Parliament. There would be constant gamesmanship associated with attendance. Individuals' sicknesses or abilities to stay awake through marathon voting sessions would become critical issues.

      I would also suggest that the Bloc might be able to convince its members not to run for Speaker, even if they *could* win. I mean, you only diminish your power by one when you "donate" your member to the Speaker's chair, much as you gain influence over agenda-setting.

      I would love to see the British system in place here where, once elected Speaker, the Speaker renounces his/her party affiliation, and then generally runs for any future elections as an independent, normally uncontested (by any of the major parties) in his/her riding.

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    6. A good point about donating a member to be Speaker, strategically it is probably of little value to the Bloc.

      Speakers in Westminster systems have little agenda setting influence. Most agendas are pre-ordained in the standing orders or agreed to by the house leaders, unlike America where the House Speaker wields considerable power to set the legislative agenda.

      Canada basically follows the British model although in this country the Speaker does not usually resign from the party. In the past Lucien Lamoureux followed the British tradition.

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  5. Would the new Green seat be Victoria?

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  6. Hi! I was wondering if you would be able to show us a list of the ridings and the projected winner?

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  7. Though I didn't specifically read it, I'm assuming the second Green seat is Victoria. Honestly, if the Greens couldn't pick it up in the by-election when most of the NDP voters didn't show up, I don't think they'd pick it up it the general election where NDP voters actually show up.

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