Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ontario Liberals move ahead

Another day, another poll, another story line. This time it is from Forum Research and the Toronto Star. The latest numbers give the Liberals the lead, with their support steadily growing. Should we ready ourselves for another whiplash when the next poll comes out?

The projection now gives the Liberals the lead in the vote projection, the first outright lead they have enjoyed since the campaign began. They stand at 38.7%, or between 37% and 43%. The PCs have fallen to 34.6%, or between 33% and 38%, while the New Democrats sit at 21.1%, or between 19% and 23%.

In terms of seats, the Liberals are now in majority territory - again for the first time since the beginning of the campaign. They are projected to win 55 seats, or between 46 and 62 seats. The PCs are projected to win 37 seats, or between 31 and 46 seats. The NDP is projected to win 15 seats, or between 13 and 16 seats.

The Forum poll has the same sort of sampling issues I have highlighted before. The proportion of respondents 55 or older is almost twice as large as it should be, and the proportion of respondents 34 or younger is almost a quarter of what it should be, if this was a representative sample. Weighting can correct for this, but as explained before that has the potential to magnify the errors that can creep in with small sub-group sample sizes.

Forum was last in the field on May 12, and since then the Liberals have picked up three points to move into the lead with 41%. That is an extraordinarily high number. How high? The last poll to give the Ontario Liberals 41% dates from early October 2011 - almost three years ago.

Those three points came equally from the other three parties, with the PCs down to 34%, the NDP down to 20%, and the Greens down to 4%.

None of these shifts are outside the margin of error, but of note is that the New Democrats have now fallen in five consecutive Forum polls, while the Liberals have gained in three consecutive polls.

It will be interesting to see what other pollsters say, as it does seem that the Liberals are improving their position (either among all eligible or just likely voters) in every poll that has been out since the campaign began. Whether they really hold a lead of this magnitude, however, is another matter entirely. The normal margin of error of a random sample of this size would be around +/- 3%, roughly reducing the Liberals to as little as 38% and the PCs to as much as 37% (or, conversely, to as high as 44% and as low as 31%).

The Liberals led in every region of the province in this poll except in eastern Ontario. A Liberal lead in the 905 area code and, especially, the southwest is somewhat unusual. The only large shifts that appear statistically significant was a swing between the NDP and Liberals in Toronto: the Liberals were up 12 points to 51%, while the NDP fell 10 points to just 14%. This echoes the latest poll from EKOS, but not the one from Abacus.

Forum showed little change in approval ratings, with Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath steady at 38% and 35%, respectively. Their disapproval ratings fell to 46% and 40%, respectively. Tim Hudak's approval rating increased to 25%, while his disapproval rating was unchanged at 59%.

In the second release from Abacus's poll this week, similar numbers were shown in terms of favourability - or at least relative numbers, since Abacus provides the option of people having a 'neutral' opinion. But 29% said they had a favourable opinion of Horwath, with 28% having a favourable opinion of Wynne and just 22% saying the same for Hudak. Negative views topped out at 42% for Hudak, against 37% for Wynne and just 21% for Horwath (she had the highest 'neutral' score).

On who would make the best premier, Abacus gave Wynne 26% to 20% for Hudak and 18% for Horwath. Among likely voters, however, Wynne's score improved to 31%, against 24% for Hudak and 20% for Horwath. Those numbers were very similar to Forum's estimate of 34% for Wynne, 22% for Hudak, and 17% for Horwath.

Also on the plus side for the Liberal leader is that Abacus found Wynne polling ahead of her rivals in three key swing groups: OLP/PC voters (32% to 17% for Hudak), OLP/NDP voters (43% to 25% for Horwath), and three-way swing voters (19% to 10% for Horwath and 7% for Hudak). Hudak, meanwhile, beat Horwath among PC/NDP swing voters by a margin of 36% to 23%.

36 comments:

  1. I just noticed an Ontario PC ad for "Million Jobs Plan" show up on this site. Do political advertisements belong on this site? It seems like the Google ad network is just automatically putting these up.

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    1. Not surprisingly, this is a site about politics. I think it is appropriate, as Google is putting them up rather than myself. I have no control over what ads show up here (apart from the kind of ads) so I'm free from being influenced.

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  2. Eric thanks for the fast turn around on this poll!

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  3. Now we just need to break that PC hold on Eastern Ontario !!

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  4. "Tim Hudak's approval rating increased to 25%, while his disapproval rating was unchanged at 59%."

    And that disapproval number says it all.

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    1. Yeah, it is still lower than McGuinty's before he left office!

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  5. God I hate Hudack and his conservative brand. I think they are getting a tad worried and dumping a ton of cash into on-line marketing.His ads are showing up everwhere

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    1. How long will it take Hudak to figure out that his opening move (layoff for 100,000 public sector workers) was fatal. The province has 1.3 million public sector workers plus union members plus retirees who will sympathize. This is not a municipal election where the maturity level is halfway between high-school student council and Rob Ford's favorite bar.

      If Hudak loses, Trudeau can run that clip of Harper at the Ford BBQ asking 'who is in over his head?'

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    2. If Ontario has 1.3 million public servants (I think that number is high most news organization have been quoting 600,000) then Ontario needs to do even more layoffs! The Ontario Labour force is only 7.5 million! At that rate- 17% of the Labour Force- the public sector is crowding out private investment. Ontario added 36 billion to its debt last year 5.5% of GDP-Ontario is broke! Ontario can not afford 1.3 million civil servants and considering Ontario consistently ranks middle of the pack for services and delivery thereof one must question what good all these public servants are doing?

      The only thing high schoolish about this election are people who turn it into a popularity contest instead of debating the issues. The election is not about the patron's of Rob Ford's favourite bar-it should be about what team is most competent to run a province with a myriad of problems and a economy that is increasingly out-dated! Is it the NDP with their history of un-regulated spending, is it the Liberals with their history of less than altruistic spending, or is it the Tories who have a plan to increase Ontario's economic competitiveness while reducing its debt?

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    3. I initially got that number from Census of Canada info but I find the Labour Force Survey easier to locate on the Stats Canada site. Look at the definition of 'public sector workers' before you go crazy with ideological fervor. Nothing is as simple as any politician will tell you. The falling Canadian dollar will have more impact on Ontario's economy than any premier could hope for.

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    4. Public sector employees include municipal, provincial, federal employees as well as employees of publicly funded institutions such as crown corporations, hospitals and all levels of public education.

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  6. With a more likable leader this would not likely even be a close race

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  7. The NDP are really taking a hit in Toronto. I never would have thought Parkdale-High Park or Beaches-East York would be a race even a week ago.

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    1. Beaches-East York in many respects is not a typical NDP riding. Generally speaking BEY is more affluent than the average NDP constituency.

      What is truly surprising; with these numbers (that are likely to change tomorrow) the NDP will lose Davenport, Trinity-Spadina and even Danforth.

      I will not vote NDP but, I don't think there was much choice but to hold an election regardless of what the NDP decided to do. The NDP certainly over-played their hand, they acted as if they had a mandate to govern insisting on a new trinket from the Liberals every six months!

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  8. "A Liberal lead in the 905 area code and, especially, the southwest is somewhat unusual." I think you put it a little lightly there Eric! :-) I can believe that a Poll with decent margin of error would have a Liberal lead in the 905, but in SW Ontario??? That simply doesn't pass the smell test. it is like when EKOS had the NDP 4th in Northern Ontario - defies logic and doesn't pass the common sense test. If I am wrong on June 12th, will need to rethink my world view, but any poll that shoes these types of numbers are not very believable.

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  9. Carl Hudak's policies are an even bigger problem. To date he has out campaigned Wynne and Horwath but people do not like what he peddling. Nor do they believe him.

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  10. interesting tweet:

    Graham Richardson ‏@grahamctv 3m
    New poll for @ctvnews by @ipsosreidpa coming out @ctvottawa at six. things are shifting #onpoli #OntarioVotes2014

    Not a good tweet for Hudak!

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  11. One constant that we can take away from these up and down polls is that the NDP are not doing well. I wonder if they are second guessing their move on the budget a couple of weeks back.

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    1. ....and the new Ipsos poll has the NDP up 4 from their last poll, so, perhaps I am wrong......

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    2. Tonight's Ipsos Reid CTV poll has the NDP up to 28%

      These polls are all over the place. Absolutely crazy.

      http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ndp-gains-momentum-as-ontario-election-race-tightens-1.1833865

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    3. You say that, then Ipsos comes out with a poll later on in this same day that shows the NDP with 28%.

      I have no idea what the hell is wrong with the polls right now, but the one thing I think we can take away is that we can't seemingly take away anything.

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    4. I think Kyle that you can safely believe NONE of them !!

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  12. Anyone have the Ipsos reid numbers?

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  13. The new Ipsos poll shows the Tories in front 35-31-28. The number that jumped out at me is that 72% of Ontarians think it is time for a different party to rule the province. With the Tories more committed base, I think the Liberals are in trouble. It will take a bravura debate performance by Wynne to pull this thing out.

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  14. New IPSOS poll has PC 35% OLP 31% NDP 28%!

    This is just getting strange.

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  15. This poll gives me:

    60 OLP
    33 PC
    14 NDP

    The average gives me:

    54 OLP
    38 PC
    15 NDP

    Which is extremely close to Eric's projection. I guess with these numbers, that's what to expect on election night!

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  16. PC's are still leading among the likely voters with 41% to 30 for liberals according to the new @ipsosreidpa poll. @Eric looking forward to see what these numbers do to the projection...

    Also what is with all this comments like "I hate Hudak"? Did you ever meet him? You hate him enough to vote for a party that has a proven record of lying and wasting billions?

    Hudak is not a star but this is not the x-factor this is election and people decide that they are ready to let the party who stole billions of our money continue managing our finances simply because they don't like the leader of the PC party?

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    1. When most people say "I hate so-and-so" what they usually mean is that they don't like so-and-so's behaviour and/or politics. Rob Ford is a good example. There's plenty to dislike in both, though there are plenty of folks that like his politics and so are lazy thinkers in reverse... they like him, despite behaviour they would find criminal, immoral and deplorable in someone who's politics they disagreed with.

      I find that Tim looks a bit "creepy" and is prone to both foot-in-mouth syndrome and bursts of anger that don't help. That said, I find his politics really objectionable. As for scandal, if I voted against the party of scandal I'd have to vote Green.

      All these "reasons" people have for voting, but even voting against scandal is just a rationalization when all major parties have performed abominably their last kick at the can. For my money, Wynne is as unlike McGuinty as are Horwath and Hudak, and her policies make the most sense. So in this case, I choose to vote for the proven liars and money-wasters in the Liberal party, rather than the liars and money-wasters in the NDP or PCs. What's worst about the PCs is that their campaign is 1/2 retreads of old ideas that have NEVER worked anywhere, and 1/2 bait and switch. Not a strong foundation for either trust or success.

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    2. You find Hudak's politics objectionable but, have no problem with Liberal "objectionable" spending? What the Liberals did with their parliamentary allowance is at best graft and at worse likely criminal and I haven't mentioned Ornge or gas plants.

      If the Liberals get re-elected they will continue with their less than altruistic style. The fact you are willing to vote for "proven liars and money-wasters" does not say much about your own ethics.

      You should do the right thing and vote Green!

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  17. The NDP is at 28 percent according to the latest poll from Ipso.The Con is at 35, Liberal is at 31. "The Progressive Conservatives appear to be losing support among Ontario voters, while the NDP gain momentum after a slow start, a new poll shows.

    The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid for CTV News on May 20 and 21, shows a tightening race, with only a seven-point gap between the frontrunner Progressive Conservatives and the third-place NDP. The Tim Hudak-led PCs continue to lead the pack among committed voters, with the Liberals under Kathleen Wynne and the Andrea Horwath-led NDP trailing"


    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ndp-gains-momentum-as-ontario-election-race-tightens-1.1833865#ixzz32V7xhtb2

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  18. Hey Eric, Just wanted to thank you for this site. It helps put things in perspective for me as a Candidate (ONDP). Keep up the good work, 308 makes sure I have one foot on the ground.

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  19. With the new Ipsos, I get:

    44 PC
    39 OLP
    24 NDP

    If I extrapolate the likely voters (53% of the 35 % PC voters etc), I get:

    63 PC (42,37%)
    23 NDP (26,86%)
    21 OLP (26,20%)
    0 GPO (4,57%, which I got by using 40% of 5 of the 6% for other parties)

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    1. Thierry, kudos for your efforts and all, but should you maybe get your own blog rather than riding on Éric's? Also, I liked your analysis here and it's taken a hit since you started focussing on your own simulator.

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  20. Hi Éric,

    I've wondered if perhaps the small sample of "young" respondents is intended as an answer to turnout rates as seen in e.g. BC 2013?

    Are the polls included in your models intended primarily as opinions of public as a whole or as forecasts for the election? With the different turnout rates these can of course be substantially different. But even if that's the idea, is scaling the "young" response up to the desired proportion the right thing to do mathematically?

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