Monday, August 11, 2014

July 2014 federal polling averages

Last month was only slightly busier than June, with three national polls being conducted interviewing a total of 6,244 Canadians. Perhaps it was an anomalous month due to the low number of polls and the pollsters in the field. Perhaps it was due to it being the summer. But July showed a significant surge for the Liberals across the board. Blip or not?

The Liberals averaged 38.7% support in July, up 5.7 points from June and the highest they have recorded going back at least as far as before 2009. It was also their first month of increase since January, and stretches their lead overt the Conservatives to 16 months.

The Conservatives were down 2.9 points, averaging 28.1% support. The New Democrats were down 2.6 points to 21.7%, their lowest result since April 2011.

The Greens were down 0.2 points to 5.5%, while the Bloc Québécois was also down 0.2 points to 4.5%. Support for other parties stood at an average of 1.5%.

In British Columbia, the Liberals were up 6.2 points to 33%, while the NDP was down one point to 27.8%. The Conservatives dropped to third and their lowest level since December 2013, with a decrease of 6.1 points to 27.7%. The Greens were up 0.7 points to 10.3%.

The Conservatives fell 4.1 points in Alberta, but still led with 51.3%. The Liberals gained for the third consecutive month, jumping 6.6 points to 29.3%. That is their best since May 2013. The NDP was down 1.8 points to 11.1%, their lowest since December 2013. The Greens were down 1.2 points to 5.5%.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives slipped to their lowest level since December 2013, down 8.5 points to 35%. The Liberals were up 2.5 points to 33.4%, their best since February, while the NDP was up 3.1 points to 24.1%, its best since January. The Greens gained two points and averaged 6% support.

The Liberals made a big gain in Ontario, increasing 6.8 points to hit 44.5%. That is their highest support on record going back before 2009. That is especially surprising considering the Liberals had been holding steady in Ontario for the previous 11 months. The Conservatives were down 4.4 points to 30.9%, their lowest since May, while the NDP was down three points to just 17.7%. That is their lowest since March 2011 and, aside from a blip last month, have been dropping in Ontario for four consecutive months. The Greens were unchanged at 5.7%.

The chart above shows just how unusual the Liberal surge was in the context of a period of serious stability. We will have to wait and see where the Liberals' numbers go from here before determining whether this was real or not.

In Quebec, the Liberals were up 4.2 points and re-took the lead at 35.4%, their best result since January. The NDP was down 6.4 points to 27.9%, its lowest since December 2013. The Bloc was up 0.5 points to 18.4%, while the Conservatives gained 2.1 points to reach 14.4%. The Greens were down 0.4 points to 2.9%.

And in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals were up 0.5 points to 50.5%, their seventh consecutive month of majority support in the region. The New Democrats were up 3.2 points to 23.5%, their highest since September 2013 and the third consecutive month of gains. The Conservatives fell to third with a 3.1-point slip to 20.9%, while the Greens were down 1.6 points to 3.7%.

With these levels of support, the Liberals would win around 159 seats, a gain of 43 since June's projection. The Conservatives would win 101 seats, down 28, while the NDP dropped 16 seats to 74. The Greens and Bloc would each win two seats.

This is a great amount of change since last month. The Liberals picked up one seat in the north, one in Atlantic Canada, two in the Prairies, three in Alberta, six in British Columbia, 11 in Quebec, and 19 in Ontario. The Conservatives gained four seats in Quebec, but dropped one in Atlantic Canada, three in Alberta, five in B.C., seven in the Prairies, and 16 in Ontario. The NDP was up five seats in the Prairies, but down one in the north and British Columbia, three in Ontario, and 16 in Quebec.

This is one indication of how remarkable the numbers were in July. It could be that opinion shifted last month, or it could be just the product of which pollsters were in the field (EKOS and Forum tend to poll better for the Liberals). We will have to see what the polls in the coming weeks and months have to say.