Wednesday, October 8, 2014

September 2014 federal polling averages

There was a relative flurry of polls in the month of September, as parliamentarians got back to work in Ottawa. Five national polls and two in Quebec surveyed almost 9,000 Canadians, showing that support has been mostly holding steady for the last few months. And that means a continued sizable lead for Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

The Liberals averaged 38% support in September, unchanged from where they were in August and marking the third consecutive month with the party between 38% and 39% support - a high for them since at least 2009.

The Conservatives were down 0.8 points to 29.9%, while the New Democrats were up 1.5 points to 22.2%. Despite the NDP's gain, the party has been between 21% and 22% for three months now, their lowest since before the 2011 federal election. Undoubtedly, the NDP slump and Liberal strength are related.

The Greens were down 0.5 points to 4.7%, while the Bloc Québécois was down 0.4 points to 4%. Support for other parties was at 1.1%.

The New Democrats moved into the lead - a very narrow one - in British Columbia, the only province where the party is in front. They were up 6.6 points to 30.1%, their best result since August 2013. The Liberals were down 5.1 points to 29.4%, while the Conservatives slipped 1.6 points to 29.3%. The Greens were up 0.1 point to 10.4%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives picked up 3.5 points and averaged 54.8% support, followed by the Liberals at 27.2% (down 0.2 points). The NDP dropped 4.1 points to 10.6%, while the Greens were up 0.3 points to 4.8% in the province.

The Conservatives also made gains in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, up 3.2 points to 39.4%. The Liberals were up 1.2 points to 32.4%. The party has been very stable in the region, polling at an average of between 29% and 33% since the end of 2013. The NDP was down slightly, by 1.7 points to 24%. The Greens were also down, by 2.5 points to 3%.

In Ontario, the Liberals continued to lead and gained two points to reach 43.1% support. The party has been over 40% for three consecutive months now. The Conservatives were down 2.3 points to 33.1%, while the NDP was up 0.8 points to 18.2%. The Greens were down 1.7 points to 4.3%.

The Liberals were also in front in Quebec, down 0.6 points to 36.6%. The NDP was up 1.2 points to 30%, while the Bloc Québécois dropped 0.5 points to 15.5%. The party has been stagnant or dropping for four consecutive months now under Mario Beaulieu. The Conservatives were unchanged at 14%, the level of support they have averaged in six of the last seven months. The Greens were down 0.1 point to 3.1%.

The Liberals dropped 3.3 points in Atlantic Canada and slid to 49.1%, their lowest level of support since December 2013. The NDP increased by five points to 22.7%, while the Conservatives were down 0.9 points to 21.8%. The Greens were also down, dropping 1.4 points to 5.1%.

With these levels of support, the Liberals would likely win around 143 seats, with 112 going to the Conservatives, 81 to the New Democrats, and two to the Greens. The Bloc would be shut out.

Compared to August, this represents a drop of four seats for the Liberals, eight for the Conservatives, and one for the Bloc, while the NDP picks up 13.

The Liberals picked up six seats in Ontario and one in the Prairies, but dropped one in Alberta, three in British Columbia, and seven in Quebec (recall that, despite the overall Liberal lead in the province, polls suggest the NDP has the edge among francophones).

The Conservatives gained one seat in Alberta and two in the Prairies, but dropped four in British Columbia and seven in Ontario.

The New Democrats were down three seats in the Prairies, but up one in Ontario, seven in British Columbia, and eight in Quebec.

Now that the show has returned for the fall and the parties are in full pre-election mode, it will be interesting to see how the polls shift in the coming months. Stephen Harper's Conservatives have yet to gain any traction or put a dent in the wide lead that the Liberals have taken in the summer. Thomas Mulcair's NDP is showing signs of life in B.C. and Quebec (vital battlegrounds for them) but is struggling in Ontario. Can the Liberals continue to hold off their two rivals?


  1. The next few months are going to be interesting. Will these numbers hold relatively constant ??

    One thing that may have major significance is if the "War In Iraq" thing goes south ?? Would affect the Tories more than any other IMO.

  2. The new Forum poll (Oct 5) reasserts that EKOS's numbers for the CPC are uncorroborated by any other poll. That CPC decline EKOS has been reporting for months just isn't showing up anywhere else. At all.

  3. Hmm Seems the NDP is falling along with the Tories ?

    1. Things do seem fairly static for the last couple months though as a general trend I'd say the Cons are up a bit while the NDP is down.

    2. Maybe Carl. Still the overall trend is still a Liberal high?

    3. Does seem so, the jump in the summer seems to be sticking.

  4. What are the four Liberal seats in Alberta?

    I'm assuming Edmonton Centre and Calgary Centre are two of them?

    1. Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, Calgary Skyview, and Edmonton Centre.

  5. With these numbers, my model gives me:

    143 LPC
    119 CPC
    75 NDP
    1 GPC

    By region, it goes like this:

    22 LPC
    6 CPC
    4 NDP

    41 LPC
    30 NDP
    7 CPC

    60 LPC
    42 CPC
    19 NDP

    16 CPC
    6 LPC
    6 NDP

    29 CPC
    4 LPC
    1 NDP

    British Columbia
    19 CPC
    14 NDP
    8 LPC
    1 GPC

    2 LPC
    1 NDP

    1. do you have a website too? would be curious to see how you've performed historically vs 308

    2. And none of this yields majority Govt for any party !! Remember it's 338 seats !

    3. I agree with Bryan. If you don't have a website, you should have one too, Thierry.

      Would be good to see how different mathematical models and political predictions stack up.

  6. Am I the only one who finds it astonishing that the model predicts the Liberals will lose to the NDP by 16 seats in Quebec (27 to 43 seats) despite winning the popular vote by a substantial 6.6% margin (36.6% to 30.0%)?? I know about the NDP lead amongst francophones and all that, but it's still incredible.

    1. Not shocking at all if you know Quebec.

      The Liberals have super-majorities among anglophones who are concentrated in a handful of ridings in Western Montreal. The NDP leads comfortably among francophones, and hence virtually everywhere else in the province:

      The federal Liberals have no presence in Quebec outside Montreal and haven't for about a decade now. They were wiped out by the Bloc after adscam and have never recovered. In the meantime, Mulcair as the only NDP MP in Quebec slowly organized the NDP at a grass roots level, which paid dividends last election.

      Trudeau will not win Quebec next election. He has no organization outside Montreal, whereas the NDP now has a presence everywhere..

    2. I don't recall that lack of organization (or even a meaningful presence) in Quebec hurt the NDP last time around.

    3. All they had to do was have a stronger and more meaningful presence and relevance than the Liberals and Bloc. It was low hanging fruit and still is. It will now be even harder to dethrone the NDP in Quebec now that it is an established, organized, high-profile presence and the Liberals are not.

      This is coming from a lifelong Trudeau/Chretien Liberal who voted NDP for the first time last election. The Liberals have shown me nothing about why I should change my vote. The only people who do that is the Conservatives with their stupid attack ads on Trudeau.

  7. Eric

    Any comment on last nights At Issue panel discussion re polls ??

    1. I thought it was great! Chantal and Andrew gave very good rationales for why polls are needed and have their place in public discourse.

    2. Yes I would agree although Andrew had something to say about polls which are way off from the mainstream and I think he also felt there was too much emphasis on polls in elections and not enough on substance ??

    3. Chantal showed her narrow world point of view when she said that polls can be judged by stepping out and seeing what if the reflect what is happening in the real world.

      In her real world any support for Harper in a poll would be over stated for what she see's in her Montreal bars and shopping centres.

      In my real world (interior of BC) you would be hard pressed to find anyone at all supporting the Liberals so the polls are obviously wrong?

      In Calgary there would be very few people who would admit to even considering voting Federal liberal.

      She opened with not valuing any poll that did not have a franco-phone break-down.

      From a Canadian perspective the Francophone break-down is very small p provincial. A majority Canadian government was elected with basically no Francophone support.

    4. It was a surprisingly frank and intelligent discussion considering that pundits and pollsters are usually the worst offenders in distorting results (panelists and present company excepted, of course). They even used words like "sampling error", bucking the conventional media wisdom of avoiding words that might actually inform and educate the public about how the democratic system works.

    5. BC Voice
      Unfortunately, your criticism of Me Hebert's comments reveals much more about you than about her, or those comments. In effect, it's a disclaimer not to take any opinion you hold seriously. Further, rather than reflecting a BC reality, all your opinion reflects is the narrowness of your experience. The reality in BC is actually far different (at least as a whole--I agree that you can find regions in BC where the conventional view mirrors your own). If you understood Quebec politics, as opposed to say, merely having a strong opinion about it, you'd realize that her comments about a francophone breakdown were nothing other than a reflection of reality. No offense intended.

    6. Not to say Thingamabob or BCVoR are incorrect but, a middle ground also exists. I for one am very skeptical of polls that show the Liberals will win 15 BC seats and capture 30% of the vote. On the other hand it would not take much for the Liberals to improve their standing; Vancouver South, North Vancouver, Vancouver Granville, Vancouver Kingsway, West Vancouver Sea-to-Sky Country and Surrey Newton are potential gains. All Liberal or potential Liberal seats in BC even, Vancouver Quadra, are marginal constituencies so, while they may win many of these seats it is perhaops somewhat unrealitic for the Grits' to sweep the board. The NDP so far is retaining 90% of its 2011 BC vote and while the Tories are only retaining about 70% of their 2011 vote a Conservative -->Liberal swing does not have the ability to shift many seats into the Liberal column.

      As BCVoR points out the Interior of BC still supports the Conservatives and a weaker NDP has the potential to increase Conservative majorities in these ridings. The 2013 provincial election was a watershed moment for many outside Metro Vancouver-rural BC depends on natural resources and people in rural BC have no hesitation voting with their pocket book, when they do so as we saw in 2013 conservatives usually benefit. BC has always possessed a conservative majority a couple seats may go Conservative-->NDP but, over all I would not expect any dramatic shifts. even in Metro vancouver where one can expect Liberal support to rise the effect on the NDP may be minimal due to the overall strength of the NDP. IO would not expect the Liberals to win any more than about 8 seats, Conservatives about 20, NDP 12 and Green 1.

  8. I have a feeling that Trudeau has reached his ceiling. His talking points on the Iraq mission was too simplistic and cliche. He needs to be able to speak in detail and depth about serious issues without resorting to cliches.

    The debates will be his John Turner moment. He better start practicing hard

    1. He should watch Paul Martin's debates with Stephen Harper, and take notes. Harper dismantled Martin when Martin started to say things that didn't make sense, and Trudeau is exceptional at saying things that don't make sense.

    2. Trudeau has hit a plateau in the polls. All parties seem incapable of cobbling together a majority government at this point in time. Trudeau's position is also the most vulnerable; Harper has the advantage of being a strong leader and to have governed effectively, Mulcair has the advantage of being perceived as a strong Opposition leader, Trudeau will need to work hard not to get squeezed out of the running.

  9. What about those seven Liberal seats in Manitoba and Saskatchewan? Where are those? Because currently their only MPs there are Ralph Goodale and Kevin Lamoroux.

    1. Winnipeg South, Winnipeg South Centre, and St.Boniface could be Liberal wins, they have been in the past.

  10. There is a very interesting poll running on the front page of the Globe ans Mail website. Oddly for them it has run several days.

    Question: Do you want an early election ??

    Yes 62%
    No 34%
    Unsure 4%

    I have to wonder ???

    1. That lines up pretty neatly along party lines, I'd say. Opposition supporters do want an early election.

      And yet, if Harper called one, they'd probably complain that he'd violated his own fixed election date law.

    2. As of 8:45 AM today the numbers stand at

      Yes 60%
      No 37%
      Unsure 3%

      But I don't or can't see the Globe And Mail as a haven of opposition. So I suspect this set of numbers is much more representative of the general public.

    3. Ira
      Of course you're right about the partisan breakdown of who wants to see an early election, but you need to follow that up with analysis: that CPC supporters don't want an early election is a sign that they agree with non-supporters on the critical point--things do not look good for the Conservatives right now. Further, any good critic of Mr. Harper's govt and fixed election dates would both: a) want him to violate his own law; and b) rightfully criticize him for doing so. The problem is not with the partisans, but with the law he imposed in the first place, and his own previous violations of it.

    4. Peter Meldrum,

      The Globe vasilliatesbetween Liberal and Conservative opinions but, I think it safe to say it has a liberal streak in its reporting and opinion pieces.

      In this case the poll will not be accurate of the "general population" because we have no guarantee of either a random sample or a sample distributed in a similar way as the population of Canada, Ontario or Toronto at large.

    5. If one wants Harper to do something, it is then hypocritical to criticise him for it.

    6. There is absolutely no evidence that this non-scientific poll of Globe and Mail readers produces a result that demonstrates 1. NDP, Liberal and other voters want an early election or 2. Conservative supporters favour waiting until Oct. 2015.

      Things look quite favourable for the Tories right now. Governments are always down in the polls before elections look at Wynne, Redford, Couillard and Christy Clark. The fact trudeau can not poll enough support to form a majority government speaks volumes about Liberal support, it is a mile wide and an inch deep. Conservatives know they have work to do but, they are far from frightened or dispondnet.

    7. Thingamabob,

      Harper did not violate "his" election law.

      S. 56 of the Canada elections Act setting the "fixed date" is clear in the application:

      "Nothing in this section affects the powers of the Governor General, including the power to dissolve Parliament at the Governor General's discretion".

      Harper or any PM is well within their right to advise the GG how they see fit.

      In Canada fixed election dates are foolish because they contravene the more important value of responsible government. A Government must be able to fall in order for democracy to have "teeth" in Canada.

  11. Eric

    Nice to see you have your own byline on the page.

    Well done.

  12. How do you... well anyone .... explain that the Liberals are polling 41% in Ontario while in the Largest city in Canada that with 6 million people (half the population of Ontario) is polling 73 % to the right of the Liberals.

    In 2010 Ford (the only right wing candidate for Mayor) only got 47% of the vote.... 53% of the vote was to the Left of Ford / Harper.

    Now there is only 27% of the vote to the Left of Harper in Toronto.

    Ford doing so well in 2010 was an early indicator of the CP majority in Ontario / Canada.

    Does this 74% Right wing vote (well polling anyways) in 2014 an early indicator of the 2015 Federal election.

    Both Doug Ford and John Tory have had the same or even possibly worse disdain of the Papers and TV as Harper.

    1. Polls suggest Tory is receiving the support of many Liberals. It is very simplistic to consider Tory a proxy for the Conservative Party, or that Chow should be the only palatable choice for Liberals in Toronto.

    2. Basically Eric it's an "Anybody But Ford" thing and the most viable candidate seems to be Tory.

      Get rid of Ford and things will really change over the next yer or so.

    3. I wouldn't be surprised if Doug Ford pulls off an upset. The underlying problems and discontent that elected Rob are still present. Taxes are very high, a $7000 yearly tax bill has become common.

      Tory has never been a particularly well loved or successful politician. If the ABF vote splits Ford will walk up the middle. In hindsight it was a terrible strateghic mistake for Chow to become a candidate; she will either lose badly or do well enough to allow Doug Ford victory. Another hairbrained NDP idea crashing and burning.

  13. Tory was a totally vilified Conservative who could not defeat a Left wing tax and spend Liberal McGuinty,

    Liberals that can vote for Tory would almost certainly not be very far away from voting for Harper.

    Meanwhile Oliva Chow would not have to change any policies to be a part of the Kathleen Wynne's Liberal Party.

    Ontario is the new Quebec in trying to understand voting patterns and trends...

    1. I would question whether you can't understand or won't understand what's happening outside of your enclave. Others have more than adequately attempted to disabuse you of some of your interpretations, but you can't seem to let go. I see nothing wrong with the state in Ontario. For the record, the Fords are the worst kind of populist hucksters, and that kind of populism tends to defy political ideological frames. Tory only needs to demonstrate that he is a credible non-Ford alternative, and Olivia has made that rather easy by running a non-campaign for 6 months. The vote centres on electing a responsible adult, and on that count, Tory has done well. PS That was the reason Wynne was elected, too. Sometimes it's helpful to let go of what are often simplistic partisan frames.

    2. Thingamabob,

      Why do you care about BC Voice of Reason's opinions? It's a free country and BCVoR has every right to express them if he wishes. Are you attempting to limit BCVoR access to free speech?

      You may disagree with BCVoR's interpretation of the "state of Ontario" but, instead of debating you present no fact or evidence to support your claim that BCVoR's interpretation is incorrect. You then go on to attack the Fords calling them "hucksters". I wonder if you consider other populist politicians such as Tommy Douglas or the 1968 Pierre Trudeau are examples of the "worst king of political hucksters"? Most problematic you have failed to prove BCVoR is either unable to "understand" or is unwilling to understand.

      Who cares if BCVoR "can't seem to let go"? BCVoR's political beliefs, opinions and valuesor favourite hockey team are none of your business. The person who can't seem to "let go" is you Thingamabab, since, none of BCVoR comments are directed toward you. .


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