Friday, November 7, 2014

October 2014 federal polling averages

It was an eventful month in Ottawa, with the vote on the Iraq mission and the shootings on Parliament Hill both taking place. Four national polls and two regional surveys (one in Alberta, the other in Quebec) interviewed a total of just over 7,600 Canadians, finding that the Liberal lead has slipped a little. Nevertheless, that lead has now held for 19 consecutive months.

The Liberals averaged 35.6% support in October, down 2.4 points from their standing in September. That represents three consecutive months of softening support, though they still remain above where they were in the spring.

The Conservatives were down 0.4 points to 29.5%, while the New Democrats were up 0.3 points to 22.5%. That is their best result since June.

The Greens increased by 1.7 points to 6.4%, while the Bloc Québécois was at 4.2% and support for other parties averaged 1.8%.

The Liberals picked up 2.4 points in British Columbia to move into a narrow lead with 31.8%, followed by the Conservatives. They were up 2.2 points to 31.5%. The New Democrats fell to their lowest level of support since March, slipping seven points to 23.1%. The Greens, meanwhile, were at their best since May with a gain of 0.8 points to 11.2%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives were down 4.7 points to 50.1%, their worst performance since May. The Liberals were down 2.5 points to 24.7%, while the New Democrats were up one point to 11.6%. At 9.9%, a gain of 5.1 points, the Greens put up their best results since December 2013.

Monthly averages, all regions
The Conservatives hardly budged in the Prairies, where they were down 0.1 point to 39.3%. The Liberals have also been very steady, registering between 29% and 33% support over the last 11 months. They were down 1.2 points in October to 31.2%. The NDP was up 0.2 points to 24.2%, while the Greens increased by 1.2 points to 4.2%.

In Ontario, the Liberals dropped 2.7 points to 40.4%, their lowest level of support since June. The Conservatives were up 1.1 points to 34.2%, while the NDP was also up, by 1.4 points to 19.6%. The Greens increased by 0.6 points to 4.9% support.

The Liberals slid 3.7 points in Quebec to 32.9%, putting them just ahead of the New Democrats. The NDP has gained for three consecutive months now, up 1.1 points since September to 31.1%. The Bloc Québécois was up 0.3 points to 15.8% (they have been around 16% for the last three months), while the Conservatives were also up 0.3 points to 14.3%. The Tories have been at 14% in seven of the last eight months. The Greens were up 1.2 points to 4.3%. Support for other parties, which is unlikely to include Forces et Démocratie as only one of the five polls conducted in Quebec were done after its launch, increased from 0.8% to 1.5%.

And in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals dropped 0.4 points to 48.7%, followed by the Conservatives at 22% (+0.2), the New Democrats at 21.5% (-1.2), and the Greens at 7.1% (+2.0).

With these levels of support, the Liberals would likely win about 136 seats, a drop of seven since September's projection. The Conservatives were up 10 seats to 122, while the NDP was down four seats to 77.

The Liberals gained three seats in British Columbia, but were down one in the north, three in Quebec, and six in Ontario.

The Conservatives were up five seats each in British Columbia and Ontario. They held steady everywhere else.

The New Democrats were down eight seats in B.C. but were up one each in the north and Ontario, and two in Quebec.

The Greens remained at two seats in British Columbia, while the Bloc moved from being shutout in Quebec to holding one single seat.

Overall, it was a relatively stable month with most shifts at the regional level being below 2.5 points. Even the Liberal drop nationwide could be anomalous. The decrease recorded by Abacus Data in October has already been mostly erased in a November survey, and EKOS's shift in Liberal support might have been due to a change in methodology. But Forum also showed a slip, so perhaps it was something real that may, or may not, be made good in November. We'll have to see what other surveys turn up in the coming weeks. As yet, though, no one party seems to have taken particular advantage.