Friday, January 16, 2015

Breakthrough or outlier?

A new poll suggests that the Conservatives have moved into the lead in national voting intentions, opening up a four-point edge over the Liberals. Is this poll a sign that the Conservatives are in the midst of a breakthrough as this election year begins, or is it an outlier poll that will soon be corrected by a regression towards the mean? And does the poll really put the Conservatives on the 'cusp of a majority'?

The poll in question was conducted by Ipsos Reid for Global News between January 6 and 11, interviewing 1,915 Canadians. The poll had an over-sample in Alberta (which would been corrected by weighting, of course), making the other regional samples more like a national poll of some 1,200 decided voters.

The Conservatives led in the poll with 35%, a gain of two points over Ipsos's previous survey of November 10-December 1. That moved them ahead of the Liberals, who dropped three points to 31%.

Only the decrease for the Liberals would be outside the margin of error of similarly sized probabilistic samples. But the Liberals have dropped in two consecutive Ipsos polls, from a high of 38% in September. The Conservatives have been trending upwards, up four points since then.

The New Democrats have been very stable, unchanged at 24% (they have been at either 23% or 24% in Ipsos's last six surveys).

The Bloc Québécois was up one point to 6%, while 4% supported other parties (including the Greens). The number of undecideds in the entire sample was 17%.

Is this a potential outlier poll? The Conservatives have not registered 35% support in any poll since February 2013, two months before Justin Trudeau became Liberal leader. That was also the last time the party had a four-point lead (over the NDP in this case).

The poll also had some surprising results on the gender split. It found the Conservatives ahead among men, at 37% to 33%, which is to be expected. But it also found the Conservatives five points ahead among women, with 34% to 29%. That is unusual. As my piece for the CBC explored this week, the Liberals have averaged a nine-point lead among women in polls done over the last month (and that was with an average lead of three points overall). Even if we do swing those averages by seven points to reflect Ipsos's overall lead, we still get nowhere close to a five-point advantage among women.

And the Conservatives have traditionally not had such uniform support between the sexes. By my estimate, there was a 10-point discrepancy between Conservative support among men and women in the 2011 election. For the Liberals to score worse among women than among men is also contrary to virtually every poll done in recent memory.

Ipsos did show a statistically significant drop in support among women, as the Liberals plummeted five points (and the Conservatives gained four) since their last survey.

The score for the Bloc Québécois in Quebec is also noteworthy, as the party was placed in second with 25% support. That is their best performance in any poll since March of last year, some 50 polls ago. But there has been nothing whatsoever happening in Quebec that could explain such a boost. The only statistically significant regional shift occurred in Quebec, with the Liberals dropping eight points to 24% - explaining much of their national decrease.

However, whenever a poll comes out that raises some eyebrows, the reaction should be caution and patience rather than skepticism. We'll have to wait and see if Ipsos is the first to capture something we need to keep an eye on. Certainly, the last few weeks have been tumultuous. What first looks like an outlier can be the first to capture a trend, like that CROP poll in the 2011 federal election that was the first to show the NDP in front in Quebec.

And this is not the only poll to show the Conservatives in such a good position. Angus Reid's mid-December poll put the Liberals and Conservatives in a tie at 34% apiece. Abacus Data's pre-Christmas poll put the Conservatives ahead by one point, with 34% to 33% support. In the context of those two surveys, a 35% to 31% split does not look unusual.

The claim that it would put the Conservatives on the cusp of a majority government, as Ipsos Reid has made, is more unusual. Adding 30 seats to the electoral map does not change the math so drastically that the traditionally required 38% to 40% support for a majority government has suddenly been cut to just 35%. I recently looked at the thresholds required for a majority government, and the Conservative number still came in at 38%.

By my reckoning, the Conservatives would instead win about 145 seats, falling 25 short of a majority government. It is difficult to see how the Conservatives could pull a majority out of these numbers when, for instance, they trail in British Columbia and are still down so much in Atlantic Canada. A swing of about 12 points in favour of the Liberals in Ontario, compared to the 2011 vote, cannot be compensated for by 15 seats (in regions the Liberals would expect to make most of their gains).

The Liberals would win about 101 seats with these numbers, with the New Democrats taking 78 and the Bloc Québécois returning to official party status with 13 seats. They benefit greatly from vote splits, more than tripling their seat haul from 2011 despite a mere two-point gain in the popular vote.

I don't think people should get carried away with the idea of an impending Conservative majority just yet, but the Ipsos poll does suggest the Conservatives could be en route to improving their re-election chances by leaps and bounds. The next polls will be revealing.

72 comments:

  1. Maybe IR is using some sort of smell right algorithm or giving more weighting to incumbency.

    24 seats for the Liberals across the west is an historic Red wave... 4 Liberals AND an NDP in Alberta?

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    1. You don't think Linda Duncan will be re-elected, nor that an increase from 9% to 23% for the Liberals in Alberta will have any seat consequences?

      And the last time the Liberals had 34% in BC (1974), they won eight seats out of 23 (or 35% of them). Increase that to 42 seats, as BC now has, and the Liberals would win 15. So having them winning 14 there hardly smells wrong.

      If you're suggesting the Liberals won't get 34% in the first place, well that is something else entirely. The seat projection is based on the numbers in the polls. I doubt Ipsos is using a seat algorithm that assumes their own poll is wrong.

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    2. Remember BCVoR, Redmonton has that nickname for a reason. It typically votes far less conservatively than the rest of the province. Liberal and NDP voters are concentrated there, so their vote is more efficient (unlike Tory votes, which are wasted winning rural ridings by absurd margins).

      In the last election, Jason Kenney won 76% of the vote in his riding (in Calgary). SIX rural ridings were won with even larger shares.

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    3. Eric...

      According to the polls Linda Duncan would be in big trouble... She won 53-40 to the CPC in 2011.

      With the Liberals polling at 23% province wide ... using the polls it would make sense that the Liberals should easily revert back to taking 18% of this riding as they did in 2006 moving Ms. Duncan back to a 41-32 loser as she was in 2006.

      If you are giving Ms. Duncan a clear win here it would seem that you are ignoring (don't believe) the Liberal surge.

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    4. No, that isn't how it works (and it has nothing to do with what I believe, the model makes these calculations).

      At 16%, the NDP is up slightly from their 2011 performance in Alberta. That boosts Duncan from 54% to 55%.

      At 58%, the Conservatives are down a good deal from 2011. That bumps them down from 40% to 35% in the riding.

      At 23%, the Liberals are up significantly from 2011. But they only had 3% in this riding in 2011, so they are only increased to 7%.

      That gives Duncan a victory by 20 points over the Tories.

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    5. Thanks for the explanation. A clear example is better for me than the overall theory.

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    6. PS. Of course it has to do with what you believe... You are the designer and likely the coder of the model....

      You have as much input as an artist has on a painting

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    7. Hah. I love how incredulous everyone gets when the projection shows left-wing wins in Alberta.

      (PS you have "other" coloured Bloc teal in the Atlantic. Which is a fun idea...)

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    8. Asking a follow-up to 'BC Voice of Reason': can you give a projection on another hotly contested Edmonton swing riding, Edmonton Centre, based on current polling?

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    9. Eric,

      The Liberals garnered 16.8% in Alberta in 2011.

      With these numbers Edmonton Centre will stay Tory. The Liberals have a nice fellow as a candidate a Metis lawyer named Harold Robinson. He is an affable and able fellow but, basically unknown in the riding. In short he is not who I would consider a "star" candidate.

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    10. Bede,
      Actually it was the NDP that garnered 16.8% in Alberta in 2011. The Liberals received 9.3% of the vote.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_2011

      Also, Bede, just to troll you.this is a recent quote from Industry Minister (and Coquitlam resident) James Moore:
      " It’s very dangerous for the LOWER MAINLAND ... to have the massive spike in rail transfer of dangerous goods,”

      While if I lived in his riding I would vote for likely NDP candidate former News1130 reporter (and Mensa member) Sara Norman, I quite like Minister Moore and it's nice to see him also Fight the Power.

      Delete
  2. This one seems a bit of an outlier to me Eric. Doesn't exactly match all the others we've seen in the past month or so.

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  3. Should the over sampling in Alberta be a strong caveat?
    How often do polling firms over sample in any province?

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    Replies
    1. No, not a strong caveat. It was re-weighted to reflect correct regional populations.

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  4. Could you explain the over-sample in Alberta..1915 people surveyed, are you saying 715 of those surveyed are from Alberta?...I find it interesting, is Ipsos Reid an Alberta based company?...I don`t think so, so why on earth would Alberta be the one province over sampled.

    Ontario has the largest population, what were the survey sizes for the main provinces, Quebec, Ontario?

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    1. 549 decided voters were surveyed in Alberta (I should have mentioned above, I will add, that the 1,200 refers to decided voters). What I meant by the 1,200 is that, based on the sample sizes in the other provinces, they would have normally polled a lot fewer people in Alberta.

      No, Ipsos is Toronto-based. I assume that they also ran a provincial poll in Alberta at the same time, or some other poll that was Alberta-focused and wanted a large sample for the province.

      Ontario had a sample of 452 decided voters, Quebec had a sample of 203.

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  5. the dates that ipsos-reid did this survey was during the paris attack, so an incumbent govt might have gotten some boost in the poll. Interesting that quebec had a sample size of 203, with 1/3 of the population. When pollsters start guessing who is decided voter vs undecided voter, it creates weird results, such as BQ at 25% in Quebec.Also I-R usually has higher Conservative results, and Forum has Liberals higher. This is why I trust Eric.

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    1. I was struck by... small sample for QC (as you say) with dubious strength for BQ; also weird results by gender, which simply don't seem believable.

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  6. It's possible this poll is accurate, but there are several reasons to be skeptical:

    1. Ipsos doesn't have the most accurate history: (eg. they predicted Tim Hudak would become Premier of Ontario last year)

    2. The Quebec pollsters who know Quebec best (CROP & Leger) had the Liberals ahead in the polls before Christmas, so these Quebec numbers seem somewhat odd.

    3. As Eric Grenier mentioned in the analysis, it's odd to see the Conservatives ahead with women.

    4. The Atlantic numbers for the Liberals seem low, and yet the Liberals are ahead in BC? If they are doing that well in BC, why would they be down in the Maritimes (& Quebec)?

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    1. In BC there could be slant in poll towards the Liberals as a mistaken association and glow for the Provincial Liberals. This would get cleared up in an election campaign.

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  7. @BC voice of Reason(?) There is NO GLOW for Christy Clark and the BC Liberals .

    http://www.insightswest.com/news/confidence-on-issues-eroding-for-british-columbia-government/

    Ipsos Reid screwed up with the last BC election..They missed badly in Alberta.

    http://ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5565

    http://www.pugetsoundradio.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1334296411

    They messed up in Quebec

    http://www.innovativeresearch.ca/sites/default/files/pdf,%20doc,%20docx,%20jpg,%20png,%20xls,%20xlsx/130515_TheTyee_For%20Pollsters%20an%20Alberta-sized%20Mess.pdf

    Ipsos made a big floperoonie in Ontario.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/pcs-liberals-ndp-in-virtual-tie-on-eve-of-ontario-election-poll-1.1864045

    And...Maclean`s magazine has strong evidence that online panel polls are virtually useless for accuracy..

    Random telephone polling still leads for accuracy..

    http://www.macleans.ca/news/pollsters-scramble-to-explain-how-polls-could-be-so-wrong-in-three-provinces/

    As for BC voice of reason assertion about a BC Liberal glow in British Columbia...Absurd, anyone internet savvy enough to participate in online panel polling is well aware that BC`s provincial Liberal party is associated with Social Credit, (as in aligned with Stephen Harper)

    I base my polling data from personal interaction, the only ones I know happy with the Harper/Con party are the very wealthy and the very old, as in those who rely on TV news only..

    Cheers



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    1. Some good links and points until....."I base my polling data from personal interaction".

      Kind of silly after mocking online panel polls you would use an even more inacurrate sampling of opinions as your own view.

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    2. Maybe I should clarify, my crowd, average middleclass voters, people who don`t qualify for income splitting, they all hate Harper, for various reasons..Taking away home mail delivery is big..wasting money on advertising...Attacking scientists and environmental groups...Also many fear losing healthcare, and Canada pension not keeping up with the times..

      I have a couple of very old neighbors..They are not on the computer, they watch TV, rely on TV..Global news, CTV news...They like Harper, they call Mulcair angry....

      They echo what they hear...

      However, as for me and my generation..Almost everyone is active on computer, websites, social sites, Facebook..

      They all hate Harper for attacking privacy, and more, they, like me just don`t trust Harper...He`s perceived as a liar..

      And to let you know..My crowd, my neighborhood is not religious...We aren`t heathens but definitely not religious..

      Oh...The marijuana issue resonates(resin) too..My generation thinks pot is ho hum..

      Cheers

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    3. I apologize if this is a double post: i think my initial response was eaten.

      Grant, I am a young adult, tech savvy, middle-class, secular voter who doesn't hate Harper. Please make sure to include me in your sample lol.

      In all seriousness though I think we have veered away from commenting on the poll. While I agree with others that some of the regional results seem to contradict what other pollsters are saying, the top line figures aren't way off from the average. It would be premature to automatically discount this as an outlier.

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    4. Grant G,

      Canadians are mature enoughy to differentiate between the person and a policy. Canadians don't "hate" Harper, they may dislike certain policies but, hate is far too vitriolic a term. Immature ill-educated people "hate" others because they can't understand or accept differences. Canadians accept and understand the differences and nuances of life and while many may disagree with Harper only "violent terrorists" "hate" politicians.

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  8. This image is for BC Voice of Reason.

    It shows over the last 6 months how a vast majority of the BC populous have become very disappointed with Christy Clark, Their opinion of her has worsened, ...CHECK IT OUT for yourselves

    http://www.insightswest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Slide5.png




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    1. Grant G,

      The survey tracks British Columbians opinions of provincial leaders. It does not show their opinion has worsened or BCers are "very disappointed" with the premier. In order to show opinions had worsened an earlier survey with an identical question is needed. Why do you write such demonstrably incorrect comments?

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    2. Even if it were the case that BCers were growing to dislike Clark, that doesn't mean anything electorally. If an election were held, would they vote NDP?

      The last election demonstrated that BC is wary of electing another NDP government (and rightly so, given their track record).

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  9. This poll to me is all about Harper being perceived as the strongest leader on issues concerning national security and foreign affairs.
    Especially with current events in the world in combination with our own tragic events that happened on our home soil.

    I think things it will wane down this Spring when the focus shifts towards the economy, numbers and when the budget gets tabled. Plus you still have Duffy in May.

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  10. Your remark that vote splits this time around are helping Liberal seat projections is interesting.

    Last election the CPC benefited. As I recall there were some 3200 votes in 13 ridings for the weaker opposition party that gave them their majority.

    Very small percentage shifts, 1-3%, can shift dozens of seats.

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  11. I can envision a small bump for the Cons based on security concerns due to the Paris attack... But the LPC loosing ground in Quebec to the benefit of the BQ is hard to believe. Logic would make me think that the NDP would be the beneficiary of wayward Federalists and Nationalist.

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  12. This is what happens when a party actively avoids developing a policy platform and rely on past glories for future votes-people stop taking your leadership and party as a serious alternative and revert to either the status quo or a party and leader mature enough to release a platform. If Trudeau doesn't release some policy soon Canadians will start to discount his abilities and chances of becoming PM and start to discount the Liberal party as a viable governing alternative. It may already be too late as both the NDP and Tories have painted young Trudeau as a light weight.

    Trudeau is ridiculous; after Ottawa and Paris and now Belgium a smart politician would speak about what he will do to make Canada a safer place and combat religious extremism. Trudeau is completely silent and the message is clear: The Liberal party doesn't have a clue how to combat radical Islam inside or outside Canada, hence, they are totally ill-prepared for Government. After Ottawa a 180 on Canada's involvement with ISIS was needed yet, all that emerged was a continuously confused policy somewhere between combat action and humanitarian aid.

    Is this poll an outlier? I don't think so because the numbers generally fall into the ranges we expect to see among the parties over the last year. However, it is a good poll for the Tories. What is clear is that this poll fits with a number of recent polls that show rising Tory support and declining Liberal support. Liberals should be wary and remember how quickly the NDP became the main oppoistion party. If they don't act fast there will be no Liberal party at the 2019 election.

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  13. Eric,
    What was the reason for the NDP surge in 2011? Debates or the French TV show? Do people even care about debates? Any stats on debates?

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    1. The people of Quebec were lost and directionless last election.

      They finally came to the understanding that the BQ was not able to do anything for them ... not even as part of a coalition , well especially as part of a collation

      This left them with had no one from their province that could become PM.

      Jack Layton had the closest personal ties ties to Quebec. There was not even a consideration that they could vote for Ignatieff who was not even remotely a native Quebec son.

      This election they have 2 leaders of Federal parties that they have to choose from.


      The problem with this sort of provincial/regional strategy chosen by the NDP/Liberals is that it leaves the rest of Canada with only one non-Quebecois option to be PM.

      How in the world can the folk in Atlantic Canada vote for a Quebec based politician??

      Quebec's largest resource revenue is NL electricity. It has come to the point that an expensive underwater transmission line has to be built as there is no fair passage through Quebec.

      Who could imagine that either Trudeau or Mulcair would stand up to their home base and say smarten up and play fair??

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    2. It appears that Quebec is not only blocking Eastern hydro, they are blocking western oil.
      That probably explains why the folks in the west are not keen on a Quebec leader as well.

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    3. By 'west' you, of course, mean Alberta and Saskatchewan as nobody in British Columbia or Manitoba cares if Alberta bitumen is able to get to the east.

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    4. B.C (no) voice of reason.

      You mean as opposed to voting for an Alberta based politician would like to push the price of oil much higher? Which is diametrically opposed to the interests of the Atlantic provinces ouside of New Foundland and Labrador and Ontario.

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    5. The whole point of being a country is so that a national government can make national decisions. No province should be able to veto national infrastructure, be it transmission lines or pipelines.

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    6. The whole country should care about getting the oil to market. How much federal tax revenue comes from Alberta and Saskatchewan? What happens to federal spending if that revenue collapses?

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    7. Adam T - Right now, the east imports most of its oil, at world prices. Getting more Canadian oil to market would help push those prices even lower.

      Lower energy prices are a good thing for everyone.

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    8. Adam,

      We had an election last year in British Columbia where pipelines became the main issue. British Columbians voted strongly in favour of resource development including pipelines, in fact the NDP's opposition toward pipelines cost them the election.

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    9. Using 2009 stats before the big expansion of the Oil patch 1.5% (29,000 people) of the BC Labour force works in Alberta in the Oil patch and pays income, property Tax and PST in BC. This would be a very much higher portion of of the income as these are almost 100K plus jobs.

      For comparison there are 41,000 teachers in all of BC according to the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.

      Harper/Alberta and any other of your other boogeymen have no control on the price of oil. The macro impact of shutting down the Oils sands would be to raise the world price of oil.

      Similarly the price of electricity is not impacted by the high cost that Quebec gets for transmission of NL electricity.... it just funnels more of the money to Quebec than NL.

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    10. BC (no) voice of reason

      Given that the former B.C resident oil patch workers live in Alberta they pay neither income tax nor PST in British Columbia. I suppose some of them may have kept their B.C residences and pay property taxes.

      I didn't say that Harper has any control over oil prices, I said he'd like to see higher oil prices which is in opposition to the interests of the people of Ontario and Quebec.

      In other general responses:

      The decrease in the world price of oil caused by putting a putting a pipeline to the east would be insignificant.

      Regarding infrastructure, if the infrastructure being developed was by the government of Canada I'd agree it would likely be wrong for a province to have veto power over it.

      In this case though, as the main beneficiary of the pipeline is a private company, I'd hardly put it in the same ballpark.

      That said, I personally support Energy East, Keystone and the Kinder Morgan expansion. I oppose Northern Gateway.

      While Dix's surprise announcement against Kinder Morgan has been sited as the main reason the NDP lost the 2013 election, the NDP only lost one incumbent interior seat. All of their other losses were in the Lower Mainland or the Fraser Valley where concern over Kinder Morgan was likely much lower.

      I'd say that Dix's 'memo to file' scandal and his pathetic explanation of it in the debate as well as the number of star Liberal candidates were at least as important as the Kinder Morgan flip flop in explaining the result.

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    11. Adam,

      Both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia have significant oil and gas industries. new Brunswick has significant natural gas deposits as well but are not yet producing. PEI also has resources and a budding industry in the gulf of St. Lwarence and on the Island.

      Higher oil prices and other inflationary pressures are good for Ontario and Quebec with their high debt ratios. It is rather simplistic to assume high oil is good for Alberta but, bad for everyone else. High oil prices contribute to larger equalisation payments that help all provinces except BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

      Delete
    12. Adam T

      Don't know why I am responding to your juvenile responses

      The 26,000 BC residents working in Alberta are BC residents and have not moved to Alberta.

      A huge portion live in work camps and fly home to BC to go shopping and be with their families. 10-hour days for two weeks, then one week off — so they don’t have to fight for expensive accommodation, and get their flights home paid.

      Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Collapsing+prices+residents+working+Alberta+with+video/10729938/story.html#ixzz3PO23HAPk

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    13. Adam,

      The BC NDP only lost one interior seat but, in order to win the election they had to win or pick up 8 seats from the Liberals. The fact the NDP failed to knock off unpopular Liberal incumbents in an area (the Interior) where they had previous success in what are "BC's swing ridings" demonstrates how badly Dix's opposition to pipelines impacted the NDP. At least a few of the interior swing ridings should have turned over to the NDP especially when the day before the election pollsters gave the BC NDP a 8-9 point lead. You're right Dix was always a flawed candidate but, it was his opposition to pipelines not deja vu over the "memo to file incident" that caused the end of his political career.

      Delete
    14. The article only mentions 5,000 people (in the Okanagan) doing that. Nowhere near 26-29,000 people.

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    15. Sara,

      In terms of events that shaped the last election the English language debate may have exuded more influence than usual. Layton questioned Ignatieff on why his attendance in the House of Commons was so low. After a half hearted excuse that an Opposition leader's job is to meet Canadians Layton retorted that most people don't expect a promotion if they fail to show up for work. It was shortly after the English language debate that NDP polling numbers started to surpass the Liberals.

      Delete
  14. Another poll..An Ekos poll..

    http://www.ipolitics.ca/2015/01/16/the-ekos-poll-suddenly-its-all-about-the-economy/

    Trudeau still leading and apparently gaining strength.

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    Replies
    1. Are you looking at the right poll?

      The Liberals are leading by 1.9% but, as the Ekos graph demonstrates they are losing strength not gaining support-the Liberal trend line is clearly negative, they are down roughly 7% over the last 3 months!

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    2. Indeed, EKOS is typically the second-most Liberal-friendly pollster (after Forum), and this poll continues a trend of Liberal decline and Conservative gain.

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  15. This poll looks like an outlier. The big parties 3 aside, having the Greens at 0% support on the Prairies makes no sense whatsoever, nor does the sudden surge of the BQ to 25% when absolutely nothing's happened on the Quebec political landscape.

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    1. Yep Grant I have to agree and don't ever discount that "Hate Harper" vote !!

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    2. Provincial Liberal cuts may reduce Liberal support and thus increase PQ (and by default BQ) support.

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    3. Don't forget the "hate Trudeau vote" st6ill alive and well due to PET's betrayal of Quebec, reckless economic policies like the NEP and of course wage and price controls, a soaring debt and deficit and utter mismanagement of the constitutional file, economic file, foreign relations, provincial relations and Aboriginal relations, declining wages and a declining economy. Trudeau's record reuined many lives.

      Instead of ad hominem attacks pershaps you should think of some policies for the Liberal party since your leader appears incapable of creative ideas much less meaningful policy pronouncements.

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  16. I suggest to all that they catch today's Question Period program on CTV. A real eye opener !!

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  17. "Adam T - Right now, the east imports most of its oil, at world prices. Getting more Canadian oil to market would help push those prices even lower."

    Unless you are recommending a new NEP, The east will continue to pay world prices for oil.

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    1. Allowing Western oil to come to market in Eastern Canada doesn't require a new NEP, it requires a pipeline.

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    2. But getting more oil to market puts downward pressure on the world price. Even Obama has admitted that Keystone would reduce the price of oil, and he hates Keystone (for no good reason).

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  18. Bloc still being over-rated in these polls. Mario Beaulieu has yet to appear on TV; expect a big support drop when he starts campaign and appears in the French language debate. Bloc will only 1 seat

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    1. I don't know. Sovereigntists vote and the BQ is their only option. 20% support for separation and hence the Bloc seems reasonable to me. If one is a real die-hard separatist who else can you vote for? It doesn't matter what Beaulieu does or says you will not vote for the Liberals or NDP or Conservatives because of their federalist policies.

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  19. And the Liberals have just announced from the caucus in London that their program will NOT be released until the election formally starts !! Sensible IMO

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    1. No need advertising they're out of ideas I guess!

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    2. I don't think there was any doubt that this has been the plan all along. Its clearly a strategy to wait until the election is called to do the major specific policy rollout. Why might be to avoid attacks from other parties, or to try to get as much media bang during the campaign itself, or they feel like announcing specific details now will just be forgotten by election time...I don't know if its the best plan but it sure seems the one they are going with.

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    3. capilano that is precisely what they want to avoid, the ultra-cheap shots from the CPC let alone the CPC appalling attack ads .

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    4. Carl,

      If it was the plan all along it appears to be driving down Liberal support. You make some good points about specifics but, appearing to have no plans or policies is not a narrative that will lead to election victory-it makes the Liberals look ill-prepared.

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    5. The Liberal leader's policy reticence, dismissed as gap-toothed vacuity, now begin to look prudent. He's the only leader of a major federal party who hasn't made spending promises that, in light of the new reality, may appear reckless.

      Michael Den Tandt
      National Post.

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  20. It's a good idea. Releasing your platform early just gives your opponents the floor.

    Dion released his platform months early, and it was long dead by the time the campaign started.

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    1. It was a bad platform to begin with.

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  21. So still the old 308 map, I really have to find the 338 map with by-elections added... Still, what that would give me in that old map would be:

    128 CPC
    84 NDP
    81 LPC
    14 BQ
    1 GPC

    By region, it gives:

    Atlantic
    17 LPC
    9 CPC
    6 NDP

    Québec
    40 NDP
    14 LPC
    14 BQ
    7 CPC

    Ontario
    51 CPC
    35 LPC
    20 NDP

    Prairies
    19 CPC
    5 LPC
    4 NDP

    Alberta
    27 CPC
    1 NDP

    British Columbia
    14 CPC
    12 NDP
    9 LPC
    1 GPC

    Territories
    1 CPC
    1 NDP
    1 LPC

    So, looking at it without making any changes, the NDP would be, again, the official opposition. But, considering the added seats are in provinces where the NDP is not doing any better than in the last election and the LPC is much stronger, most of the seats not going to the CPC would be taken by the LPC. So, if I use Eric's benchmark of 145 for the CPC and I give the 3 new Québec seats to the NDP, it would be:

    145 CPC
    92 LPC
    86 NDP
    14 BQ
    1 GPC

    Overall, the difference is not all that big with Eric's prediction (it mostly is a trade of 7 seats between the NDP to the LPC).

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