Monday, December 7, 2015

November 2015 federal polling averages

The post-election period begins, and the federal polling will remain light for a little while. But two polls were conducted last month, and they show the Liberals in the midst of quite a little honeymoon.

The Liberals averaged 52% in those two polls conducted by Forum Research and Abacus Data. That is an increase of over 12 points from the election results.

The Conservatives averaged 24.5%, a drop of over seven points, while the New Democrats were down almost six points to 14%.

The Bloc Québécois averaged 4.5%, while the Greens averaged 4%.

The Liberals led in every region except Alberta, with 44.5% in the Prairies, 51.5% in British Columbia, 52.5% in Quebec, 55% in Ontario, and 68% in Atlantic Canada. The Liberals were in second with 33.5% in Alberta.

The Conservatives led in Alberta with 50%, and were second in the Prairies (38%), Ontario (27%), and British Columbia (24%). The were third in Atlantic Canada with 10.5% and fourth in Quebec with 13%.

The New Democrats were in second only in Atlantic Canada, where they stood at 15%. They had third place showings in the rest of the country, with 14.5% in British Columbia, 9% in Alberta, 15.5% in the Prairies, 14% in Ontario, and 15% in Quebec.

The Bloc Québécois held the second spot in Quebec with 17.5% support. The Greens had their best result in British Columbia, where they were at 9.5%.

I haven't yet updated the three-election projection model to incorporate the 2015 federal election results, but based on the 2011 three-election model these numbers would deliver the following seat ranges:

Liberals: 231-278 seats
Conservatives: 51-92 seats
New Democrats: 5-10 seats
Bloc Québécois: 0-6 seats
Greens: 1 seat

Early days, of course, and the polls have little practical impact. But it does suggest that Canadians are reacting favourably to the Liberals' first weeks in office.


  1. Trudeau's doing a great job of looking reasonable and sounding intelligent as he runs his new government. At the same time, the opposition is either leaderless or adrift or both, depending which party you look at.

    Trudeau's big numbers are good news for him, but I don't think they're particularly bad news for anyone else.

  2. It seems the only issue is nannies on the public payroll (as has happened with every PM with small children). The numbers seem to be saying 52% are OK with it.

    1. These polls pre-dated that issue.

    2. Éric,

      Nannies are a precursor of things to come. It reflects on the PM's judgment and particularly that of his senior staff.

    3. I don't think it does. As PM, living in an official residence, Trudeau should get a budget to run his household, yes?

      The nannies would be part of that. I don't see how this is an issue at all.

    4. Ronald, sorry, but just silly partisan politics. He gets staff to help him work as PM, and to think he doesn't get it to help out with his kids, is just silly. We're a little more objective on 308 and don't fall for that National Post clickbait.

    5. Ira I completely agree. It's just typical Con to pick some minor thing and blow it out of all sight to attack, attack, attack !!

    6. Ira,

      Matt over at got it exactly right. Trudeau's comments about the UCB and people like himself (millionaires) not receiving it has done damage to his credibility, when he turns around and expenses for nannies he was previously paying for out of pocket.

    7. @Ronald,

      Trudeau would receive the UCCB regardless of hiring a nanny (or two) or not. The issue that Trudeau raised was that of the $8000 a year tax credit, which gives those earning over $50K a year a discount of $311.50 along with $720 in payments for UCCB everyone (regardless of need). The first helps the rich disproportionately, and the second was just partisan vote-buying (basically a tax on being childless).

      I don't know if Harper expensed nannies for Benjamin and Rachel, who were 6 and 9 when he won his first election in 2006. There were and are more serious issues to be discussed.

    8. Peter, they are continuing to follow the American Republican playbook. When will they learn that completely turns off an intelligent, educated Canadian public. Look at their poll numbers. 24% has been their base for a while.

  3. I think that number can be partially taken as a collective sigh of relief that Mr. Harper has been sent out to graze.

    1. I think Matt you are dead on. Harper hatred is still here and alive and well.

      And things like yesterdays bleats by the Cons on responding to the Throne Speech only ensures the Con hatred is alive and well. Seems the Cons can't lose their Harper control !!

    2. Seems like some in the Liberal party can't leave Harper! He is no longer the leader so your anti-Harper statement really provokes an image of "Peter Meldrum" as someone living in and obsessed by the past.

  4. During the Chretien years, the Liberals would float in the 50-60% stratosphere between elections and then float back into the low 40s-high 30s during elections. I figure that was due to the weak opposition getting little coverage as the main opposition parties (Bloc and Reform) didn't even compete across the country, while the two others(PCs and NDP) were too small and weak during the 90s to be viable alternative governments. Once the election was on, though, the Liberals were vulnerable to attacks on all sides (particularly the PCs, as both Charest and Clark had enough campaign experience to keep their party from oblivion).

    I would not be surprised if we had a short phase of Liberal poll dominance now, as both the Conservatives and the NDP have leadership questions preventing them from making much headway. In the meantime, the Liberals have a pretty easy job on the economic front (a small deficit, average-to-good unemployment numbers) while the one controversial foreign policy decision (war in Syria) has already been made. The Liberals will likely keep doing well until a new Conservative leader gets a honeymoon period.

  5. When will you run the model for SK and MB?

    1. Probably not until the campaign begins, unless a flurry of polls emerge pre-campaign (which I doubt, considering the provinces).

  6. I don't understand why some in the media were declaring the Trudeau honeymoon to be over. There was a CBC at issue debate, and articles on most major newspapers either questioning or claiming the honeymoon is coming to an end.

    I watched CP24's Nathan Downer say the Trudeau honeymoon is over since he was "under fire" from opposition in the House! Jeeze...

    Who actually assumed that swing Liberal voters would start to get remorse one month into the new government?

    As for the opposition. I feel Ambrose is effective at holding the fort as interim CPC leader. She can pull off a "moderate" face while still talking about small-c conservative issues. It's clear the Tories have no heir apparent and they are likely to delay their leadership contest till 2017. Whatever happens, the party really need to address some of the unhealthy behaviour that occurred during the Harper era.

    As for the NDP, Mulcair needs to go. It was painful watching him in the House (i.e. spinning election results, invoking Jack Layton, accusing the Liberals to be the same as the Tories, milking redundant issues like Canada Post). If the Liberals govern firmly on the centre-left, the federal NDP may slide into irrelevancy.

  7. I've seen and heard several things lately about this projected change in the voting system, Some say the Govt simply has to pass a bill, others say a referendum is needed and others think Constitutional change. What's right ??

  8. Peter,

    I doubt it requires constitutional change. Didn't two provinces have a referendum on changing their respective electoral systems? It failed in both provinces.

    1. Constitutional change is not required, and neither is a referendum, though some believe that it is right to hold a referendum on such a change.

    2. Yes Eric that is definitely the feeling I got from several pundits. I personally don't see any need for a referendum and it seems places that have tried them the proposals have failed. So just do the thing but give us a proviso if the change does notwork out well we can reveert.

    3. Election to the House of Commons is governed under the Parliament of Canada Act. Amendment to the Act could change the way M.P.s are elected within certain restraints: The current seat total by province would need to be maintained for example.

      Legally a change to the electoral system would not require constitutional change per se. However, since that particular change would in effect re-write the 1867 covenant and constitutional settlement, a moral imperative exists and perhaps even a constitutional convention that change be adopted into the Constitution. Trudeau's proposed changes would contradict and contravene the pre-amble to the Constitution Act, 1867: "Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom:

      Surely, a referendum on the issue should for moral reasons if no others, be subjected to a vote by the people, failure to do so would reek of gerrymandering and electoral collusion.

    4. Neither a constituational change nor a referendum are not morally required. Various parts of the UK have implemented various types and extents of electoral reform since 1867, and there is no written UK Constitution for the Canadian standard to be compared against. The strongest argument for a constitutional change would be to make the future undoing highly unlikely (just as the success of such a convention would be highly unlikely in the first place).

    5. Mapleson,

      Firstly, large swathes of the UK Constitution are written: Magna Carta, the Forest Charter, the Lege Ine, The Charter of King Alfred, the Reform Acts and all Acts of Parliament, Court Judgements, certain international treaties, the coronation oath, the list is so numerous that I will stop here.

      Secondly, No part of the UK has implemented electoral reform.

      Thirdly, you write constitutional change is not required but, the 21 British North America Acts refute your assertion since, many were implemented to effect change far less substantial than a change in the voting system.

      Fifthly, the will of the people should be respected and observed. Why should Canadians allow politicians draw up a new electoral system? The job rightly belong to the people. It is their Government and their electoral system-It only makes moral sense and common sense such dramatic change be ratified publicly!

      Fourthly, You ignore Canadian history and precedent that clearly and unequivocally favour both constitutional discussion and agreement. As was the case in 1982 and in the subsequent discussion and referenda both in Quebec and across Canada on the Meech and Charlottetown Accords.

      Finally, your opening line is baseless and simply wrong! Not "normally required"? We have not enacted a change to the voting system before so, how can it be "normally required" or not? Secondly, in provinces that have tried to enact change referenda were held! That is what is "normal" Mapleson, electoral change requires a vote, that is what precedent, history, common sense and Canadians deserve.

    6. The normal practice as followed in Ontario, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, is to subject electoral change to a referendum as did the City of Vancouver, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

      One could argue following on WGS's point in regards to the preamble that since, the UK has held a referendum on just this question proper Canadain constitutional principle would follow the British example and a referendum is required to uphold the spirit of the Constitution as encassed and written in the pre-amble to the Constitution Act, 1867. I think this all the more clear after listing my examples above: Surely, if the people of Vancouver are deemed worthy to vote on their electoral system-all Canadians should enjoy that same privilege! I think Trudeau on shaky ground here especially with his planned quasi-constitutional Senate reforms. It is a bad idea to let a single man decide the selection process for members of both Houses of Parliament.
      Justin should be careful lest the constitutional file be his undoing.

      This question really shows the failure of the 1982 Constitution and the limits of written constitutions. The Parliament of Canada Act is a constitutional document it is not part of the written Constitution and therefore not subject to the constitutional amending formula. Although in most countries how Parliament's houses are elected form a part. In the Canadian constitution this is implied and subsequent legislation form the procedural context.

      This question was a major sticking point in the Confederation debates and it would be inconceivable to most Fathers of Confederation that the Government of the Day, The Twenty-ninth Canadian ministry. At the moment there is not even a commitment to have a national discussion to replace a system that has served us for 168 years

    7. WGS,

      First, the difference between a Constitution and the legislation that you mentioned it the ability to be revised, abridged, or contradicted. In Canada, we can refer to the Supreme Court when Parliament tries to contravene the Constitution Act. In the UK, the courts are much more limited. If the extensive list were comprehensive, there wouldn’t be an ongoing effort in the UK to formulate an explicit constitution.

      Second, both Ireland and Scotland have implemented forms of hybrid voting. The justification of their parliamentary bodies being devolved from the House of Commons.

      Third, 8 of the BNA Acts were modifying the distribution of representatives and new provinces entered the Confederation, 2 changed the national boundaries, 3 were over transfer payments and the balance between federal and provincial, 2 were temporary for war, 4 were for social programs and the mandatory retirement age, and one affected power over changes in the constitution. The main issue is that the only ones implemented by Canada were the changes to the balance of representation and the mandatory retirement age.

      Fourth, the failure of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords is the primary reason for my pessimism about ever having a constitutional amendment while Quebec is part of the Confederation. There are three possible outcomes of trying: Trudeau makes a place in the history books by having Quebec accept the Constitution (highly unlikely); Trudeau marks another chapter in failed discussions and negotiations having waited political good will and taxpayer money to no end; or Trudeau proceeds with reform after a failed agreement and renews the Separatist movement.

      Fifth, only the CPC wasn’t running on a platform of electoral reform. A clear majority voted for other parties. Beyond which, if an IRV system is implemented, the “dramatic change” is just being able to give a second or beyond choice on the ballot. Anyone that prefers a FPTP system could continue as such by only giving a first choice. If another system were proposed from the multi-party consultation process, then my position might change based on the specifics (for example, any change to electoral district size should be put to a referendum).

      Finally, you misread my opening line: it says Morally, not NorMally.

    8. Your First paragraph is simply not correct: Parliament can refer legislation both to UK Courts including; the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and to supra-national Courts such as the European Court of Human Rights. These bodies have the ability to curtail Government action as do Courts in the United States.

      Your second paragraph is not correct and contradict your previous statement: "Various parts of the UK have implemented various types and extents of electoral reform since 1867". Firstly the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK obviously! Secondly neither in Eire nor Scotland are the current voting system a reform of a previous voting system-both in Scotland and Eire the voting systems came about through independence for Eire and devolution with Scotland! They are the original voting systems!

      Surely, if a Constitutional amendments were necessary for the redistribution of seats one is required for a change in the electoral system! Anytthing less is simply undemocratic and anyone purporting change without a constitutional amendment is someone less than a democrat. Your fourth point simply reinforces mine-We have enacted constitutional change for much less than a change in the electoral system therefore, the proper process and procedure is one that follows proper constitutional change and constitutional agreement!

      Fourthly, if you are afraid of constitutional change because Quebec may disagree-how then can you propose a course of action that once again fails to gain the consent of Quebec? Is there not a greater likelihood that change to the electoral system will inflame tensions in Quebec? Chretien gave Quebec a veto: Chretien after the 1995 referendum passed a motion in the Commons: (N)ot to make any constitutional change that affects Quebec without Quebecers' consent". If Parliament feels bound by the Nickel Resolution surely, this promise to Quebec should be respected?

      Finally, it is dishonest to equate a vote for the NDP or Liberals as a vote in favour of electoral reform. That was not the ballot question: it was one of many different and diverging policies put forth by all parties. As for your first line it is still wrong! Since, morally it is encumbent on the Government at least if they wish to uphold the spirit and meaning of the Constitution to subject such change for a vote.

      Why you wish to remove this subject from democratic legitimacy is beyond me. It is pretty obvious that if such a change were enacted without a vote the next Government may face a question of legitimacy; I can only conclude you are afraid of democracy , perhaps you are a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal partisan who prefers Liberal dictatorship over democracy and fairness?

    9. The UK has had a Supreme Court since 2009 due to the 2005 Constitutional Reform Act. It’s part of the UK’s effort to write the unwritten. If you want to bring the ECHR into things, the UK elects MEP according to proportional representation. Ireland was part of the UK between 1867 and its independence, and furthermore Northern Ireland is still part of the UK.

      Redistribution of seats materially affects the balance between the provinces, so it requires constitutional amendment, if not agreement. Changing the electoral system does not change the electoral balance between the provinces. I will admit to being less than a democrat, as I’m a monarchist. However, you aren’t providing any evidence or support for your argument, only throwing around supposed insults and circular reasoning.

      Chretien’s promise still stands. Electoral reform isn’t a constitutional change, thus it’s not a constitutional change without the support of Quebec.

      There were questions of legitimacy for the Harper majority, and there are questions of legitimacy for Trudeau (particularly CPC partisans complaining that the LPC hasn’t faces as harsh criticism of their legitimacy). I would gladly support a successful amendment to the Constitution, however, I think it’s very unlikely to happen as well as not a moral imperative.

    10. It is painfully obvious a constitutional convention exists that change in the electoral system be subject to a vote. This is what happened in Britain , BC and Ontario and was guaranteed by New Brunswick and Quebec. The only reason Trudeau is against a vote is because he knows he will lose. Trudeau has shown his true colours-He is not a democrat. A Democrat would not be afraid of a vote-Trudeau is clearly terrified.

    11. Are you now supporting a constitutional convention or a plebiscite referendum vote? In the cases of the UK, BC, and ON, the voters in the referendum had the power to alter their systems. With the Canadian Federal government, that power resides in the provinces. Thus it is either a referendum has no binding outcome, or a round of provincial negotiations that isn’t related to being democratic.
      Was Harper “clearly terrified” to implement his triple-E Senate? Or was he just a political realist that pursued policy implementation where and when he could?

  9. Honestly Ron I don't know. I've heard so much stuff and no definitive answer.

  10. This is very interesting. Note the source


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