Sunday, February 7, 2016

January 2016 federal polling averages

Justin Trudeau's honeymoon continued into January, but a small dip in Liberal support in some key provinces suggests the love affair may be settling down a little. Nevertheless, the Liberals still hold a very wide lead over their rivals.

(Note that the provincial polling averaged for January have also been updated. Scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Three national polls and one Quebec-only poll was conducted in the month of January, totaling a little more than 10,000 interviews.

The Liberals averaged 45.2% support in January, down one point from their December 2015 averages. The Conservatives followed with an average of 28.4% support, down 1.2 points.

The New Democrats were up 2.1 points to 16.4%, followed by the Greens at 5.7% (up 0.3 points) and the Bloc Québécois at 4% (also up 0.3 points).

This marks two consecutive months of decline for the Liberals, which has coincided with two consecutive months of increase for the New Democrats.

But it should be noted that the Conservatives never averaged anything close to 45% throughout their tenure in office, while the New Democrats, at just over 16%, are where they were a few months before the 2011 federal election.

The Liberals led in British Columbia with an average of 40.5%, followed by the Conservatives at 23.3% and the New Democrats at 13.4%. The Greens were up for the third consecutive month to 13.4% in the province.

The Conservatives were ahead in Alberta with 52.1%, trailed by the Liberals at 32.2% and the NDP at 11.1%. The Greens averaged 3.6% support here.

In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives narrowly edged out the Liberals with 40.3% to 39.7% support. The NDP followed at length with 14.8%, while the Greens were at 5%.

In the West, the Liberals would likely win 33 to 51 seats with these levels of support, largely thanks to their strong numbers in British Columbia. The Conservatives would take between 41 and 59 seats and the New Democrats between eight and 15 seats, virtually all of them in British Columbia. The Greens could take between one and two seats, also only in B.C.

The Liberals dropped for the second consecutive month in Ontario, falling slightly to 48.7% support. The Conservatives took advantage and were up to 30.8%, while the NDP was at 15.2% and the Greens at 4.7%.

This would likely deliver between 74 and 98 seats to the Liberals, with the Conservatives winning between 18 and 38 seats and the New Democrats between four and 10.

In Quebec, the Liberals led with 45.5% support, with the NDP in second at 19.9%. The Conservatives stood at 15.5%, the Bloc Québécois at 14.7%, and the Greens at 3.8%. With these numbers, the Liberals would virtually sweep Quebec with between 59 and 70 seats, leaving eight to 13 seats for the Conservatives and zero to three seats apiece for the NDP and Bloc.

In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals were ahead with 57% against 24.1% for the Conservatives, 12.7% for the New Democrats, and 6.1% for the Greens. The Liberals would likely win between 27 and 29 seats, with three to four seats going to the Conservatives and zero to one seat to the NDP.

In all, the Liberals would likely win between 196 and 251 seats with these levels of support, a significant increase over the 184 seats the party currently holds but down a little from their December projection.

The Conservatives would win between 70 and 114 seats (they now hold 99) while the NDP would be reduced from 44 seats to between 12 and 29.

The chart above shows the progression of seat projections based on the monthly averages. Unlike the table showing the projections for January, this chart increases the ranges to the minimum and maximum tallies, which includes 95% of all projected outcomes.

You can see that despite the small drop in projected seats for the Conservatives, their maximum projected range has inched up since December, and is significantly higher than in December. The NDP has seen a steady increase at their maximum range.

The Liberals are still coming down from their post-election highs, as might be expected. They have dropped for two consecutive months in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada — but in all of these regions the party is still over 40% support. Nothing for them to worry about just yet, as the party is still comfortably ahead of the 39.5% of the vote the Liberals captured in October.

Though the Conservatives were up again in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, they were mostly holding steady. The NDP had upticks in British Columbia and Quebec, but was also wobbling back and forth in Ontario and Alberta.

This could be the holding pattern for some time, as Canadians checkout of the day-to-day political coverage and withhold their judgment until the Conservatives (and possible the New Democrats) deal with their leadership issues.

Provincial polling monthly averages chart updated below
(click to magnify)

  • Saskatchewan Party led the NDP by 59% to 28%.
  • Manitoba Progressive Conservatives ahead with 48% to 23.5% for the Liberals and 21.5% for the New Democrats.
  • Quebec Liberals in front with 35% to 27% for the Parti Québécois, 19% for the Coalition Avenir Québec, and 16% for Québec Solidaire.


  1. BC is obviously an outlier in western Canada.

    1. I think they like it that way.

    2. If one broke down the B.C. vote I suspect Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island would be the outliers whereas the Interior of B.C., Okanagan and the North would follow the general trends in Western Canada more closely.

    3. I guess somebody's been looking at the map!

    4. I don't need a map. I've lived in B.C. for a good portion of my life and know the Province well.

  2. You're absolutely right about BC, but if the tallies for SK and MB were separated, you would be able to see that MB on its own would be more in line with BC, and maybe even ON's numbers. In the election, MB voted just as much for the Liberals as ON, and even more so than BC.

  3. Really unfortunate to see the NDP polling so low. Lots of talk of Conservatives needing to reinvent themselves, but the NDP's clearly not tapping into the same vein of social democracy in Canada that Bernie Sanders is tapping in the US.

    1. Bernie Sanders isn't doing as well as you think he is. He's going to get crushed as soon as they get to more diverse states.

    2. The awful truth is the NDP is no longer a social democratic party. Their leader is an establishment politician/lawyer; their previous leader (interim) a union executive, ie. Management; the leader before that was a third generation establishment politician/ professor. The NDP used to be the party that "stood up for the little guy", now however it is run by big whigs! Balanced budgets, no mention of turning the Armed Forces into environmental trash collectors, promising not to raise taxes significantly. They are anti-TPP and speak about income inequality but, without the tax plan to go along with it such talk is cheap. The NDP is an establishment small "l" party which explains why they are unable to tap into the bubbling social-democratic-Bernie vein currently picking up traction in America.

      The NDP will continue to poll below 25% unless and until it gets rid of Mulcair, He is pulling numbers down. If the party waits for him to resign it will be in trouble as internecine warfare is likely to break out within the party perhaps even within the caucus. At this point Mulcair is a overly hairy Diefenbaker.

    3. Don't count Bernie out yet. Clinton is a very flawed candidate. The whole e-mail debacle isn't going away and may well flare up again. Clinton's foreign policy experience is tarred by her record: Her greatest achievement, inept planning that directly lead to the death of the American Ambassador.

      Bernie's message is very appealing with diverse communities-all he needs is the communication ability to get that message out, he's got the money to do it, he should get a boost from New Hampshire and the Democratic establishment is not fully behind Clinton. Many within that clique actively campaigned for Biden to enter the race and many see that Hilary polls below Sanders in general election match-ups against leading Republican contenders.

    4. Don't know about that. Some of the recent national polls in the US have had Sanders tied with Hilary and he's been beating if not tied with nearly all of the Republican candidates. Even if you take the polls with a grain of salt Sanders has come up from no-where to be a serious contender pretty quickly.

    5. I'm not as sure its a desire for social democracy in the US as it is a desire for someone who is actually genuine in their beliefs and wants to do something decent for the population. Most people in the US don't trust their politicians and know they are bought. However Sanders is the one candidate with the record to back up his beliefs. If nothing else many people might vote for Bernie simply because he can't be bought and would be willing to actually fight to clean up the system, like passing campaign finance reform.

    6. National polls do a lousy job of predicting primaries.

      State specific polls show Hillary leading the coming states by huge margins.

    7. Iowa was in the top 5 demographically favourite states for Bernie, and he couldn't win in. Not just with the percentage of minorities, but with the share of very liberal voters as well.

      Clinton has more party establishment support than any other primary candidate in the modern period at any point in the campaign.

      Bernie is good to make it a race rather than a crowning, but make no mistake this will be Clinton vs. the selected Republican.

      Clinton is a fire hardened candidate that is resistant to any new/old mud. Bernie has lots of positions that can did his head-to-head number from this point.

    8. Ira,

      Bernie was in single digits in Iowa when he started. Look what happened. Clinton has a trust problem and nothing between now and November is going to change that. Bernie is now a movement angered at the Wall Street Class such as those who make $675,000 to deliver three speeches to the good people of Goldman-Sachs. Hilary and the entire political class are the focus of this anger. Bernie isn't going away and the longer the primary race goes on the worse Clinton's chances get. Can she win? Yes, it is possible but, it is going to be a fight and Hilary will be praying it ends on Super Tuesday, if not, she may have to think about ending her candidacy for the good of the Party. More problematically, now she needs a win. If she doesn't win Nevada and South Carolina it is over for her. If she splits those states it will show the Democratic party and electorate have moved left of the high paying rhetoric that Clinton espouses for the good bankers of Fifth Avenue for a grotesquely high fee. Hilary is playing it safe like Tommy Mulcair and I expect a similar result.

    9. The good of the party? If the Republicans were even vaguely organized, that might make sense, but as long as the Donald Trump show is still running the Democrats don't have much to worry about.

      And I fully expect Clinton to win both South Carolina and Nevada.

    10. I disagree Donald Trump is the Republicans biggest asset. Traditional thinking is that high turnout favours Democrats but, Trump's candidacy may generate a higher turnout among Republicans this time round. I don't think Hilary can win against any Republican still standing except maybe Jeb, but, even Jeb is warming to people and I expect should Jeb and Hilary win their respective nominations for it to be a fight. For the good of the party she should have not offered and accepted gracefully the vice-presidential spot, now she is about the only thing that can make Republicans win by being a lightening rod for the GOP.

  4. That's not what the polls are telling us Ira. Rethink !

    1. What polls are you looking at?

      Bernie's support is concentrated among white people and self-identified liberals. Iowa has lots of those, and Hew Hampshire is almost exclusively those.

      But in South Carolina, Nevada, Florida, and other big states to come, Hillary's overwhelming lead with minorities and self-identified moderates and conservatives (among registered Democrats) ensure her victory.

      Not to mention that these early states assign delegates proportionally, while the later, larger states (which favour Hillary) are winner-take-all.

      Bernie will win New Hampshire by at least 15 points (and maybe by 30 points), but that won't help him with moderate voters or minorities.

    2. Sanders' message is what will help his campaign among "minorities, self-identified moderates and conservatives". I do not think Hilary will win Nevada as it has a high number of domestic and low wage workers. Hilary may hold more popular support among Blacks than Bernie but, will they turn up to the polls to support Hilary? Unlikely. Sanders is pulling in new voters and by doing so changing the demographic of the Democratic Party perhaps even the broader electorate. I think Barack Obama fundamentally changed the way people view the nomination process by showcasing the Establishment's control over politics, the political process and the Democratic Party is not absolute.

    3. State-specific polls put her 20 points ahead in Nevada. Actually more than that - the current Nevada polling averages are 50.3 for Clinton and 28.1 for Sanders.

    4. That is true but, the trend lines are negative for Clinton, positive for Sanders. The low wage domestic workers are natural Sanders voters as are the Blacks of the South. People say the Clintons' have this wonderful loyal rapport with the Black community but, there is scant evidence for such claims; in 2008 Southern Blacks voted for Obama not Clinton in fact Clinton didn't do all that well garnering only aboiut 40% of the state vote and significantly less among Blacks. Her best upcoming state is Michigan Nevada, South Carolina will both be battles. Polls are great but, if they were determinant Trump would already be president.

  5. Apologies, I mistakenly deleted (rather than approved) three comments that were posted this morning.

    The buttons are right next to each other!

  6. Éric,

    Something tells me that Sanders will do a lot better going forward, than conventional wisdom would have us believe. Can't wait to find out!

    1. The media certainly want us to think that, because they get more viewers when there's a competitive race.

      So they play up Bernie's chances every chance they get.

      But those chances aren't real. Unless something catastrophic hapens to Hillary's campaign, she wins.

      However, I bet all those elites who told Elizabeth Warren not to run are kicking themselves now. She'd have taken this thing handily.

    2. Not sure where you are getting that idea. Most of the media I've seen were pretty dismissive of Bernie having any chance until recently.

    3. Ira,

      Bernie is very real-all this talk about Hilary victories in South Carolina and going forward is illusionary. She got smacked in South Carolina against Obama and there is little evidence to suggest those Obama voters have moved or will move to Clinton. Hilary has a solid 35-40% of the vote mainly among the aged, Democrats below retirement age prefer Sanders. Hilary received the exact same per centage of the vote in New Hampshire in 2016 as she did in 2008. This is a campaign confined by its past and it is not growing support. Those Warren supporters are with Sanders not Hilary, this is why Hilary did not improve her numbers in NH yesterday over 2008. She is stuck and the more her inevitability recedes the weaker she becomes. She is losing the female vote to Sanders as well as the young vote, family vote, middle age vote-she only wins among he3r own race and class-that is why she will never be president.

    4. @Capilano Dunbar,

      The only evidence to suggest that Obama voters have or have not moved to Clinton is polling and the results of New Hampshire and Iowa. While Clinton received the same percent in New Hampshire, it's composition was very different.

      The fact that Sanders didn't win Iowa is a major setback. He'll be competitive and win around a third of the states (mostly New England, the western seaboard, some of the northwest, and possibly a few close to the Mason-Dixon Line), but there needs to be a wholesale buy-in by minorities for him to win the nomination.

      Currently, Clinton is leading Black voters 74% to 17%. Nevada will be a great litmus test of Sanders with Latinos.

  7. Ira,

    If I was a Democratic strategist, it would be:

    Kirsten Gillibrand

    But she seems to be doing what Rubio refused to do -- wait her turn.

    1. After Saturday's debate, I'm not convinced Rubio gets another shot.

  8. Ira I would have agreed about Nevada until I read the piece in yesterdays New York Times. It's way closer than we think.


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