Friday, February 19, 2016

The Week in Polls: Wall and Pallister lead, Liberals strong in Quebec, Notley's approval down

The next election on the calendar is in Saskatchewan. The province will vote on April 4, and the campaign itself should officially start in the first week of March. Accordingly, I've launched the vote and seat projections for Saskatchewan.

They show a big advantage for Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party. They are projected to win 44 to 52 seats at the likely ranges, with the New Democrats taking between nine and 17 seats.

These new numbers are driven by the latest numbers from Mainstreet Research. Its poll published earlier this week pegged the Saskatchewan Party to have 56% support among decided and leaning voters, compared to 32% for the NDP. The Liberals and Greens trailed with just 8% and 4%, respectively.

Wall leads in every part of the province, though the NDP is in a better position to compete for seats in Regina and Saskatoon.

PCs continue to hold lead in Manitoba

Another new poll from Mainstreet in neighbouring Manitoba also shows little change in voting intentions as the next election approaches. Manitobans go to the polls on April 19.

The survey from Mainstreet found the PCs leading with 51% among decided and leaning voters, followed by the New Democrats at 21% and the Liberals at 20%. There was very little change from Mainstreet's previous survey from January.
With a 20-point lead in Winnipeg, the PCs seem to be in little danger. 

I will be launching the vote and seat projections for Manitoba soon.

Federal, provincial Liberals lead in CROP Quebec poll

Following on the heels of last week's poll from Léger, CROP is out with new numbers for the province. Like Léger, they also show both Philippe Couillard's and Justin Trudeau's Liberals in a good position in the province.

CROP federal poll in Quebec
Trudeau's Liberals led in the province with 48% support, followed at a distance by the New Democrats at 24%, the Bloc Québécois at 16%, and the Conservatives at just 9%.

Among francophones, the Liberals were down to 41% support, with the NDP and Bloc up to 28% and 19%, respectively.

The Liberals led in every part of the province, though their margin over the NDP in and around Quebec City was just two points.

CROP provincial poll in Quebec
At the provincial level, Couillard's Liberals were ahead in the poll with 36%, followed by the Parti Québécois at 31%, the Coalition Avenir Québec at 18%, and Québec Solidaire at 12%.

Compared to last month, this represents a swing of four points from QS to the PQ.

Among francophones, the PQ was up slightly to 36%, while the Liberals were at 26%, the CAQ at 21%, and QS at 13%.

The Liberals were well ahead on the island of Montreal, but only narrowly in front of the PQ in the Montreal suburbs and the regions of Quebec. The CAQ led in Quebec City.

Trudeau still favoured as PM, Ambrose trends up

The weekly Nanos numbers on who Canadians prefer as prime minister continue to give Justin Trudeau a huge lead. But Rona Ambrose is inching forward.

Trudeau led in the poll with 51%, with Ambrose at 15% and Tom Mulcair at 11%.

Though Ambrose's numbers continue to head in a positive direction, the change from month-to-month has not been statistically significant.

Trump leads South Carolina, Clinton narrowly favoured in Nevada

The latest forecasts from suggest that Donald Trump will win the South Carolina Republican primary quite easily tomorrow. He leads with 31% in FiveThirtyEight's "polls-plus" forecast, followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio at 19% apiece.

Jeb Bush stands at 12%, John Kasich at 10%, and Ben Carson at 7%. 

Compared to when we last checked in last week, the movement in FiveThirtyEight's forecast has been towards Kasich (+5) and away from Rubio (-4).

There have been few polls out for the Democratic caucus in Nevada, but FiveThirtyEight forecasts Hillary Clinton to take 53%, with Bernie Sanders capturing around 46%.

My CBC articles this week


  1. Your headline says "Notley's approval down", but then you don't mention Notley or even Alberta at any point in that post.

    1. Sorry, that is from the Angus Reid Institute poll in my CBC story. I'll add it there.

  2. Mainstreet v Probe 1
    Mainstreet has consistently polled the Manitoba Conservatives far higher than Probe. In their last four surveys they have recorded 53%, 44, 52 and 51. In comparison Probe's last four have 44%, 46, 45, 43. It is worth comparing the methodology. Probe consistently sample 60% in Winnipeg while Mainstreet's last three samples have been 51%, 49 and 50. So Mainstreet always poll a higher % outside of Winnipeg where support for the Conservatives, according to all pollsters is always higher than in Winnipeg. I don't know what the right balance should be but I do know that Winnipeg has 54% of the seats. Both pollsters say that they weight the results by age and gender, but not by geography. Additionally Probe say that they weight by previous voting behaviour. Mainstreet's only weighting appears to be to reflect the 2011 census for age and gender. So the question is; Are Mainstreet taking sufficient care to ensure their sampling is representative?

    Mainstreet v Probe 2
    The two pollsters also seem to differ on the way they ask the question. Probe ask which party would you support. Mainstreet does that too but then prompts people on 4 options; PC, NDP, Liberal and Green. As a result, Mainstreet has been recording higher levels of support for the Green Party than Probe, who tend to group support for the Green Party under 'Other'. Mainstreet does not prompt on the Manitoba Party, who currently have twice as many candidates announced as the Greens. So there is an inconsistency between Probe and Mainstreet as well as an inconsistency in Mainstreet's approach to minor parties.

    1. Mainstreet weighs the sample, so having more outside of Winnipeg should not have an impact on the overall result. Though it doesn't say so in their methodology, you can see that this must be the case by looking at the results at the regional level, and the proportions that would need to apply to get them to equal the national numbers.

      And you are comparing apples to oranges in terms of Mainstreet and Probe, since they have only rarely been in the field at similar times. When they have been, (Dec 3-15 for Prove, Jan. 7 for Mainstreet) they had nearly identical results for all parties.

    2. Oh, actually Mainstreet's last poll does say that it weighs by geography.

    3. and when they were (Nov 14 Probe Dec 14 Mainstreet) when the latter had the PCs 5 points higher.

    4. But that poll did not have the Greens as an option, which makes it difficult to compare the results (also they were over a month apart).

    5. The Greens option would not have made that much difference. The two polls you used were also a month apart.

    6. That is really my point. Pollsters use varying methods so to some degree one is always having to compare apples with oranges.

    7. Greg,

      Mainstreet was spot on for the Whitby-Oshawa by-election. I think their record is more than able to speak for itself.

  3. On your graphic for the SK numbers, when I click decided/leaning, the parties are shown as NDP 56%, PC, Liberal...I think the 56% is for SK party.

    1. Yes, I know - but that is Mainstreet's graphic. I just embedded their code.

  4. And Forum has a poll out in today's Toronto Star that says the Liberals would take 70% of the seats if an election was held right now !!

    1. With a huge lead like theirs and a FPTP electoral system, that's not at all surprising.

      Why act like it is?

  5. The breakdown in vote % was...

    LPC 49%
    CPC 32%
    NDP 10%
    Greens 5%
    Bloc 3%

    So the Liberals should be dancing in the streets about eating the NDP's lunch. Forum's seat projection showed the Dippers with only six seats. I think the CPC were down into the eighties and May would win her seat. Bloc were shut out.

    Surely Mulcair is gone with numbers like this appearing and the NDP need to be pushing the panic button. It will be interesting to see the race to replace him, someone like Cullen could represent the moderate and populist left wing vision, while others could be running for a more radical position.

    The other three parties seem to be roughly where they were in the election, nothing to be happy about but nothing to panic about either, especially since the CPC and Bloc don't have full time leaders. The poll also showed some hesitation about the size of the deficits the Liberals intend to run so maybe that gives the CPC some room to grow one the budget comes out.

  6. I have to wonder just how Mulcair thinks he can remain after the disasters he has wrought ??

    1. I have been writing since the election that Mulcair must resign-these numbers while the most dramatic so far, really are only one chapter of a much longer narrative showing declining NDP support in English Canada for a generation or more. Progressives-it is time for the Green Party!

    2. Nah Cap. Progressives have moved to the Liberals. It's over for the NDP !!

    3. Trudeau is doing all in his power to disillusion those progressives with his bellicose actions in Syria-Iraq. He promised to remove troops now he's doubling down. Trudeau and the Liberals are small "c" conservatives not liberals and certainly not progressive unless kowtowing to Bay Street counts as being "progressive". They have been a conservative party at least since Laurier who campaigned for free trade and the business class. Multi-millionaire Justin is doing the same once again-cozying up to the business community with a low-dollar policy, a tax policy that benefits the wealthiest and a constitutional reform policies that keep an appointed Senate and disallows a vote on electoral reform-He's acting more like George III than anything close to resembling a progressive -Hopefully when Bernie becomes President he'll invade Toronto and clean house.

      It is over for the NDP though for a long time or until they get a new leader. Dippers will probably take another 6-12 months to clue into this fact.

    4. Trudeau didn't promise to remove troops from Syria-Iraq. He promised to stop bombing.

      Our allies seem pretty happy with his actions on that front, so far.

    5. Ira,

      The allies ae not pleased with our Canadian wavering-they're being polite. Behind closed doors the word is unreliable.

      As Peter mentions a whipped vote on euthanasia- that is not progressive, far from it. On a matter of conscience Trudeau's heavy handedness is shocking! What happened to the new politcs he promised with a different tone? Sunny ways I thought not obey Ceaser! Trudeau is more secretive and possessive than Harper-Just like his Dad! No wonder Ambrose's best PM numbers keep rising. The Bigger they are the harder they fall so they say-young Trudeau's fall promises to be quite spectacular.

    6. Our military lacks direction.

      I would suggest remaking the whole thing as a fast-response special ops unit writ large. We're never going to war by ourselves, so build a fighting force which can offer maximum benefit within an allied coalition.

      Basically make the whole armed forces JTF-2.

    7. That doesn't really make a lot of sense. First of all, training a force of the calibre of the SAS or JTF-2 is hugely expensive and time consuming. Secondly, a country like Canada doesn't need a 100,000 strong special forces. Thirdly, at times we require lesser skilled forces such as for disaster relief or to keep Vancouverites in line during the Stanley Cup Finals. Finally, some members of the forces; especially the navy and air force have little use for special forces on a daily basis and we already have specially trained units in both services.

      The word really is unreliable. We promised something and now we're breaking our word-the change of government helps explains this
      super faciem suam helps explains our change of heart but does not excuse it.

      Our military lacks direction because of the new government-the last one promised to invest and had done so through a number of procurement projects that are well known. They restored the military traditions and titles and carried our burden. This government appears to scrimp and save at every corner yet, still run deficits 2-3 times what they promised. Trudeau is out of his league-he's a drama teacher not a scholar this becomes more apparent with every passing day. He's good at acting so he fools many.

  7. And a Whipped Vote on Assisted Death?? How can they even contemplate that ??


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