Monday, September 27, 2010

Ipsos Reid: Conservatives Lead by 6, NDP Down

The most recent Ipsos Reid poll was released on Saturday, but regional details only became publicly available today through ThreeHundredEight.com. (The Postmedia writeup on Saturday was seriously deficient: not only did it not give any regional figures, which happens sometimes, but it did not even given the dates of the poll, which is just bad reporting.)

In terms of the Liberal-Conservative horse race, this poll is in line with other recent ones in every region except MB/SK, where the Tories have an even larger lead than usual. In particular, the poll shows a dead heat in Ontario, like the recent poll average, but unlike the previous Ipsos poll.

The main action in this poll is for the smaller parties: the Bloc gains 5 points in Québec and is at 44%, while the NDP drops to 12% nationally. That puts them in a tie with the Greens, and the NDP trails the Greens in both Ontario and Québec. The 11% in Ontario is especially worrisome for Layton.

The new projection gives:

CON - 132
LIB - 93
BQ - 50
NDP - 33

The Tories, after a brief small dip earlier this month (and a brief small bump early in the summer), are now back to the low 130s, where they have been since recovering from the prorogation flap in early March. The Liberal gains over the summer have therefore mainly come at the expense of the Bloc and the NDP. While the Bloc is still in a strong position, the NDP is now at its lowest projection in 11 months.

The Dippers' popular vote projection is a measly 14.6%, compared to 18.2% in 2008 (37 seats) and 17.5% in 2006 (29 seats). The main reason why they are still at 33 seats is that their vote share is holding up in MB/SK and BC relative to their main competitors there, the Conservatives. Indeed, the NDP is projected to lose roughly a third of its seats in Ontario, with more on the line if the Liberals strengthen further. Within Ontario, the NDP's vote also got way more efficient between 2006 (12 seats with 19.4%) and 2008 (17 seats with 18.2%) - our electoral system encourages smaller parties to build small pockets of support, and that seems to be what the NDP has been doing.

The average Tory national lead is up to 3.9%.

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