Thursday, March 10, 2011

Angus Reid: Tories Lead by 16; EKOS: No, It's 7.4

After a week without new polls, we got two today. First, Angus Reid released a survey showing not so much the Tories soaring, but the Grits tanking - to 23%. Despite the ghastly headline, the Liberals are actually doing OK in Québec, also with 23%, compared to a weak 34% by the Bloc. In Atlantic Canada, all parties are below 30% due to a mysterious 20% going for 'Other'. Even with very small Atlantic sample sizes, this is a freak number: random variation has a very small chance of explaining it...

For the Tories, this is a great poll across the board (except in Atlantic Canada): 41% in Ontario, 45% in BC, and even stronger results than usual across the Prairies. They even got 22% in Québec despite refusing to fund the new arena in Quebec City (the poll was conducted March 8-9).

As for the NDP, the 19% in Ontario is good, but their numbers out West are dismal: they would be down to around 6 seats from 15 in the previous election.

Later in the day, EKOS released its bi-weekly poll, which appears to tell a very different story on the surface. However, a good chunk of the difference in headline numbers comes from the Tories not quite having as eye-popping numbers out West as in the Angus Reid poll - this does not have big seat implications.

In all important Ontario, the two polls are consistent with each other: Angus Reid shows a 12% Conservative-Liberal gap, while EKOS shows 7%. Moreover, the two polls agree that the NDP is doing poorly in the West, and that the Bloc has dropped from around 40% to the mid-thirties. The most surprising finding of this poll is a 9% Liberal lead in Atlantic Canada, which differs from what all February polls have shown. Of course, due to small sample size, this remains to be confirmed.

The new projection reflects the weak latest numbers for the Bloc and the NDP. Even as the Liberals bounce back a little, the Tories inch closer to a majority:

CON - 152
LIB - 74
BQ - 51
NDP - 31

The average Conservative national lead is up slightly, to 11.9%.

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