Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Harris-Decima: Conservatives Lead by 6 Only; Projection: Back to Conservative Minority

The latest Harris-Decima poll tells the story of a Conservative party that is actually squarely in minority territory. It shows virtual Liberal-Conservative ties in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, much like the polls before the recent flare-up in Tory numbers. Also, this survey suggests three-way race in BC, though I would caution that Harris-Decima often shows lower Tory numbers than other pollsters in BC.

We've had six March polls so far, and while four of them suggest that the Tories are either in or close to majority territory, two instead say that the Conservatives are in familiar minority grounds. Here is the Tory-Grit gap in each of these polls:

EKOS (2/24-3/8, 2892 respondents): 7.4%
Ipsos (3/7-9, 1002): 13%
Angus Reid (3/8-9, 1021): 16%
Léger Marketing (3/7-10, 1494): 13%
Nanos (3/12-15, 1216): 11%
Harris-Decima (3/10-20, 2001): 6%

A similar pattern of EKOS and Harris-Decima showing smaller gaps than other pollsters also emerged in February. Who's right?

In any case, the aggregate projection uses a weighted average of recent polls (9 for this one), and spits out the following:

CON - 152
LIB - 73
BQ - 51
NDP - 32

Not surprisingly, given this latest survey, the Tories are back in minority territory. Their average national lead over the Grits has dropped to 11.4%, the same as in the 2008 election.

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