Thursday, April 21, 2011

EKOS Update: Tories by 9.7, Liberals and NDP Tied, NDP by 4.2 in Québec

The latest EKOS poll, which is updated with one more day of data relative to what was available this morning, shows the Tories below 35%, with the Grits and Dippers exactly tied.

The good news for the Liberals is that they're just 4.1% behind the Conservatives in Ontario; the bad news is that they're doing poorly everywhere else, especially in Québec with 15.5%. For the Tories, this poll is pretty average in the East, but weak in the West: just mid 30s in MB/SK and BC, and "only" slightly over 50% in Alberta.

For the NDP, this survey is almost all good. The only area where they dropped relative to the EKOS poll from three days ago is BC, but the Tories lost an equal amount. They are statistically tied with the Conservatives in MB/SK, though that's probably due to the small sample. They are up in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, though only back to around their 2008 support levels. And, of course, the biggie is that they're leading in Québec.

Adding this poll to the projection mix makes the NDP gain a Conservative seat in Saskatchewan, while the Bloc takes one back from the Liberals:

CON - 148
LIB - 75
BQ - 45
NDP - 39
IND - 1

The Conservative national lead is back to 11.5%.

Now, since this is the first national poll with both a Liberal-NDP tie and an NDP lead in Québec, I know that many of you must be curious what parliament would look like if these results are borne out on Election Day. (Or even if you aren't, I was!) Here's what I get:

CON 135, LIB 76, NDP 64, BQ 32, IND 1

This scenario could well lead to a coalition, as LIB + NDP = 140 > 135 = CON. The Liberals remain slightly ahead of the NDP in the seat count due to their strength in Ontario, but there is real competition for the job of Leader of the Opposition/Coalition. And because EKOS is showing the NDP surge to be mainly outside of Ontario, it actually hurts the Tories more than the Grits. This would totally change if Ontarians move toward the NDP.

In Québec, I get: BQ 32, NDP 19, LIB 12, CON 11, IND 1. The NDP loses the seat count to the Bloc despite leading the popular vote by 4% because that's not quite enough to lead among Francophones, as I explained this morning. However, as I also mentioned, an extra 5% in the NDP-Bloc gap could swing an extra dozen seats to the Dippers. In that case, the Bloc would be on its way to irrelevance, while Layton could become Leader of the Opposition, or even Prime Minister - Prime Minister Layton! - in the event of a coalition. This is of course not likely by any means, but it's a possibility that cannot be dismissed anymore.

This is an exciting time in Canadian politics!

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