Sunday, May 1, 2011

Abacus: Tories by 5

Abacus has released its final poll of the campaign, and it largely agrees with recent polling averages. Still, there are some differences:

- The Liberal collapse is especially apparent across the West: they score less than 10% west of Ontario, and no higher than the Greens in Alberta and BC.

- The Tories have a strong 16% lead in Ontario, which would provide them with a majority, except...

- The NDP catches up with the Conservatives in BC, where it's 40-40.

No changes in the aggregate projection result from this poll; things appear to have stabilized:

CON - 152 151
NDP - 93 94
LIB - 49
BQ - 14

The average national Conservative lead is also stable, at 7.6%. Still at least two three national polls (Harris-Decima is reportedly going to have one, and of course EKOS and Nanos are coming), and possibly several more to go today.


willge said...

Hmm...seems pollsters are having a little bit of difficulty pinning down the numbers for Ontario and BC.

Election Watcher said...

BC actually isn't too bad: Tories lead NDP by 9 +/- 4 in almost all polls. This one is a bit different, but totally reasonable given the small BC sample.

Ontario, on the other hand, is a black hole. The Tory lead is anywhere from -1 (Harris-Decima) to 19 (Ipsos). Even if you exclude those two, it goes from 5 to 16. That's the difference from "not even close to a majority" to "70% chance of a majority".

The two biggest questions remain what the Ontario numbers are, and how votes translate into seats in Québec, where polling has actually been remarkably consistent. We may get a better sense of the former with the remaining polls, but the latter will only be answered on election night.

Anonymous said...

Living in BC, I simple don't believe that the polls who have the NDP and the Tories running very close or neck and neck reflect reality. There is a strong memory still of the days of Ujjal Dosanjh as premier and what he did to this province.

When polling is done there are certain groups of people who simple don't do polls. They tend to be wary of them. Often they are older and more wealthy. They tend to be conservative.

There is also no great love for the Liberals here, thanks to Gordon Campbell. I think the conservatives will probably sweep this province.

willge said...

I'm a little confused with how the rolling poll works. The sample size (nationally) was 1,068 or something. That means 1,068 were polled over the three days I assume? Doesn't that mean that 1-day capture would have a relatively small sample size?

Anonymous said...

Abacus' poll for BC is based on about 100 people. The margin of error is so high that it is not by itself an accurate portrayal of anything. Caution suggests that at most one might aggregate its findings with those of several others and get a clearer picture.

Election Watcher said...

Anon 10:27: Well, I don't think it's Dosanjh as much as the preceding NDP premiers that were the problem and are unpopular. In the mind of some voters, BC Libs may be seen as closer to federal Conservatives, especially given the HST. So I doubt the Tories will actually "sweep" BC.

willge: Yes, that's how the Nanos polls work.

Anon 10:29: Exactly. That's why my projection didn't budge.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to hear or meet anyone who connects to hated HST to the Tories. Most seem to feel that they were swept into it unwittingly due to Campbell. At any rate the HST thing has died down to large extent.

Anonymous said...

Having said that......I sometimes muse about what the party internal polling must show. My intuition tells me that Harper went to Kings-Hants yesterday evening not just to tweak Scott Brison's nose, but because the Conservatives must have polling that that traditionally Conservative riding may well be more in play than others suggest. Ditto for his umpteenth trip to PEI, with a rally that he just finished outside of Charlottetown this morning. Everyone else is projecting 3 Liberals to 1 Tory in PEI. Yet why go there?
And his decision (echoed by Layton now) not to take any questions from reporters today suggests that they think things are just fine (or as good as they are going to get???) as is and don't want another gotcha moment to rock the boat.

Election Watcher said...

Fair enough about the HST. But still, BC Libs are the Right in BC, so I think the Campbell experience may help the NDP more than the Tories.

I'm not sure that Harper not taking any questions is because the Tories think they have a majority. Rather, at this point, there's almost no upside anymore at taking a question, but a downside remains if he says something stupid.

Skoblin said...

Re: BC and Ontario numbers.

Despite the high regional/provincial MOE for Abacus' numbers in BC and Ontario, Abacus' numbers are almost identical to Angus-Reid's which also done at the same time and relased two days ago.

Skoblin said...

Forum Poll

Election Watcher said...

Yes, was already crunching numbers, and the projection is now updated. Post coming soon.

ajbeecroft said...

Wondering if there's a typo in the Hill Times article on the Forum poll:
CPC 16
LPC 13
NDP 33
BQ 21

That equals 83%, much lower than their vote totals. Also hard to see how the NDP could be at 33 nationally, and only at 33 in Quebec, when they're lower than that in ON and AB.

ajbeecroft said...

Correction: much lower than their vote totals in other provinces.

Election Watcher said...

ajbeecroft: Glad we agree. See my writeup of the Forum poll.

Ian said...

Anonymous 10:45 mentions party internal polling.

I've been wondering, what kind of polling methods do the parties use, and why would they have more confidence in those methods than the ones used in the polls we get to read about?

It can't be some kind of obviously superior method can it? Otherwise, everyone would be using it.

But I often hear reference to the parties' internal polling that implies that it's superior. Can anyone explain this to me? Thanks

willge said...

I've always been under the impression that internal polling is often closely guarded by the parties with the exception being the Greens who released their internal poll for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

ajbeecroft said...

@Election Watch: Should have hit refresh on your main site before posting! Anyway, I wrote to the author of the Hill Times article, so we'll see if there's any clarification.
Strange world we're in when it seems suspicious that the NDP only has 33% support in Quebec.

Anonymous said...

lots of these polls seem to be wishlists for the pollster. How can 2 polls have such differences supposidely within 2 % points. If I had a retarded child I thinl a pollster would be the job.