Saturday, February 26, 2011

Angus Reid: Tories Lead by 13

Angus Reid has released a huge poll of over 6,000 respondents, and it confirms the double-digit Conservative lead observed by five other polling firms recently. This poll's field work coincided in large part with the field work of the most recent EKOS poll. The latter is most probably an outlier, as it is the only recent one showing a modest Tory lead.

With a poll of this size, one would expect the results to approximate recent polling averages. That is indeed the case for BC, AB and QC. In Ontario, the results also correspond to recent averages within the margin of error, but they are on the favourable side for the Tories (13% lead). In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Tories are significantly higher than suggested by most other recent polls, but the seat impact of this is minimal.

The most interesting numbers in this poll are from Atlantic Canada, where the size of the sample allows Angus Reid to break the results down by province. The main lesson, which is very useful for projections, is that the effect of the ABC campaign in Newfoundland and Labrador has vanished. Thus, the moderate shift to the Tories in Atlantic Canada since 2008 is actually a big shift in NL and a small one elsewhere.

Incorporating this new information into my projection brings the Liberals back to their worst moments in the fall of 2009:

CON - 149
LIB - 72
BQ - 53
NDP - 34

The Tory average national lead increases to 11.6%.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Abacus: Tories Lead by 15

The latest Abacus poll contradicts the EKOS poll, and suggested that the Tories have in fact maintained their double-digit lead over the Liberals, or have actually regained it after losing it momentarily. (Abacus conducted its polling on 2/23, while EKOS polled on 2/10-22.) The Tory-Grit gaps in these two polls, 5.1% and 15%, are statistically different from each other, so now we really need another pollster to weigh in.

The biggest disagreement between the two polls is in Ontario, where Abacus has the Tories leading by 10%, while EKOS had the Grits marginally ahead. (Well, strictly speaking, the difference in Alberta was even larger, but who cares.) Abacus also showed strong NDP numbers, but this is in line with its previous polls. Typically, internet pollsters like Abacus and Angus Reid appear to show higher NDP numbers than phone pollsters - perhaps some less lazy person could crunch the numbers on this.

The seat projection remains almost unchanged - the Tories need another push in Ontario to get into majority territory:

CON - 146
LIB - 75
BQ - 53
NDP - 34

The weighted average Tory lead is 10.9%.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

EKOS: Tory Lead Shrinks to 5.1

The latest EKOS poll has the Tories ahead by just 5.1%, compared to 12.5% in the previous poll. This change is statistically significant, though it would still be prudent to wait for some confirmation before stating that the Conservative lead has been drastically cut. Importantly, this poll shows the two major parties even again in Ontario.

The model is not yet too impressed with this apparent shift, removing just 2 seats from the Tories:

CON - 147
LIB - 75
BQ - 53
NDP - 33

However, the average Tory national lead does shrink noticeably, and is now 10.1%.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nanos: Tories Lead by 13.1

Nanos has just released a poll conducted not this past weekend, but during the one before. This is the fourth poll in a row showing a double-digit Tory lead nationally, so it's pretty safe to say that we have indeed seen real movement over the past few weeks. The NDP can also celebrate a nice 23.4% in Ontario, but its Western numbers are very weak. The only silver lining for the Grits is a respectable 24.4% in Québec, but even that is barely more than their 2008 result.

No big changes in the seat projection, but the Tories inch closer to a majority:

CON - 149
LIB - 74
BQ - 53
NDP - 32

The average popular vote lead for the Tories is 11.5%, just above their margin of victory in 2008.

For the Tories, the easiest ways to get the last 6 seats needed for a majority are by winning Liberal seats in Ontario and NDP seats in BC. What many thought impossible for a long time must now be considered: a majority government with virtually no Québec representation, and no seats whatsoever in Greater Montréal, which contains roughly as many people as Alberta. Even the Liberals had two Alberta seats when they were in government!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ipsos, Harris-Decima: Tories Lead by Double Digits

A couple of disastrous polls for the Liberals this week: Ipsos and Harris-Decima. Both have the Tories ahead in Atlantic Canada (interpret with caution due to small samples), and both have the Tories ahead by 9-10 points in Ontario, more than their margin in the 2008 election.

Adding these polls and a Léger provincial poll to the projection basis makes the Tory gain no fewer than 10 seats!

CON - 148
LIB - 75
BQ - 53
NDP - 32

The weighted average Tory national lead also jumps to 10.7%, just a whisker less than their margin of victory in 2008. Note that because Tory support has become more efficient, their projected seat count is actually higher than in 2008.

This is the best projection for the Tories since October 2009 and the worst for the Liberals since December 2009. In 2009, we learned that Canadians flock to the Tories when the Liberal leader threatens an election. Now, we learn that the same happens when the media believes an election is imminent...

Friday, February 11, 2011

EKOS: Tories Lead by 12.5

This week's EKOS is good news for the Tories and atrocious news for the Grits: the Conservatives lead by 11.2% in Ontario, and are almost 4% ahead of the Liberals in Québec. The results elsewhere are actually par for the course for the two main parties, though the NDP gets low numbers across the board.

Adding this poll to the mix does not change the seat projection by much:

CON - 138
LIB - 84
BQ - 53
NDP - 33

However, the average Tory national lead jumps to 8.9%. Note that taking this poll alone would put the Tories on the cusp of a majority.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ipsos: Tories Lead by 5

One poll this week: Ipsos Reid confirming the polling consensus everywhere except in Ontario, where it puts the Liberals in front by 4 points. This pulls the Tory national lead down to 5 points. Ipsos also has the federalist vote split almost equally four ways in Québec, though of course the Green 12% is suspiciously high.

There has been some seat swapping, but the aggregate seat projection is unchanged:

CON - 137
LIB - 86
BQ - 52
NDP - 33

However, the Conservatives' average popular vote lead drops to 7.3%.