By all accounts, the November, 2013 byelection in the southwestern Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris should never have been as close as it was. And yet, there was a punk rocker who’d spent a good chunk of his life in Toronto leading late in some polls in a riding where the Conservatives had been absolutely dominant for decades. In the end, Conservative Larry Maguire won with 44.16% of the vote compared to Liberal Rolf Dinsdale’s 42.75%.
Brian Gallant’s New Brunswick Liberal Party held a commanding lead over incumbent Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward as the province’s 38th general election opened, the first public domain poll of the campaign concludes.
Earlier this year, during the Quebec provincial election, two internal party polls were released to the media. They were widely reported on as much for their contents as they were for the selective nature of the data released and the motives for releasing the poll. Both internal polls were released by parties that were trailing in several media-sponsored public domain polls. The incumbent Parti Quebecois would be thumped at the polls on election day by Philippe Couillard’s Liberals while the third party Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) pretty much ended up where it started — well back in third.
Every media-sponsored public domain poll showed a steady march during the campaign of increasing voter support for the Liberals and a steady drop by the PQ.
The only late campaign poll to show that the PQ was leading was one the PQ itself released. The CAQ released its internal poll showing that it was closer to the leaders than public domain polls.
It was clear in both cases that the motive for both the PQ and CAQ to release what turned out to be over-optimistic (to put it politely) polls was to boost the morale of campaigns that, at the time of the release of these polls, was flagging. Successful campaigns need volunteers and money and both of those can be harder to come by if polls are showing a campaign is blowing up, as the PQ campaign, as it turned out, was. (Eric Grenier of 308.com does a nice job on the Quebec issue here.)
Our friends at Abacus Data are out with an interesting poll that takes a look at how Canadians feel about the economy and about the ability of federal political parties to manage current and future economic challenges. Bottom line, as I report in our papers today:
Abacus Data is Sun News Network’s polling partner and David Coletto is Abacus’ CEO. Tonight, on Battleground on Sun News Network, Coletto and I take a look at the work the only polling firm active in the recent by-elections did. That firm was Forum, whose polls we’ve reported on from time to time.
While Forum polls seemed to be pretty close to getting the vote right in Bourassa and Toronto Centre, it wildly over-estimated the Liberal vote in Brandon Souris and seriously over-estimated the Conservative vote in Provencher. For serious number crunchers, Eric Grenier goes over this at his site –– but here, Coletto and I wonder – could these polls have had an effect on the results?
A running tally of the polls published in the B.C. election campaign (the writ dropped on April 16), arranged here, with the most recent on top. In every poll, Adrian Dix and the NDP lead with Christy Clark and the Liberals in second. The biggest gap of 22 points between the two was found by Justason in a poll published April 29. The smallest gap was 2 points in poll published May 9 by Forum.
There have been a host of polls out recently that have examined shifting voter preferences in light of the recent election of Justin Trudeau as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. While specific numbers have varied from poll to poll, a common theme to emerge is that Trudeau’s arrival on the scene is very bad for the NDP and that the Conservatives will laugh their way to a majority with this split on the left.
The way I read it from one recent poll, if an election were held today, Harper would lead minority government with a strengthened NDP Official Opposition and a slightly strengthened third party led by Trudeau. I come to that conclusion using numbers from Election Canada in the second column below and then doing my own calcluations for the third column below using some data provided by a recent Ekos against Elections Canada numbers. Continue reading Fluid voter loyalty: Who benefits? The NDP!