Liberals open up lead, Conservatives lag
NDP in 3rd nationwide, 1st
October 7th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by
the Forum Poll™ among 1447 Canadian voters two weeks before the October 19
Federal election, more than one third will vote for the Liberals (35%), while
about 3-in-10 will vote Conservative (31%). About one quarter will vote NDP (26%),
and few will vote either Green (3%) or Bloc Quebecois (4%). These findings
represent an eight point jump for the Liberals since last week (September 29,
Liberals - 27%) and a three point drop for the Conservatives (from 34%). The
NDP vote may have shrunk slightly (from 28% on September 29).
Liberals lead in Ontario, Prairies
the Liberal fortress of Atlantic Canada, they are dominant (62%), while in
Quebec, the NDP still holds first place (34%), while the Liberals (24%) and
Conservatives strive for second (23%). The Bloc is third (16%). In Ontario, the
Liberals hold a slight lead (38%), while the Conservatives are close in second
(33%), and the NDP have fallen back (23%) where they once led. The Liberals
lead in the prairies (40%), with the Conservatives second (35%) and the NDP,
once again, trailing (24%). The Conservatives dominate Alberta (52%), the Liberals
have half their vote (26%) and the NDP fewer (19%). The parties are very close
in BC (Liberals - 33%, Conservatives - 30%, NDP - 31%).
Tied parliament seen
these results are projected up to the newly expanded House of Commons, the
Conservatives, despite trailing in the popular vote, will take 122 seats, to an
almost identical 120 seats for the Liberals. The NDP would have the balance of
power with 94 seats and the Greens and Bloc would each take a single seat.
Age/gender gap in Conservative vote, less
so in NDP vote
Conservative vote is especially likely to be male (35%) and the oldest voters
(39%), while the NDP vote is common to the youngest (39%) and females (29%).
The Liberal vote is relatively balanced across age and gender.
One fifth of past Conservatives now
fifth of those who voted Conservative in 2011 will vote Liberal this time
(18%), while one quarter of 2011 New Democrats will also vote Liberal (25%).
One-in-six past Liberals will vote NDP (15%). This represents a shift from previous
polls, where past Liberals voting NDP exceeded those voting the other way. Very
few past Liberals or New Democrats will vote for the Conservatives this time.
Core Conservatives most committed,
switching Liberals and New Democrats less so
to 8-in-10 Conservative voters say they are strong supporters of their party
(78%), but this is only characteristic of about 6-in-10 Liberals (58%) or New
Democrats (60%). This is because many of these voters come from each other’s
3-in-10 says vote could change before
voters have not yet made their choice final (29%) and these are much more
likely to be Liberals (33%) and New Democrats (34%) than Conservatives (14%).
This confirms the remaining core of Conservative voters is a very committed
group, while Liberal and New Democratic voters are open to voting strategically.
4-in-10 Liberals, New Democrats are
total, just more than a quarter of voters say they are voting for “the party
that can defeat the government” (28%), rather than voting for “the party they
believe in” (64%), but this increases to 4-in-10 among Liberals (39%) and New
Liberals, Conservatives equally likely
to be seen as victors
the Liberals and the Conservatives are expected to win the election (35% each)
while the NDP is no longer a contender (15%). While this tends to be a trailing
measure, it may be an indication of potential growth in the Liberal vote.
Trudeau, Harper tied for best PM
Trudeau (28%) and Stephen Harper (27%) are in a tie for best Prime Minister,
but it is interesting that Tom Mulcair, who used to lead this measure, now
scores in third place (22%). This stands in contrast to last week, when Stephen
Harper was seen as best Prime Minister (29%).
Harper’s approvals down, Trudeau’s up
Harper has the approval of 3-in-10 voters (30%), equal to his vote share, and
down slightly from last week (33%). His net favourable score (approve minus
disapprove) is also down, from -28 to -33. Tom Mulcair’s approval is steady
since last week (49%), and his net hasn’t changed either (+15). Justin Trudeau
has seen his approval improve (from 46% to 49%), as has his net favourability
(+7 to +14%).
Niqab issue will influence one fifth of
fifth of voters say the niqab issue will influence their vote (20%), and one
half of these voters say the issue will influence their vote “a great deal”
(11% in total). Claiming this level of engagement in the controversy is
characteristic of the least wealthy (16%), in Quebec (16%), among Conservatives
(17%), Bloquistes (22%), Francophones (16%), moms (14%) and the least educated
(14%). In total, three quarters say the issue will not influence their vote
(73%) and more than half say it will not influence it “at all” (57%).
“While it appears the Conservatives'
niqab ploy has been successful in Quebec, it may be that it has backfired
elsewhere in Canada, especially in the larger cities, and the TPP agreement
hasn’t been a game changer either coupled with what we
see as the undecided vote coalescing around the Liberal flag, this spells
increasing trouble for the New Democrats, who were once seen as the best
antidote to the Conservatives, but are no longer,"
Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and
founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (416) 960-9603.