NDP leads in first post-writ poll

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NDP leads in first post-writ poll

New Democrats headed for solid minority

TORONTO August 2nd, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1399 Canadian voters immediately after the 42nd Canadian general election was called, as many as 4-in-10 will vote NDP in the coming election (39%) and this represents a sharp increase from last week (June 28 - 33%), while fewer than 3-in-10 will vote Conservative (28%), well down from last week (June 28 - 33%). The Liberals attract the votes of one quarter (25%) and this is unchanged from before the writ. Few will vote Bloc Quebecois (5%), Green (3%) or for any other party (1%).

NDP lead in Atlantic, Quebec and BC, tied in Ontario

In Ontario, The NDP and the Conservatives are tied (37% and 35% respectively), while the Liberals trail (24%). In Quebec, the NDP (38%) have a solid lead over the Liberals (23%), while the Bloc and Conservatives trail (19% and 17%, respectively). In the former Liberal fortress of Atlantic Canada, the NDP have almost half the vote (45%), while the Liberals are in solid second (38%). In the prairies, The NDP (37%) and the Conservatives (35%) are tied, and the Liberals trail (24%). In Alberta, the Conservatives dominate (42%), but the NDP are close in second (34%) with the Liberals third (21%). In BC, close to half will vote New Democrat (44%), and the Liberals (26%) and Conservatives (24%) are tied for second.

Conservatives suffer gender gap

There is a distinct gender gap in the Conservative vote, which attracts more than a third of males (34%), but fewer than a quarter of females (22%). In contrast, the gap works the other way for the NDP (males - 35%, females - 42%) and the Liberals (males - 23%, females - 27%). Support for the Conservatives is highest among the least educated (34%) and lowest among the most educated (19%), while the opposite applies with the NDP (35% and 45%, respectively). NDP support is high among the youngest (under 35 - 41%, 35 to 44 - 42%), females (42%) and the mid income cohort ($60K to $80K - 45%). Conservatives are supported by those in mid age groups (45 to 54 - 30%) and higher income groups ($80K to $100K - 31%). Liberals attract the votes of the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 32%) and the best educated (28%).

3-in-10 Liberals from 2011 voting NDP this time

Three-in-ten past Liberal voters will vote for the NDP this time around (30%), while 1-in-6 past Conservatives will as well (15%). Very few past Liberals or Past New Democrats will vote Conservative (7% and 5%, respectively).

NDP headed for strong minority

If these results are projected up to a 338 seat house, the NDP would capture 160 seats, 10 short of a majority, while the Conservatives would take 118. The Liberals would settle for 58 seats, the Green’s for their leader’s seat and the Bloc for one seat.

Conservatives most committed voters

Seven-in-ten Conservative voters say they are strong supporters of their party (70%), while 6-in-10 Liberals (60%) and New Democrats (56%) say this.

Harper favourables down, Trudeau’s up, Mulcair stable

The Prime Minister has seen his approval rating slip from a third last week (32%) to less than that now (29%) and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) has declined from a very negative -27 to an even worse -33. Justin Trudeau has seen his approval increase slightly from about one third (35%) to close to 4-in-10 now (39%). His net score is a more neutral -4 than last week’s -12. Tom Mulcair’s approval is stable at one half (48%) and his net favourable is a very positive +20.

NDP and Conservatives tied in expectations of victory

Equal proportions, just less than a third each, think the Conservatives or the NDP will win this election (31% each), but few hold out hope for the Liberals (18%). About one sixth of Liberals expect either the NDP (15%) or the Conservatives (13%) to win, while about one tenth of New Democrats expect the Conservatives to win (12%). Few Conservatives expect the other two parties to win. Only about one half of Liberals expect their own party to be victorious (55%).

Mulcair is clearly preferred for Prime Minister

After tying with the Stephen Harper on this measure recently, the Leader of the Opposition is now clearly seen to make the best Prime Minister (31%), compared to the current incumbent (24%) and Justin Trudeau (22%).

More than a quarter will be voting strategically

More than one quarter of voters say they will vote for a party they think can defeat the government (28%), as opposed to a party they believe in (61%). Among Conservative voters, the vast majority are true believers (83%), but among Liberals and New Democrats, sizeable minorities are holding their nose as they vote (37% and 39%, respectively).

Majority are worse off now than in 2011

One half of voters say they are not better off now than they were in 2011 (51%), while just one third agree they are better off (34%).  One sixth don’t venture an opinion (15%). Being worse off now is common to boomers (55 to 64 - 60%), the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 59%), in Atlantic Canada (62%), among Liberals and New Democrats (57% and 64%, respectively) but not among Conservatives (23%).

"It’s said a pending execution focuses the mind, and the same goes for a pending election. Voters have been teased for weeks by advertising that looks like a campaign and quacks like a campaign, yet isn’t a campaign. Now the government has released the hounds, as it were, people are deciding they like the place they’ve parked their vote recently, and are coming off the fence and ending up with the NDP for now. However, no one alive has seen an 11 week campaign. Much can happen in that time, because campaigns, and their errors, forced and unforced, do make a difference," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.