NDP maintains strong lead

| Filed under: National

NDP maintains strong lead

Liberals tied with Conservatives in second

TORONTO September 10th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1308 Canadian voters in the days immediately after the Labour Day weekend, when increased attention is paid to the federal election campaign, the NDP maintains its lead of well more than a third of voters (36% this week and last), while the Liberals (29%) and Conservatives (28%) are tied in second place. Very few will vote Green or Bloc Quebecois (3% each) or for other parties (1%). These findings represent a rebound for the Conservatives from last week (24%) and the week before (23%). In the same time frame, the Liberals have lost vote share (from 32% last week).

NDP lead in Quebec, Ontario and BC; tied in prairies

In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals have regained their dominance (53%) while the NDP is in second (26%) and the Conservatives lag (18%). In Quebec, the NDP lead (45%), the Conservatives and Liberals are tied (22% and 21%, respectively) and the Bloc lags (10%). In the crucial battleground of Ontario, the NDP has a slight lead (34%) over the Conservatives and Liberals (31% each). In the prairies, the Conservatives (35%) and the NDP (34%) are tied, and the Liberals lag (27%). In Fortress Alberta, the federal Conservatives still lead (43%) and the NDP (28%) and Liberals (25%) vie for second place. The NDP leads comfortably in BC (37%) while the Conservatives (28%) and Liberals (27%) are tied.

Each perty’s voters in flux

Each party stands to lose between a quarter and a third of its 2011 vote, as one sixth of past Conservative voters will support the Liberals this time (16%) and one tenth will support the NDP (12%). In turn, one fifth of 2011 Liberals are voting NDP this time (20%) and one sixth of past New Democrats will vote Liberal this time (15%). Very few voters will switch to the Conservative Party.

Conservative support is firmest

Seven-in-ten Conservative voters say they are strong party supporters (70%), whereas just more than half of Liberals (55%) and New Democrats (56%) say ithis

Gender imbalance in both Conservative and Liberal vote

Males are more likely to vote Conservative (32%) than are females (25%), whereas the opposite applies to Liberals (31% female, 26% male). There is little imbalance in the NDP vote. The Conservative vote is common to older males, the Liberal vote is characteristic of mid aged females and the NDP vote is common to the youngest in the lowest income brackets.

NDP minority government in the cards

If these results are projected up to seats in the newly allocated 338 seat House, the NDP would take a minority of 139 seats, 31 fewer than required for a majority. The Conservatives would capture 113 seats, the Liberals 85, the Greens would seat their leader and no other party would be represented.

NDP expected to win

In this predictive measure, one third of voters expect the NDP to win the election (33%) and this is just fewer then the proportion who will vote for them. In turn, about one quarter expect the Conservatives (26%) or Liberals (24%) to be triumphant.

Mulcair seen as best Prime Minister

Tom Mulcair is seen to make the best Prime Minister (31%), but Stephen Harper has recovered ground on this measure and is not far behind (25%). Justin Trudeau lags (22%).

Leader approvals stable

Tom Mulcair has the approval of half the voters (48%) and his net favourable rating (approve minus disapprove) is a very positive +19. Justin Trudeau’s approval is just lower (45%) and his net is a respectable +9. Stephen Harper continues to have the approval of about 3-in-10 voters (29%, and his net score is a very negative -36. These findings have not changed significantly since last week.

Conservative, NDP majorities are desired outcomes

One fifth of voters would like to see either a Conservative or an NDP majority (20% each), while just fewer would like to see an NDP-Liberal coalition (15%) or a Liberal majority (14%). Half these proportions will entertain Conservative or NDP minorities (8% each) or a Liberal minority (7%).

After a surge of enthusiasm for the two opposition parties last week, and a bad week for the government, it appears voters are reconsidering their options. It may be that underlying opposition to accepting Syrian refugees has led to increased support for the Conservatives. This is a very volatile electorate, as we have seen, and there is more than a normal election’s worth of campaigning left to go, so any number of things could happen," 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.