Federal NDP maintains lead

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Thomas Mulcair by Laurel L. Russwurm is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Licence.

Federal NDP maintains lead

NDP minority seen

TORONTO July 21st, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1208 Canadian voters, more than a third will vote NDP if the next federal election were held today (34%), while the Liberals (29%) and the Conservatives (28%) tie for second place. Few will vote Green (4%), Bloc Quebecois (5%) or for any other party (1%).

These results represent stability since last week’s poll (July 14, NDP - 34%, Liberals and Conservatives - 27% each). In Atlantic Canada, the Liberal stronghold, they lead (46%) and the NDP are second (29%) and the Conservatives third (25%). In Quebec, the NDP lead (38%) and the Liberals (19%), Conservatives (20%) and Bloc are tied up behind (20%). In battleground Ontario, The three parties are tied (Liberals - 33%, NDP and Conservatives - 31% each). The Conservatives dominate in Alberta (42%) while the NDP is second (32%). In BC, the NDP are dominant (43%) compared to the Conservatives (27%) and Liberals (23%).

Among those who think Canada has entered a recession, most will vote NDP (41%), while about half this proportion will vote for the Conservatives (18%) and just fewer for the Liberals (31%).

Fully one half of those who are voting for a different party this time than in 2011 will vote NDP (49%), while fewer will vote Liberal (31%) and very few will vote Conservative (11%).

Few pick Conservatives as second choice party

Just one sixth say they would vote for the Conservatives as their second choice (15%), while more than this will vote NDP (25%) or Liberal (23%) as their second choice. Conservatives are most likely to pick the Liberals as their second choice party (24%) rather than the NDP (21%). Liberals are overwhelmingly likely to pick the NDP second (54%) and the reverse is the case for the NDP (47% would vote Liberal second). Thus, the ceiling for the NDP vote is a total of 6-in-10 votes (59%), while the ceiling for the Liberal vote is one half (52%). The most votes the Conservatives could win would be 4-in-10 or so (43%).

NDP minority government if vote held today

If the election were held today, these results, projected up to a 338 seat house of commons, would yield an NDP minority government of 134 seats, 36 fewer than required for a majority. The Conservatives would claim 121 seat, the Liberals 78, the Bloc would seat four members and the Green Party would retain the leader’s seat.

Leader approvals steady

Stephen Harper has the approval of 3-in-10 voters (31%), up slightly from last week (27%) and his net favourable rating continues to be a very negative -31 (-35 last week). Tom Mulcair now enjoys the approval of one half the electorate (50%) and has a very positive net of +26. Justin Trudeau has the approval of close to 4-in-10 (38%) and his net score is a neutral -6 (38% and -3 last week).

Conservatives, NDP tied in expectation of victory

About 3-in-10 voters expect either the Conservatives (30%) or the NDP (29%) to win the next election, followed by the Liberals at one quarter (24%).

Mulcair tops best PM list

Tom Mulcair is seen to make the best Prime Minister by 3-in-10 (29%), compared to about one quarter for Stephen Harper (25%) and a fifth for Justin Trudeau (20%). Close to one fifth of Liberal voters believe Mulcair would make the best PM (17%).

While jobs and growth leads issue list, ethics and transparency close behind

When asked what the most important issue will be in the upcoming election, the plurality, or one quarter, mention jobs and growth (26%). In second place, though, is ethics and transparency in government (17%), followed by pipelines and the environment and keeping taxes low (12% each). It should be noted that, in this exercise, jobs and growth is always seen as the most important issue, and the issue identified as next most important is actually key. In this case, ethics and transparency is an issue which reflects poorly against the incumbent party. Jobs/growth is a key issue for Conservative voters (34%) while less so for Liberals (26%) and New Democrats (23%). Key issues among New Democrat voters are pipelines and the environment (15%), ethics and transparency in government (22%) and time for a change (20%). For Liberals, time for a change (24%) and ethics and transparency are key (17%).

4-in-10 will switch vote from 2011

As many as 4-in-10 voters will support a different party this time than they did in the 2011 federal election (39%), and this is especially the case among those who plan to vote NDP this time (54%), as well as among those voting Liberal now (40%).

"We have entered a period where the status quo is likely to remain static at least until after the summer ends. Voters have changed their minds over the summer, and now see Tom Mulcair as the anti-Harper, rather than Justin Trudeau, who held this position most of last year. Justin was flavour of the month when he was fresh and unknown. Now he’s no longer fresh, and is better known, he has lost some of his lustre. Basically, Tom Mulcair spent his time grinding away in the house, demonstrating commitment and competence, and it paid off, after almost three years. Voters now see him as the most competent leader in the country, and are willing to offer him their vote," 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.