By Frank Graves
[Ottawa – May 14, 2013] – Trust has become a scarce societal resource. This isn’t a recent problem and the decline of trust has been a steady downward march for the past 40 years in upper North America. Only about one four citizens believe they can trust their federal governments (it either Ottawa or Washington) to do the right thing. Contrary to views that this precipitous decline in trust is caused by specific events (e.g., Watergate, Sponsorship), the evidence shows that there are much bigger cultural forces at play.
[Ottawa – May 13, 2013] – As the British Columbia provincial election draws to a close, we see a considerably narrower race as voters head to the polls. We have created a model of most likely voters and the results are shown below. This model basically removes those who did not vote in the 2009 BC Election, as well as those who did the 2011 federal election, as our research has shown that these individuals tend to continue to not vote. We have also excluded those who could not recall where their polling station is located (for similar reasons).
Based on… [More...]
LIBERALS ENJOY HIGHEST SUPPORT LEVELS SINCE NOVEMBER 2005
[Ottawa – May 8, 2013] – It has been less than a month since Trudeau’s landslide leadership victory and his party has been vaulted into a commanding 12-point lead. At nearly 39 points, the Liberals are within striking distance of a majority government, a feat the party has not achieved in over seven years. The Conservatives, meanwhile, sit at just over 26 per cent while the NDP is holding steady after its nearly 10-point decline since August of last year. The NDP slide almost directly coincides with the appearance of Justin Trudeau and… [More...]
[Ottawa – April 20, 2013] – From Wednesday to Friday of this week, we interviewed a representative sample of some 1,828 English speaking Canadians to gauge reactions to the recent ads about the new leader of the Liberal Party. These ads were introduced by the Conservative Party immediately following his election to leader. Unlike surveys which rely on memories or second hand impressions, the entire sample viewed one of two different ads using digital media. Both ads received very similar responses, and the overall responses are summarized here.
The ads were widely recognized. More than one-third of respondents claimed to… [More...]
IS THE FOREIGN-BORN VOTE SWINGING BACK TO THE LIBERALS?
[Ottawa – April 19, 2013] The two largest demographic forces in Canadian society are aging and immigration. Both of these are profoundly altering the political landscape and both of these forces have been favoured CPC fortunes in recent years. Here we will focus on how immigration is altering political fortunes of different parties and speculate as to how this augurs for the future. We will also look at attitudes to immigration itself, how this is evolving in Canada and how this links to party preference (and other factors).
Canada is a rapidly pluralizing… [More...]
[Ottawa – April 16, 2013] Fidelity isn’t one of the strong points of Canadian voters but Thomas Mulcair seems to be suffering a bit of a loyalty problem with his new party.
A year after assuming the leadership of the NDP and the office of the leader of opposition, he is experiencing significant difficulties. He hasn’t seen anything in the polls which could be termed a disastrous or precipitous fall — but he has seen a slow slide which will become a disaster if it isn’t corrected.
He remains what would have been unimaginable just two years ago: leader of the Official… [More...]
ONTARIO ELECTION UNLIKELY IN NEAR FUTURE
[Ottawa – April 16, 2013] – Back in February, our poll showed that Kathleen Wynne had been successful in breathing new life into the Ontario Liberal Party. The party had elected a new leader and, as is typical in the wake of a widely-covered and highly-energized leadership race, party supporters across the province were ecstatic. The party jumped from the losing end of a three-way tie to enjoying a small but statistically significant lead over the two opposition parties.
Two months later, the Ontario Liberal Party is holding steady. The Progressive Conservative Party (PC), however, has… [More...]
WHAT DOES THE EVIDENCE SAY SO FAR?
[Ottawa – April 14, 2013] A plethora of pundits have offered views on the emergence of Justin Trudeau as the next leader of the Liberal Party. Here we will take a more modest approach and focus on what the public opinion trends are telling us. It is probably safe to say that Mr. Trudeau is causing a buzz in media coverage. The mixture includes the gamut from committed sceptics/critics to fawning acolytes, but it is safe to say that media attention to Mr. Trudeau has risen and that arguably the overall tone has tilted… [More...]
SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?
[Ottawa – April 12, 2013] Despite the fact that there is no imminent election, speculation about the viability of Stephen Harper’s leadership of the Conservative Party is rising. As we near the midterm we will consider what light the trends in public opinion might shine on this question. So in the absence of anyone having asked us the question, and undoubtedly studied indifference to our conclusions on the part the subject of this analysis, we will proceed.
The first part of our analysis will have nothing to do with the fortunes of his two… [More...]
IS BRITISH COLUMBIA BREAKING AWAY FROM ITS TWO-PARTY SYSTEM?
[Ottawa – April 12, 2013] – With barely a month to go until the 40th British Columbia general election, the provincial NDP holds a commanding lead and are well-poised to recapture government after the Liberals’ 12-year reign. Despite their best efforts, the BC Liberals have been unable to improve their fortunes from two months ago and the party is mired at 27 per cent. With no forward momentum and time running out, Christy Clark stands little chance at retaining her status as Premier on May 14.
It is important to note, however… [More...]
A DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE
[Ottawa – April 12, 2013] – It has been more than three years since the erstwhile natural governing party has found itself in a lead of any sort in our polls. So even though it is an utterly insignificant 0.3 per cent lead, and even though the previous time they cracked the top of the charts was a Michael Ignatieff-led, prorogation-swollen lead that ultimately led to electoral disaster, we will allow supporters to savour this accomplishment, however briefly.
When we switch to our “likely voter” model, however, this picayune lead (statistical tie actually) quickly disappears and the Liberals… [More...]
Examining Longer Term Shifts in Values, Social Class, and Societal Outlook
By Frank Graves
Presentation to the School of Public Policy and GovernanceUniversity of Toronto
Click here for Frank Graves’ presentation to the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. The presentation addresses a number of important issues, including the shifting values and priorities of Canadians, the changing outlook on Canada’s middle class and economy, and the perceived health of democracy in Canada.
Left-Right, Forward-Backward (March 21, 2013)
PROGRESSIVE VOTERS SAY EQUALITY, CONSERVATIVES SAY PROSPERITY
[Ottawa – February 26, 2013] – Offering a menu of four choices; equality, diversity, prosperity, and safety, we asked Canadians to choose our greatest achievement over the past twenty years. There was considerable division about what constituted the biggest Canadian success story. Not only was there considerable support for three of the four choices, the first place choice varied according to political party preference and other demographic factors.
Summing across all these divisions the clear winner overall was equality. This is quite interesting in light of the fact that there is mounting evidence that Canada… [More...]
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
[Ottawa – February 26, 2013] The topic of immigration is extremely controversial in Europe and America but typically has been a more muted concern in Canada.
In our previous release, we showed that over the past 15 years, that just as immigration and pluralism had burgeoned to make Canada more ethnically diverse than at any point in its history, attachment to ethnic group had dropped sharply and attachment to country had remained robust and much higher. In other words, as we became more diverse, ethnic identities diminished and national identity remained very strong.
There were broad based fears… [More...]
HOW CANADIANS SEE SOCIETY EVOLVING
[Ottawa – February 21, 2013] – We have recently updated our research on broad social trends in values and ideology. The approach we used was to track the same measures asked of random samples of the Canadian public using exactly the same questions and to then test the direction and significance of any shifts that are occurring. It seemed interesting to compare the results of these repeated measures tests with current public perceptions of the trajectory of those trends. The actual trend lines are more accurately revealed using the tracking methods, but it is more than… [More...]
CONSERVATIVES STILL IN LEAD BUT SOME EVIDENCE OF REGIME FATIGUE
[Ottawa – February 16, 2013] – While there is no horserace of any significance right now, it is useful to take an occasional check-up on how voters are viewing the parties and how this might reflect various factors such as the ongoing Liberal leadership, a darkening long term economic outlook and the day to day travails of the parties.
We also use this large survey as part of ongoing testing of our survey methodologies and to update some very important long term tracking of issues. In this first release we examine the… [More...]
PC SUPPORT LIKELY UNDERSTATED
[Ottawa – February 15, 2013] – Kathleen Wynne’s victory as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party appears to have been well-received by the public and the party now stands at 33 per cent, holding a small lead over the Progressive Conservative Party, who are at 29 points, and the NDP, who elicit the support of 26 per cent of eligible voters. This represents a modest improvement in the Liberal Party’s fortunes from two months ago, when it was sitting on the lower end of a three-way statistical tie with the two opposition parties in… [More...]
BC CONSERVATIVES EMERGE AS CONTENDER FOR UPCOMING ELECTION
[Ottawa – February 14, 2013] – Since their narrow victory in 2009, support for the British Columbia Liberals has fallen precariously and is trailing almost 12 points behind the BC NDP who, at 39 per cent, are within striking distance of a majority government. The reasons for this rather dramatic shift in support are unclear, but factors such as the Harmonized Sales Tax, the deficit, service cuts may be at play.
Further strengthening the NDP’s lead is the demographic composition of their supporters. Unlike their Ontario counterparts who… [More...]
[Ottawa - January 9, 2013] Follow the link below for our complete five-part series titled “Looking Backward, Looking Forward”.
In this series, we examine some of the broad social forces changing our society that have been largely hidden from mainstream discussion or even working in ways opposite to the received wisdom.
Click here for the full report: Looking Backward, Looking Forward - Complete Series (January 9, 2013)
FORCE FIVE: THE NEW POLITICAL MARKETPLACE
[Ottawa - January 5, 2013] Why political technology is widening the gap between the public interest and politics and why citizens seem helpless in dealing with this
Our most recent soundings of democratic health reveal a deeply mistrustful public, perhaps more so than at any time in the past thirty years. Some of this mistrust is rooted in the broad value shifts that we discussed earlier. A less deferential, less respectful of authority, and more sceptical public pose deep challenges to governments. Increasingly, it appears that political parties are attempting to solve these problems not through… [More...]