BY FRANK GRAVES
[Ottawa - September 19, 2014] Twenty-five years ago, Francis Fukuyama penned a seminal essay titled the “End of History?” This essay claimed that liberal capitalism had triumphed. This celebratory conclusion was noted in the dissolution of state socialism and the ascendance of the United States to hyperpower status1 and the provocative notion that the dialectical tensions of history had ended and the riddle of history had been solved in American supremacy. At the end of the century, the ascension of a growing and optimistic middle class in the last half of the twentieth century seemed destined to… [More...]
THE SHIFTING MEANING OF MIDDLE CLASS
By Frank Graves
Presentation to the Queen’s 2014 International Institute on Social Policy
August 19, 2014
Click here for a PDF version of this presentation: From the End of History to the End of Progress (August 19, 2014)
[Ottawa – August 10, 2014] As part of a pretty comprehensive diagnostic poll on a range of current issues, we have conducted an update of the political landscape in Canada. There is nothing particularly remarkable about these results, but put in context with the overall time series which precedes it, and some of the other more probing questions we will be releasing later, this poll really does not augur well for the Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party.
This poll does, however, reinforce the notion that the now profound lead enjoyed by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party is far from a blip… [More...]
A CAUTIONARY TALE
“Kudos needs to go to EKOS Research, the only firm to call two of the three main parties within two percentage points. In terms of the eventual outcome, their poll was probably the most informative, though they had the NDP too low.”
- Éric Grenier, ThreeHundredEight.com
[Ottawa – June 17, 2014] Looking back at the Ontario election, we were very pleased to have predicted not only the victor, but also the majority. Only one other firm made this correct forecast. While we are very happy with the nearness of our final poll to the actual… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 13, 2014] After an exciting month-long campaign, the 41st Ontario general election has come to a close and we at EKOS are pleased that we accurately projected Kathleen Wynne’s majority victory. Indeed, our final poll captured both of the frontrunners to within the margin of error.
We also succeeded in noting the relative stability of the campaign, which is why we were confident in calling a Liberal victory as early as June 5th, noting that Wynne had an excellent shot at a majority government. There was… [More...]
WYNNE LIKELY HEADED FOR MAJORITY
[Ottawa – June 11, 2014] – Wynne has recaptured what was a highly stable, modest lead (37.3 per cent, versus 31.3 for the Progressive Conservatives). The about-to-conclude 41st Ontario general election has been an interesting and closely contested contest. It featured an unusually stark choice between two highly contradictory policy visions – a minimal government, austerity platform which assigns responsibly for growth and prosperity to the private sector and a progressive state model which sees government as both a source of insulation from the fallout of a slow-moving economy and as an agent of stimulus during… [More...]
LIBERALS APPEAR HEADED TO A MAJORITY
[Ottawa – June 11, 2014] – In a very important last-minute development, we see the race re-establishing its stable pattern from the pre-debate period. The Liberals now have a highly statistically significant lead of six points (36.6 per cent to 30.2 per cent) which places them not only in range of victory, but in majority territory. The evidence seems to show that the debate effect has followed a common pattern of dissipating and the electorate have reverted to the positions they held in the first three weeks of the campaign.
IT DOESN’T GET ANY CLOSER THAN THIS
[Ottawa – June 10, 2014] – In what has been a pretty remarkable campaign we have nearly unprecedented murkiness in terms of the final outcome of a neck and neck race. For all intents and purposes, we now see a dead heat in terms of all eligible voters for the third night in a row. Our (slightly) adjusted likely voter model shows a shrinking and small advantage for Wynne’s Liberal party. At this stage, only a heroic guess would yield an estimate as to the victor and we simply don’t see any clear case… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 9, 2014] – In our rolling poll of the last three days, the new normal of the campaign has emerged – a dead heat between Wynne’s Liberals and Hudak’s PCs. In fact, in the 1,331 randomly sample voters that we interviewed, exactly the same proportion picked Hudak as picked Wynne. This sees the Ontario Liberals surrendering a pretty stable roughly five-point advantage they had sustained for most of the campaign. It also sees the surge that we saw on Thursday for Hudak (a seven-point advantage in that day of polling) revert to an exact deadlock. Where things… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 7, 2014] – The Progressive Conservative surge of yesterday appears to have halted and our three-day roll now finds them in a statistically insignificant lead, but trailing on likely voters. More notably, the large single night lead which vaulted them back in to parity in the race does not appear to be continuing. The race is now basically tied and the outcome remains highly uncertain. The very large bump that disrupted the stable Liberal lead appears to have dissipated and, in fact, the Liberals enjoyed a modest lead last night. The net result is a basic tie… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 6, 2014] – In a major shift, the results from our polling today have placed the Progressive Conservatives into a statistically insignificant lead over the Ontario Liberal Party. Although there are some peculiar things in the sample and the effect is largely concentrated in cases sampled today, the results are highly statistically and substantively significant. This very significant surge in support for Tim Hudak’s PC party disrupts what had been a very stable pattern of a modest but significant lead for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Party. While she still has a slight lead with likely voters, she must… [More...]
ONTARIO LIBERAL PARTY SEEMS CHARTED FOR WIN
[Ottawa – June 5, 2014] – There is still a week to go in the campaign and the dynamics of turnout are very much uncertain. There are, however, some clear conclusions evident from charting the rhythms of the campaign and the situation post-debate. Barring some frankly unlikely shift in the campaign dynamics, Wynne appears to be on her way to victory, with an excellent shot at a majority. The only critical obstacle at this stage is turnout. Given the contradictory polling out there and the modest nature of the lead (five points), some might… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 4, 2014] – The Ontario race is still up in the air but Wynne continues to hold the upper hand. Factoring in last night’s 515 cases into our rolling poll we see a narrowed lead for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal party. At 36.4 points, hold a 5-point advantage over their Progressive Conservative rivals. The NDP remains in third place at 19.3 points.
It would be a mistake to attribute this tightening to the debate performance at this time, although… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 3, 2014] –The race sees Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals opening up a wider lead in advance of tonight’s critical debate. Most of this new advantage is due to a three-point decline in the Progressive Conservative Party’s fortunes. Given the limited sample sizes, we would advise caution in reading too much into this shift from yesterday. The key points of yesterday’s analysis remain intact although this margin would probably steer the Ontario Liberals into majority territory.
A few notes on… [More...]
[Ottawa – June 2, 2014] – Ah, the horserace. Pundits complain about the undue focus on this aspect of democracy and self-appointed polling “experts” tell us to ignore the polls as they are unreliable and potentially a corrosive influence on democracy. To this we say phooey! We have full confidence in our polls and the pompous caveats of the “experts” will have zero impact on an eager, poll-thirsty audience who will want these data out of some blend of simple curiosity or more strategic purposes. We have no comment on the claim that the polls are so inconsistent and… [More...]
[Ottawa – May 23, 2014] – The Ontario provincial campaign has settled into a pretty locked-in pattern. With a fairly high incidence of undecided voters (18 per cent), however, things could easily change and voters may be finding it hard to choose between distinct agendas: one focussed on pretty dramatic change, one focussed on minimal government and austerity (which our broader polling shows to be increasingly unpopular with a skeptical public), and a strong activist government model.
This choice would appear to favour Wynne, but it is confounded by another important layer to this election and that is regime fatigue… [More...]
[Ottawa – May 16, 2014] – The Ontario provincial campaign is shaping up to be one of the most interesting campaigns in recent political history. It features two sharply contradictory policy visions: an austerity/minimal government model versus a progressive, active state intervention model. Superimposed on that stark choice is the regime fatigue and ethical issues which are confounding the voters’ decision making in ways which make the outcome of this race highly uncertain. These dynamics are also placing challenges on pollsters trying to accurately gauge exactly where voters are and where they may go. More on this later.
First the highlights… [More...]
CONSERVATIVES REMAIN LOCKED BELOW 30 POINTS DESPITE RECENT STRING OF HELPFUL SURPRISES
[Ottawa – May 2, 2014] The period of the past few weeks has been an unusually auspicious one for Stephen Harper and his government. The more or less regular cacophony of critical commentary which has characterised the past year of his regime’s dealings with media, opposition, and critics was temporary displaced by a series of surprising events.
First, the untimely and tragic death of Jim Flaherty and the suspension of typical parliamentary invective was replaced with a dignified, non-partisan celebration of his life and achievements including a sombre and rare… [More...]
WYNNE SHOWING SURPRISING RESILIENCE IN FACE OF CURRENT CHALLENGES
[Ottawa – May 2, 2014] – In our latest poll, it appears that not one of Ontario’s three major parties have any real incentive to call an election. The Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives are both sitting slightly below their 2011 election results at 35 and 32 points, respectively. At 22 points, however, the NDP are down 7 points over last month’s poll.
The demographic patterns are stable but important. Progressive Conservative support… [More...]