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DAILY TRACKING – SEPTEMBER 22, 2008

Tory lead is “gelling”… but plenty to play for among other parties

[OTTAWA – September 22, 2008] EKOS is releasing a huge weekend survey of more than 3000 Canadians that shows the parties clipping steadily ahead within the zones they established in the first couple of weeks of the campaign – the Tories in the mid- to high-thirties, the Liberals in the mid-twenties, the NDP in the high teens, the Greens in the low double digits, and the BQ in single digits.

Increasingly, it seems that the Tories are locked in on a path to victory in the October 14 election.

However, a look beneath the surface suggests that there may still be more to play for than that apparent “gelling” of voting intentions first suggests – at least for the opposition parties still jockeying for seats and relative position.

Among “decided” voters – that is, those who express a current preference among the parties – about a quarter (26%) say that they are “likely” or “somewhat likely” to change their preference before voting day.

Although the percentage of “undecideds” (not including those not intending to vote), is not particularly high for this point in the campaign – 9% of our weekend sample – they are an additional source of potential votes for parties on the make.

In other words, a large segment of the electorate is still up for grabs.

So how might this affect the parties? First, the Tories, have the most committed following. That means they are less likely to “bleed” to the other parties.

As our analysis showed last week, up to this point, the Conservatives have been the single largest beneficiary of Canadians straying from the Liberal fold since the last election. They were picking up about half the Liberal strays, while the other half has been divided among the other parties.

However, if the Liberals slip any further, that could change. Only about a fifth of the remaining Liberal supporters list the Conservatives as the second choice. Most of the rest go to the NDP or the Greens.

So, solid as the Tories’ support now is, it may be tougher for them to grow than it is for the other parties.

As for the Liberals, they will find it hard to wrest votes from the Tories, who are, as mentioned above, quite committed, with less than a fifth holding the Liberals as their second choice. The Liberals might find more fertile ground to their left, where they are the second-choice for many current New Democrats and Greens. Their best hope remains becoming the most viable champion of the “anyone-but-Conservative” (ABC, as Danny Williams calls it) vote, which was important to the party in both the 2004 and 2006 elections.

The NDP, meanwhile, still have potential themselves to become that ABC champion since they are the second choice for many Liberal and Green supporters. However, they probably need to close or eliminate the gap with the Liberals before they can benefit from this kind of tactical vote.

The Greens now have two tasks. They may have some potential to continue growing, as they have done since the campaign began. But more important may be their ability to consolidate the support they already have. Thirty per cent of Green voters say they are likely or somewhat likely to change their preference before voting day – the highest of any party. And although the Greens are now neck and neck with the Conservatives for the lead among voters 25 and under, this is a notoriously hard group to turn out on election day.

Detailed Tables:

National Federal Vote Intention

Q. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

2823

673

134

115

904

771

226

Margin of error (+/-)=

1.8

3.8

8.5

9.1

3.3

3.5

6.5

Conservative

37

42

60

44

36

24

30

Liberal

24

21

13

21

31

18

32

NDP

19

24

16

22

18

16

24

Green

12

13

11

13

15

7

14

Bloc Québécois

8

0

0

0

0

34

0

Daily Tracking of Federal Vote Intention

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

Conservative

38

36

35

38

38

38

36

36

36

37

Liberal

26

26

25

23

23

24

25

25

25

24

NDP

15

19

19

19

18

18

18

18

18

19

Green

11

11

11

11

11

12

13

13

12

12

Bloc Québécois

9

8

9

9

10

8

8

8

9

8

National Federal Vote Intention

Q. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Gender

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65

<$40K

$40-80K

$80K

n=

2823

1339

1484

218

900

1175

530

970

1035

818

Margin of error (/-)=

1.8

2.7

2.5

6.6

3.3

2.9

4.3

3.2

3.1

3.4

Conservative

37

40

34

29

33

39

43

34

36

40

Liberal

24

23

25

18

23

25

30

23

22

27

NDP

19

17

20

19

23

18

12

21

19

16

Green

12

12

12

26

12

10

8

11

13

12

Bloc Québécois

8

8

9

8

10

8

7

11

9

4

Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

Q. How likely is it that you will change your mind between now and the federal election?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

Not likely (1-3)

74

82

77

74

71

80

37

Somewhat likely (4)

9

7

10

8

12

6

14

Likely (5-7)

17

11

13

18

18

14

49

Daily Tracking of Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

September

BASE: Decided Voters

17

18

19

20

21

Not likely (1-3)

73

73

75

74

74

Somewhat likely (4)

9

8

8

8

9

Likely (5-7)

18

18

17

18

17

Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

Q. How likely is it that you will change your mind between now and the federal election?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Sex

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65+

<$40K

$40-80K

+$80K

Not likely (1-3)

74

76

72

71

72

73

80

73

75

73

Somewhat likely (4)

9

8

9

9

10

9

5

8

9

10

Likely (5-7)

17

16

19

19

18

18

15

19

16

17

Second Choice

Q. Which Party would be your second choice?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

NDP

18

17

30

0

24

29

8

Liberal

17

21

0

33

26

12

11

Green

14

11

22

22

0

14

8

Conservative

10

0

18

16

14

15

8

Bloc Québécois

5

4

6

8

6

0

4

No second choice

35

47

25

21

30

30

60

Daily Tracking of Second Choice

September

BASE: Decided Voters

17

18

19

20

21

NDP

18

19

20

20

18

Liberal

17

17

16

17

17

Green

15

15

15

14

14

Conservative

11

10

10

10

10

Bloc Québécois

5

4

5

5

5

No second choice

35

34

35

35

35

Second Choice

Q. Which Party would be your second choice?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Sex

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65+

<$40K

$40-80K

+$80K

NDP

18

19

16

13

19

18

17

16

19

19

Liberal

17

16

19

20

19

17

14

15

19

18

Green

14

15

14

12

14

16

12

12

14

17

Conservative

10

9

11

9

10

11

8

11

10

10

Bloc Québécois

5

5

5

12

5

4

3

6

5

4

No second choice

35

36

34

33

32

33

47

40

34

32

Methodology:

EKOS’ daily tracking polls are conducted using Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. Each weekday evening, a nationally representative sample of approximately 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age and older is surveyed.

The daily tracking number presented in this report is based on a three-day rolling average of surveys collected September 19, 20, and 21. The margin of error associated with this three-day rolling sample of 2,823 decided voters (including leaning) is /-1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as region, sex, age, income). All the data have been statistically weighted to ensure the samples composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Click here to download PDF: election-08-daily-tracking-sept22

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