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We launched this website in order to showcase our election research, and our suite of polling technologies including Probit and IVR. We will be updating this site frequently with new polls, analysis and insight into Canadian politics. EKOS's experience, knowledge and sophisticated research designs have contributed positively to many previous elections.

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POST-DEBATE POST-SCRIPT

Television Still King

[OTTAWA – October 7, 2008] – For all the talk of new media and the high-impact role they are playing in this political campaign, the fact is television is king, as it has been for nearly half a century.

More than a third of Canadians say they have relied extensively on television coverage in this campaign – nearly triple the number who say they have relied extensively on the internet for their political information.

“Ironically, the impression that many of us have that the internet has been such a force in this election comes from the traditional media lavishing attention on what happens there,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “Whether it is the puffin poop gaffe, the Liberal candidate with a conspiracy theory about September 11, or the NDP candidate with a mouth full of reefers, these stories start on the internet, but gain currency by their coverage in traditional television, print and radio outlets.”

This latest EKOS poll was conducted using the Probit technology, which combines an internet panel with telephone polling to ensure a broad sample of Canadian public opinion.

It shows that after television, the ageing warhorse of news – newspapers – are the second-most widely used source of election information, followed by radio, and then online media.

In fact, slightly more Canadians say they relied on last week’s televised debates for their election information than on the internet.

Most Canadians claim they watched all or part of the debates – claims that may have to be regarded with a little suspicion, since who wants to say they aren’t paying attention?

Among those who say they watched, Stéphane Dion was the clear winner in the French debate and Stephen Harper the clear loser.

In the English debate, there was no clear winner, though Harper and Green Party leader Elizabeth May did better than the others. On the other hand Harper, along with Dion, was also most likely to be regarded as the loser.

There is little sign directly from those surveyed that the debates swayed many votes, though the Liberals seem to have done slightly better than the other parties out of them.

Still, the debates, along with the current international financial crisis, may have loosened up the electorate to the somewhat tighter race we have seen in recent days.

Detailed Tables:

Information Consulted During the Election Campaign

Q. There are a number of ways that people can inform themselves about the upcoming election. Up to this point, how much have you relied on each of the following sources?

BASE: Canadians

Not at all

Somewhat

Extensively

Television news programs

17

48

34

Traditional print media

25

49

25

Radio

39

44

16

The leader’s debates

35

48

15

Online media sources

46

39

13

Friends and family

44

46

8

Interaction with local candidates

69

24

5

Paid advertisements

62

34

3

Blogs

85

12

2

Attention to the Debates (a)

Q. Did you watch or listen to any of the [English language / French language] national leader’s debates?

BASE: Canadians

Canada

BC

AB

MB/SK

ON

QC

ATL

Debate watched=

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

Yes

60

32

73

24

67

21

64

16

69

25

37

61

59

22

No

39

68

26

76

33

79

36

84

31

75

63

39

40

77

Attention to the Debates (B)

Q. Did you watch or listen to all of it, most of it, or just some of it?

BASE: Those who tuned into the leader’s debates

Canada

BC

AB

MB/SK

ON

QC

ATL

Debate watched=

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

All of it

25

36

24

17

18

26

26

35

26

20

28

53

19

30

Most of it

36

24

22

17

46

19

35

21

33

21

48

28

39

27

Some of it

40

40

53

66

36

55

39

44

41

59

24

19

42

43

Perceived Winner

Q. Who do you think WON the leader’s debate?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

Canada

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Debate watched=

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

Stephen Harper

23

7

56

27

3

0

7

0

9

0

7

1

Stephane Dion

10

35

1

10

25

63

5

40

5

32

22

26

Jack Layton

15

5

7

6

7

1

38

12

7

3

40

4

Gilles Duceppe

2

20

0

18

2

10

3

17

2

26

12

41

Elizabeth May

18

2

7

1

25

1

20

0

43

17

2

0

Nobody

26

22

22

29

32

17

22

17

28

8

17

28

Do not know/no response

6

8

8

9

6

7

4

13

5

14

0

0

Perceived Loser

Q. Who do you think LOST the leader’s debate?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

Canada

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Debate watched=

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

EN

FR

Stephen Harper

25

41

3

2

41

63

33

48

36

67

44

54

Stephane Dion

25

8

45

19

4

1

26

1

21

0

29

12

Jack Layton

6

4

10

6

6

2

2

1

4

2

6

5

Gilles Duceppe

10

3

8

9

12

3

12

1

17

0

0

0

Elizabeth May

5

17

10

34

1

9

2

15

0

4

7

11

Nobody

21

18

17

21

30

15

17

23

17

6

6

17

Do not know/no response

8

9

8

10

7

8

8

12

5

22

8

2

Impact On Vote Intention (a)

Q. Generally speaking, did the leader’s performance in the debates make you reconsider your vote intention?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Yes

18

11

20

21

32

16

No

75

82

72

75

64

81

Do not know/No response

7

7

8

5

4

2

Impact on Vote Intention (b)

Q. Who are you now considering voting for?

BASE: Those who say debates changed their vote intention

CANADA

Liberal

22

Green

17

NDP

12

Bloc Québécois

10

Conservative

7

Unsure

19

Do not know/no response

13

Impact on Vote Intention (c)

Q. How firm are you in your decision?

BASE: Those who say debates changed their vote intention

CANADA

Firm

33

Still just thinking about it

60

Do not know/no response

7

Methodology:

Today’s poll was conducted using EKOS’ unique hybrid internet-telephone research panel, Probit©. This panel is randomly recruited from the general population, meaning that, the only way to be included in Probit© is through random selection. Unlike opt-in internet-only research panels, Probit© supports confidence intervals and error testing.

The results presented in this report are based on 1214 follow-up surveys with Canadians 18 years of age and older who participated in a Probit© survey on the federal election campaign between September 29 and October 1, 2008. The field dates for the current survey are October 3 to October 5, 2008. A sample of this size provides a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as regions).

All the data were statistically weighted to ensure the samples composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.


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