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TORIES OPEN UP SMALL LEAD ON LIBERAL ELECTION TALK – September 10, 2009

CANADIANS SAY “NO” TO FALL ELECTION BY MARGIN OF MORE THAN 2-1

[Ottawa – September 10, 2009] – After a summer in which the two major parties have been in a virtual tie more often than not, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have now opened up a small but statistically significant lead in the wake of the Liberal Party’s threat to force a federal election this fall.

The most significant changes took place in Ontario, where the Liberals have surrendered their previous lead to the Conservatives, and in Quebec, where the Liberals had been closing in on the Bloc Québécois but have now fallen decisively behind. These shifts became visible in EKOS’s daily tracking from the moment the Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff, declared his intention to withdraw support from the government in the Parliamentary session that starts Monday.

“The Liberals have suffered setbacks in public opinion each time they have threatened the Harper government since the election last October: first, during the talk of a coalition soon after the election; second, when Michael Ignatieff seemed to threaten an election in June; and again now,” said EKOS President Frank Graves.

“Quite simply, voters are genuinely annoyed at the prospect of yet another election, likely to produce, once again, a minority government,” he said. “On the other hand, this annoyance will probably not influence the final outcome of the election since voters eventually turn their focus to the big issues that matter in their lives, rather than on who forced an unnecessary election.”

There is no doubt where Canadians stand on a fall election: they don’t want one, by a margin of more than two-to-one. In fact, even a significant majority of the supporters of the Liberals, NDP, BQ and Greens, say they would prefer an election to be held some other time.

“Interestingly, there is nonetheless a substantial number of Canadians – perhaps in the order of 10 million of them – who favour an early election, notwithstanding the fact that it may not change much,” said Graves. “Not surprisingly, most of them support one of the opposition parties.”

Generation Gap

Besides region, perhaps the most important overall predictor of Conservative support is now age. The Conservatives are essentially tied with the Liberals for first place among voters under the age of 25, and lag behind them among voters 26-44.

However, as you move up to older age groups, Conservative fortunes rise dramatically. If an election were held today the percentage of seniors voting Tory would be more than twice the percentage of under-25s doing so.

There is further evidence of generational differences on the question of whether a fall election is desirable. Among young voters, 44% would welcome a fall election. Among seniors? Seventeen per cent.

Click here for complete survey results: 0779-full-report-_september-10_

3 comments to TORIES OPEN UP SMALL LEAD ON LIBERAL ELECTION TALK – September 10, 2009

  • Ted

    I hope the question of election timing and the party poll question were not asked together in your survey because it seems to me that might taint the results

  • Christopher

    I’ve seen on the Nanos site that the number of undecided voters have risen dramatically since August. Surely this is statistically significant.

    Does the IVR system mitigate against getting accurate numbers of these voters?

  • Ron Brydges

    You give little information on the standings for the NDP. I find this unfortunate as they have the support of a sizeable portion of the Canadian public and are the only left of centre party in English Canada. After the next election which will likely result in a minority Conservative seat result there will be again calls for a coalition of elected progressives if they should represent the majority of the elected representatives.

    Ron Brydges