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CONSERVATIVES MAINTAIN MODEST BUT CLEAR LEAD AS VOTERS COAST THROUGH SUMMER – July 22, 2010

WIDENED GAP ON UNIVERSITY EDUCATION MAY REFLECT CENSUS CONTROVERSY

[Ottawa – July 22, 2010] – The latest poll shows little change from our last poll. We suspect that BBQs are receiving more attention than the long form in voters’ minds these days. There are, however, some signs that the long form controversy is altering the demographic bases of voter support (merely suggestive at this time).

Overall, the political world seems to be fading from public minds as we head into the summer. The undecided have risen significantly to an unusually high level which likely reflects picnic and beach preoccupation rather than real growing voter ambivalence. We therefore suggest that the polling cognoscenti take these summer reads with the caveat that they probably contain a greater level of noise and distraction than when Parliament was in session.

The Conservatives enjoy a modest but comfortable 32.4 to 25.5 lead over the last week of the poll, which widened somewhat from the previous week. But we are not convinced that there is any truly substantive changes occurring. There are, however, some snippets of demographic interest which bear watching to see if they continue.

Regionally, the Conservatives have opened up a small but significant lead in Ontario, which is a major plus for their future electoral prospects. BC continues to be a very tight multi-party logjam. The NDP looks stronger in the Prairies, but this is of scant statistical significance due to sample size. In fact, the higher proportion of undecided voters and the smaller sample size are strong indicators of a lack of voter attention and interest at this time.

Demographically, the most striking feature of this poll is the widening gap between Liberal and Conservative supporters among the university educated. The Liberals have a substantial advantage in university graduates versus college graduates. This may be a reflection of the Census storm and a signal of a deeper structural divide between the educated elite and what Galbraith calls the “not so rich”. Rather than a conflict between rich and poor, we see a split between the educated elites and the main street not so rich. This rift may be becoming more deeply entrenched in Canadian society and the latest conflict may be over the role of formal knowledge in societal decision making.

The Liberals are also doing better among seniors, which is worth following. Young voters are underwhelmed by all of the above, although the Green Party leads (insignificantly) among this group. This is the end of the good news for the Green Party, however, as it seems to have shed support from its recent high water mark of 13 points or so and is back in 10 point territory.

All in all, the poll has some interesting underlying features worth following, but ultimately suggests that the dominant mood in the country is more fixed on vacation than on Ottawa.

Click here for the full results: full_report_july_22

2 comments to CONSERVATIVES MAINTAIN MODEST BUT CLEAR LEAD AS VOTERS COAST THROUGH SUMMER – July 22, 2010

  • Mike Green

    “The dominant mood in the country is more fixed on vacation than on Ottawa.”

    Bingo. Which is why Harper has attempted to implement the census changes at this time.

  • Results show the slip occurred very recently. The two recent stories that stand out in recent weeks are the $16 billion jet fighter purchase/maintenance contract and the reaction to northern BC tar sands to Kitimat pipeline builder Enbridge’s spill in Michigan. At least that’s what folks I work with at a west side community centre in Vancouver chat about around the water cooler.