CONSERVATIVES OPEN UP DAYLIGHT IN THE FIRST WEEK OF CAMPAIGN - April 1, 2011
NDP ADVANCES AS WELL
[Ottawa – April 1, 2011] – This week, EKOS is entering into the first phase of our election polling program. We will be publishing surveys at the end of each week based on a roll-up of the previous four days. We will be diverting additional resources to these polls to ensure that we are offering the most rigorous coverage of the campaign. This week’s poll is based on the responses of nearly 3,000 Canadians collected from Monday to Thursday night.
At the conclusion of the first week of the 41st Federal Election campaign, the Conservatives have modestly widened their lead over the Liberals who have remained stagnant (perhaps even slipped slightly). Joining the Conservative Party in forward movement is the NDP who saw a significant bump up in support, largely at the expense of the Green Party and, to a lesser extent, the Liberals.
So despite a week that much of the media thought went not so well for the ruling party, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives find themselves in a significantly more comfortable position today than when the writ was dropped. In fact, their 36.9 to 26.2 advantage over the Liberals may understate their hidden advantage in the regional and demographic patterns underlying this 10.7-point lead. They have opened up a large and meaningful advantage in seat rich Ontario and their constituency is much more weighted to older voters (boomers and seniors who are far more likely to vote than younger voters).
For the Liberals, who seemed to have a good week with the media, these numbers will be quite dispiriting. They really haven’t fallen back much, but see themselves making no progress while both the Conservatives on the right and the NDP on the left have advanced somewhat. Their only comfort here is that there has been no improvement in the directional numbers for the federal government and the sense that the country is on the right trajectory is quite low and declining. In fact, outside of Conservative supporters (only 10% of whom are unhappy with federal direction), about 70% of other party supporters are dissatisfied with the direction of the federal government. Somewhat concerning for the Liberal Party, however, is the fact that their supporters show relatively higher levels of ambiguity about national direction.
For the NDP, the results are pretty positive. They have moved up to 17.2 points, which is both statistically and substantively significant. Less auspiciously, for the Green Party, in a week in which Elizabeth May became somewhat of a cause celebre in certain sectors, the Green Party fell back to one of their lowest scores in our recent polling. They are still doing very well among youth, but they are being spurned by older Canada just as this debate has occurred.
The Bloc now seems to be confronting a confused federalist vote that is utterly fractured across the other federalist choices. There would appear to be opportunities for the Liberals and NDP in Quebec, as the confidence in the current federal government has virtually evaporated in the province. But so far, there is little evidence of any rallying hub for federalist forces in Quebec.
As a final note, it is interesting to note that there has been very little variation in support throughout the week. Indeed, the preliminary results tabulated on Tuesday are virtually identical to the results released today. The consistency suggests that the widened advantage of the Conservatives appeared in the first few days of the campaign and has remained stable since.
Click here for the full report: full_report_april_1_2011