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ELECTORATE FIRMING UP IN STRANGE NEW NORMAL – April 27, 2011

CONSERVATIVES SUPPORTERS MORE COMMITTED

[Ottawa – April 27, 2011] – After a stunning shift in the political landscape the new patterns observed at the outset of the week are stabilizing although there is still some play in the electorate. The Conservatives remain at 34.0 and the NDP is at 28.1. The Liberals have not been able to reverse their fortunes and are now at 22.9 which may be a new nadir in our polling for the Liberals. The Bloc Quebecois appears to have stopped the bleeding in Quebec (and have even rebounded insignificantly), although the NDP is holding on to a large and now solid lead. The Green Party is holding steady at 6.5 (tied nationally with the Bloc Quebecois). This number is well short of their position in the final days of the 2008 campaign and may reflect their lower profile and growing recognition in their erstwhile supporters that a Green vote yields no seats under the current system. Among those who are “absolutely certain” to vote, the respective national numbers are 35.3/28.0/23.2/6.4/5.8 (CPC/NDP/LPC/BQ/GP).

Analysing leaning intentions and various commitment measures, we see why the Conservatives have a significant advantage in terms of likelihood to vote. Their vote is the most stable from 2008, they are the least likely to change mind or offer a second choice, and they are most enthusiastic about their choice. This constitutes a hidden one or two point competitive advantage over their rivals. This advantage could dissipate if turnout is high but it is a real factor. The diminished Liberal supporters are pretty firm and likely to vote. The NDP supporters also show a strong intention to vote but have less firmness with a greater propensity to consider changing their mind. Bloc supporters are not distinctive on these measures and the Green vote is least committed and the party will most likely see lower support nationally than in 2008.

The regional races are pretty well the same as we noted yesterday but the Conservatives may be opening up some daylight between them and the Liberals in Ontario while NDP support is continuing to rise there. This will be the crucial race to watch. British Columbia is now showing some firmness with a 1, 2, 3 pattern for the Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals setting in. The Quebec race has stabilised into a two-way race between the NDP and the Bloc with the former holding a huge upper hand. The Liberals and Conservatives, meanwhile, are headed for political disaster in Quebec. The Atlantic remains a somewhat unpredictable race which now features the three lead parties doing fairly equally (though recently, the Conservatives seem to be looking at a modest campaign slide).

It is unclear whether the electorate has truly grasped the significance of the sweeping changes that the NDP surge (now plateaued) has produced. The chief remaining question is how Ontario will deal with these new realities in the closing portion of the campaign.

Click here for the full report: full_report_april_27_2011

4 comments to ELECTORATE FIRMING UP IN STRANGE NEW NORMAL – April 27, 2011

  • Terry J. Nanaimo

    “Will that be Coke or Pepsi?….Pepsi or Coke?”

    After 144 years[since 1867],Canadians are enjoying another choice.

    Bright colour, great flavour, Orange Crush.

    Cheers!

  • At the start of this campaign when Jack Layton said he was running to be Prime Minister he might as well have said he wanted to be the next Pope. Yet if these numbers hold until election day that’s exactly the result we’ll end up with.
    Harper and the Conservatives will probably try to face the House for a vote of confidence so it won’t happen right away but unless the Cons can reach some kind of agreement with the Liberals, which is highly unlikely considering the bad blood between them, this will be the result.
    His Holiness Jack Layton as PM?
    The Conservatives brought this on themselves by refusing to work with any of the parties and calling for a majority or nothing. I don’t see Harper wanting to stay on as Leader of the Opposition either, and the third place finish might actually do the Liberals some good.

  • Victor

    Constitutional Crisis in the Offing:
    Harper wins plurality. Fails to gain confidence of House. GG turns to Michael Ignatieff, since he has the next most seats. Polls show people have much more confidence in Layton than in Ignatieff. Ignatieff as PM, tho he personally has the lowest popular support among prime ministerial contenders?

  • heather

    The Liberals ending up in third place will probably work to their advantage. Jack, although he claims to work with other parties, was always the first to announce that he would vote against Conservative motions leaving the Liberals to prop up the government in order to avoid an election they were ill prepared for. Jack always managed to cleverly put the squeeze on them. The only time he gave the impression of working with the Conservatives was the to-do about whether he was going to support their budget if, and only if, they made concessions regarding social policies. The erosion of democracy wasn’t of concern to him. So those of you who naively think that Jack is a straight shooter pay attention. He is one of the most manipulative of party leaders. The Liberals if they finish third will have time to elect a new leader and, hopefully, market him/her before the Conservatives engage in their usual character assassination. If the NDP forms the official opposition, it will be Jack who is left in the lurch having to support the government or risk another election. If he ends up as PM he will have fun trying to hold his novice MPs together some of whom either seem to be ‘on vacation, refuse to attend all candidates meetings, or are otherwise mysteriously unavailable. Be careful what you wish for Jack. I wonder what the backlash will be.