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[Ottawa – April 26, 2011] – For the fifth day in a row, we see a pretty stable voter landscape which would have been unimaginable at the outset of the campaign. The Conservative Party is at 33.9 points, which is down from the outset of the campaign and well short of a majority. Only six points back are the burgeoning NDP supporters at 27.9 while the Liberal Party is stuck at sub-Dion levels at 24.0. The Green Party has lost supporters much earlier than in 2008 (mostly to the NDP) and stand at 6.8. The Bloc Quebecois is at 6.0 points nationally, mired in the mid 20’s in Quebec and on the verge of an electoral implosion. When we adjust our focus to those who are “absolutely certain to vote”, we see the Conservatives having a small but significant boost, with the Green Party eroding further.

In looking at this dramatically different voter landscape, the survey gives some important insights as to how this has occurred and what it might mean as we head into the final days of the campaign. The Conservatives have been fairly stable throughout the campaign and continue to do very well in the West, with males, and with older voters. The Conservative voter is far more enthusiastic and committed than other voters and this should provide a slight premium for the Conservatives on Election Day. It is, however, notable that as the campaign has evolved, we now find firmer resolve and commitment among those supporting various alternatives to the Conservatives.

At the outset of the campaign, commitment and enthusiasm were linked to those who were most comfortable with the direction of the Conservative government. The lower commitment associated with those who were unhappy with direction of the government was linked to what some had called voter suppression. This suppression of interest and likelihood of voting seems to have dissipated over the campaign and we find, particularly among the recently swollen NDP ranks, a newfound enthusiasm and commitment to actually vote. This may be an important new dynamic to this campaign and, apart from the less committed Green Party, we see most other supporters fairly resolved now.

The NDP has captured new voters from across the political spectrum in a remarkably eclectic fashion. Looking at how 2008 voters have migrated, we see the Conservatives almost entirely intact whereas the NDP is now an amalgam of defected Conservative, Liberal, and Green supporters. In particular, the NDP surge has been driven by a wholesale transfer of Bloc Quebecois supporters in Quebec. If the NDP is the clear winner to date in Campaign 41 (and they have literally doubled their support which may be unprecedented) the hapless Bloc Quebecois are the flip side of this success. Their hegemony of Quebec federal politics has collapsed and they are now plumbing historical depths having sunk below 25 points. Their support is also concentrated among younger voters who may be less likely to vote. The NDP is doing best with women (who they now lead nationally and with voters under the age of 45). They are doing well in virtually all regions of the country and now have a constituency which most resembles the centre of Canada demographically and geographically.

Despite this remarkable growth, the NDP is still the party which commands the highest score on second choice and their ceiling defined by first and second choice is now over 54 points, well ahead of the Conservatives and Liberals who are at 41 and 40 respectively. The new question of the campaign is whether the NDP ascendance is real or a blip and the answer now is clearly the former. Indeed, the NDP may well have further room to grow.

The Liberals have basically languished around the same levels over the campaign, perhaps with a gentle slide downward. They have surrendered their prospects of winning and now look destined to lose opposition status. Their best prospects by far lie in Ontario where they are only 5 points off the lead. The goals for the Liberals may now be to try and recapture second place and, with the newfound strength of the NDP, challenge a diminished Conservative authority in the next Parliament. There is, however, little in recent trends or underlying fundamentals to suggest that the Liberals will be successful in their efforts and ominously for them, the NDP is not only growing in Ontario, but showing a sharp spike up in second choice, which suggests Ontario voters may be considering jumping on the orange bandwagon.

Click here for the full report: full_report_april_26_2011

21 Responses to “NDP’S NEW STATUS AS SECOND RUNNER HOLDING - April 26, 2011”

  1. 1
    Terry J. Nanaimo:

    With a damning 500 pg. Dossier on their leader, Conservatives must know PM Harper’s political career is finished.

    I am glad to see the end of this madman’s control of Canada.

    In Canada, since 1867, its been Tweedle-dum or Tweedle-dee.

    It is time for change.

    I trust Jack.

  2. 2

    I too see the Liberals, who turning right, and attacking Jack on Quebec, falling faster everywhere. If they pick up seats in Ontario with this effort, see Iggy get turfed within days of campaign end, probably before June. The landscape in Canada has changed.

    And a “unified right” to challenge the NDP would have to abandon right-wing crazies in the SunTV/Harperite/Alberta/Reform mindset, and so they would reform the Reform Party. One progressive Party, against two rightwing Parties.

    Welcome to the New Canada, the same one we have loved, but were manipulated out of. Long live the Pearson/Tommy Douglas middle of Canada.

    When english Canada political leaders gave up on Pearson / Douglas, we almost lost Quebec and our souls.

    It’s good to be on our way home.

  3. 3
    Glenn Radford:

    Wow.. watching the disaster unfold in the USA with an NDP clone in control of the White House and senate, and previously the congress, it amazes me that any Canadian would seriously consider voting for NDP in Canada. Conservative leadership is needed, more now than ever, to ensure that our country remain strong. It doesn’t really matter who is in the opposition, as long as Mr. Harper remains in control and with a majority. Anything less is a slap in the face to all responsible Canadians.

  4. 4

    I can’t see the Liberals and Cons getting together after this election. There is too much animosity between them. I don’t see that anybody would be willing to prop up a Conservtive minority. They’ve burned all their bridges behind them and the only thing left for them to do is drown.

  5. 5

    The NDP are getting the Liberal/PQ vote which will make it easier for the PC to win a majority.

  6. 6


    While Obama was elected by people under the impression he would be progressive, his government has very much continued along the G. W. Bush path. Harper is doing the Cdn version of the same thing–spending us into oblivion under the guise of saving the economy. Canadians have made the connection and are no longer afraid look after Canada.

  7. 7

    Hey Glen,

    Since when is voting right ‘resposible’? Boy, are you brainwashed.

  8. 8
    Bill Schram:

    I have to agree with the Tweddle Dum and Tweedle De thought. Since Confederation there has never been anything but alternating Conservative and Liberal (Conservatives in Sheeps clothing) governments.If you don’t like the state of the country, if you don’t like it’s policies, blame the cons and libs. They have each been given repeated chances to get it right and have uterly failed to do so. Time for an NDP Federal Government.

  9. 9

    Look at what happened to the LibDems in the UK. Sadly they might make it… and it’ll be historical… but it’ll also mean selling their soul to the douchebag conservative devil.


  10. 10

    Voting Right is a vote for individual agency.

  11. 11

    People who enjoy things like free speech, personal privacy and government accountability and fiscal responsibility are the people who vote for NDP. Harper is the one you should be afraid of.

  12. 12

    I agree with the Tweedle Dum comment too. If voting for Harper is the “responsible” thing to do, why is the country in the state that it’s in? Some may consider a federal NDP government a disaster but you can’t escape the theory that if you kick the dog (Canadian voters and taxpayers) too many times, eventually the dog bites back. That’s what Canadians are doing now with this upsurge in NDP support…biting the owners (Conservatives and Liberals) who have been kicking them in the face for far too many years.

  13. 13

    Eric, the Obama administration is *hardly* an NDP clone. They aren’t even a liberal party clone. Obama is very, very centrist, and didn’t back single payer health care. All parties in Canada campaign in support of single payer health care, even the conservatives, and the NDP are quite to the left of the liberals, who are arguably similar to the Democrats.

    Oh, and for the past 8 years I have lived and worked in the USA, with 5 years in DC working on Capitol Hill as a non-profit org advocate. So I know what I’m talking about here.

  14. 14
    Tom, Ontario:

    When Prime Minister Laurier said in 1898, “The 20th century will belong to Canada.”, it was not a bold prediction. There is no reason that Canada should not be the wealthiest nation on earth except for exceptionally poor leadership we have endured since the end of WWII. Our parliamentary/party system is broken and needs to be changed.
    My greatest hope is that this election might lead to an attempt to fix the system.

  15. 15

    Let’s hope this is not a repeat of Cleggmania in Britain last year where on the eve of the election polling showed unprecedented strength for the Liberal Democrats. However when actual votes were tallied the LibDems actually lost popular vote and seats compared to the previous parliament and eventually struck an unlikely bargain to put Tory David Cameron into Number 10.

  16. 16

    I’m wondering if this has anything to do with coalition talk, and Ignat’s admitting to Peter Mansbridge that one could be had, even with Mr.Harper. Just wondering.

    I also agree with Tom, it is broken, and perhaps simply because it is the same one, that Laurier, 120year ago, had himself inherited, from a time 150 years early.

  17. 17
    John Acorn:

    Harper is evil. I have it on good authority that he will bring guns and soldier to Canadian cities. The only hope we have is for an NDP government. It will help me pay all my bills and the banks and oil barons will suffer. We need someone who is not afraid of taking money from the rich people and companies. Adn let’s not forget the NDP will restore the health from the raping the rich do to mother earth.

    Social justice for all.

    God speed NDP

  18. 18

    @ Glenn Radford:

    Seriously? Perhaps you just forgot the ../s tag to indicate sarcasm…

    Harper has done a great job of eroding democratic process that millions died to create and preserve.

    It’s a trivial experiment to list a dozen actions on Harper’s part that are not in line with our traditions of democracy and openness.

    Let’s just look at one: How about muzzling scientists whose research is paid for with our tax dollars? Since when do facts need political approval? It has been said that you can have your own opinions but not your own facts. Harper wants all facts to conform to his agenda or be suppressed. How does that help any of us? How does that help our government make good decisions and our children’s future?

    Several hundred years after an explosion of knowledge, it is simply scary to see that we have allowed someone to slip into power who thinks a question about the age of the Universe is a religious question. Harper would prefer to be Emperor so he didn’t have to deal with the checks and balances of the parliamentary system. In my book that single detail will keep me from voting conservative until he is gone.


  19. 19

    John Acorn,

    Guns and soldiers in our cities - You have that on good authority do you? Find a therapist my friend you obviously need help!

  20. 20

    Harper is evil.
    reformists are neocon christian fundamentalists who’s only agenda is the raping of our country, rights, freedoms, and its people for more profits for the rich and American corporations.

    all intelligent discourse is suppressed, rights are taken away, and free speech is suppressed. solid science is suppressed, anything that may reflect poorly on his government is suppressed.

    Harper and his cronies should be charged as war criminals, under the Geneva convention, knowingly handing prisoners of war over to another party who will torture the prisoners is a war crime.

    Harper is a religious egotistical zealot with ambitions of dictatorship.

    this dog needs to be put down, it is biting the hand of its master, the Canadian people.


  21. 21

    Liberals may be down and out in this election, but remember folks Liberals are canada’s traditional ruling party, and that has not changed. They will be back in the next election. The NDP surge is real and perhaps they may even form government, but if so Canadians will never re-elect them again. Yes they are vastly preferable to dishonest Stephen Harper and his right wing agenda, but people get fed up with socialists running things in the end. They may be beneficial at moments, but they usually mess up things re: the handling of the economy in the long run.

    So in the circumstances, welcome NDP coalition government, but look out for an independent Liberal resurgence in Canada’s political future next…

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