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Approaching Midpoint – April 12, 2013

A DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE

[Ottawa – April 12, 2013] – It has been more than three years since the erstwhile natural governing party has found itself in a lead of any sort in our polls. So even though it is an utterly insignificant 0.3 per cent lead, and even though the previous time they cracked the top of the charts was a Michael Ignatieff-led, prorogation-swollen lead that ultimately led to electoral disaster, we will allow supporters to savour this accomplishment, however briefly.

When we switch to our “likely voter” model, however, this picayune lead (statistical tie actually) quickly disappears and the Liberals descend to third place (in a statistical tie with the NDP) and the Conservatives would be back at nearly 34 points – an eight point lead and a pretty solid minority. But there is no election on the horizon and the dynamics of voter turnout may change before the next election so let’s focus on the less hypothetical results of what all eligible voters told us.

This rather remarkable result sees the Conservatives 11 points below their election result and the amalgam of centre-left parties attracting an impressive seventy plus per cent of the vote. While Liberal supports revel at the still sketchy prospects of redemption under the imminent leadership of Justin Trudeau, the NDP constituency will be moderately concerned about their downward trajectory which would see their seat total dramatically cut if this were translated into election results. But there is no imminent election and this speculation is, in large measure, a mug’s game at least two years from the practical reality of an election.

We do, however, have new leaders for the NDP and the Liberals and we are roughly at the halfway point of this term so let’s delve into this a bit more.

The main story since the last election is one of Conservative decline, NDP rise and fall, and Liberal recovery. Lesser – but significant – stories include a resurgent Green Party and a Lazarus-like awakening from the Bloc Québécois.

Consider the regional patterns of this very large sample to gain further insight. The Liberals now lead in Atlantic and Quebec and are in a virtual tie in Ontario. The Conservatives are doing very well in Ontario which is a very important achievement and they do very well throughout the West (although in a more competitive situation in British Columbia with a four-way race with the NDP leading there).

Meanwhile, the Liberals lead handily among university graduates while the Conservatives retain their high school and college educated base. The NDP enjoys a modest lead among the younger half of the population (i.e. those under 45 years of age), although they are not nearly as competitive among Canada’s older citizens, where the Liberals and Conservatives are vying for control.

Click here for the full report: Full Report (April 12, 2013)

For those of you who are interested in how weighting impacts the final results, we would like to offer both our weighted and unweighted numbers. Please note that the unweighted numbers are provided simply for disclosure. For reporting purposes, our weighted figures are the only numbers that should be considered “official”.

Click here for the weighted results: Weighted Tables (April 10, 2013)
Click here for the unweighted results: Unweighted Tables (April 10, 2013)

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