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Ontario Anyone’s Game

[Ottawa – April 9, 2014] – Our latest Ontario poll will come as something as a disappointment for those hoping for some kind of dramatic shake-up in Ontario’s horserace. While the Ontario NDP has picked up three points since July, nudging the Progressive Conservatives ever so gently down to third place, the overall picture remains largely stable. The Liberals are holding steady at 32 points, with the NDP sitting closely behind at 29 points. At 27 points, the Progressive Conservative Party remains well within striking distance of the first-place Liberals.

While the Progressive Conservative Party is five points behind the first-place Liberals, the underlying demographic patterns suggest a somewhat closer race. The Progressive Conservatives lead with seniors (i.e., those 65 and up), a group that impressively outperforms other age groups in terms of voter turnout. In contrast, the Ontario NDP draws much of their support from the Gen X cohort, a group that, while not completely disengaged from politics, has a lower propensity to actually show up and vote on Election Day.

The Progressive Conservatives lead with men, although they struggle to find ground among women, where the Ontario Liberals lead quite handily. The NDP leads among college graduates, while the Liberals would likely be looking at a majority government if voting were restricted to university graduates. The Liberals also do very well with immigrants.

Finally, it is worth taking a look at the correlation between federal and provincial party support. Perhaps not surprisingly, provincial party support is heavily linked to federal vote intention. Indeed, the Ontario Liberals draw 82 per cent of their support from federal Liberal voters. Similarly, the Progressive Conservative base is made up predominantly of federal Conservative supporters (73 per cent). The Ontario NDP, while relying heavily on the supporters of its federal counterpart, has been successful in drawing some federal Liberals into its ranks.

In short, Ontario is very much up for grabs in a tightly-clustered three-way race.

Methodology

This study was conducted using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator.

In an effort to reduce the coverage bias of landline only RDD, we created a dual landline/cell phone RDD sampling frame for this research. As a result, we are able to reach those with a landline and cell phone, as well as cell phone only households and landline only households. This methodology is not to be confused with the increasing proliferation of non-probability opt-in online panels which have recently been incorrectly reported in major national media with inappropriate margin of error estimates.

The field dates for this survey are March 27-April 3, 2014. In total, a random sample of 1,234 Ontario residents aged 18 and over responded to the survey (including a sub-sample of 1,000 decided voters). The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as sex, age, education and region). All the data have been statistically weighted by gender, age, and education to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Ontario according to Census data.

Click here for the full report: Full Report (April 9, 2014)

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