IDEA OF COALITION GOVERNMENT REMAINS POPULAR EVERYWHERE OUTSIDE CONSERVATIVE BASE
This survey was sponsored by La Presse. The full article is available here.
[Ottawa – September 24, 2015] In the span of one week, what was a three-way race has become a Conservative lead with the Liberals and NDP trailing. Whether these movements are the result of the government’s handling of the Syrian refugee crisis, the announcement of a budget surplus, Harper’s debate performance, his challenging of the Niqab ruling, or something else is unclear, but the party is recovering the constituencies that were key to its majority victory in 2011.
The Conservative Party is doing much better in Alberta and Ontario and, interestingly, they’re showing some renewed signs of life in Quebec. Indeed, the party is now back in a position where we would expect them to capture some seats, namely in the Quebec City area (we suspect this rise is linked to the refugee and Niqab issues). More importantly, however, their current elevation has been greatly assisted by their ownership of the senior vote; in 2011, nothing was more important to the party that this constituency.
Nevertheless, the public have not yet caught up with these shifts. While a plurality thinks the Conservatives will win on October 19th (a finding that has remained stable since the beginning of the summer), there has been a sharp rise in percentage of Canadians who see the NDP winning. The Liberals are seen as less likely to win, despite their recovery since the start of the campaign.
Coalitions popular everywhere outside Conservative base
Coalitions remain a popular choice, particularly outside of Conservative supporters. Indeed, among progressive voters, it really doesn’t matter if one is a Liberal supporter or an NDP supporter or whether the question is framed in the context of a Trudeau-led coalition or a Mulcair-led coalition; support for a coalition is very high and certainly much higher than in 2011.
Canadians are dead split on the merits of a minority government. Conservative supporters are far less likely to favour a minority government, while progressive voters lean more towards to a minority government. These differences are not entirely surprising since both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau have stated that they will not support a Harper-led government and any Conservative minority would therefore have a short shelf life.
Turning to the preferred lifespan of a coalition government, there is a clear preference for something long-term. Indeed, if we take Conservative supporters (who are dead-set against the idea of a coalition) out of the equation, we see a lean to a full four-year term.
Canadians receptive to constitutional talks… as long as it’s not about Quebec
Finally, there is strong majority support for opening up the constitution, particularly when it comes to Senate reform. NDP and Conservative supporters are particularly enthusiastic about opening up a dialogue on the future of the Senate, while Liberal supporters are a bit more hesitant. Support for opening up the constitution to address Aboriginal claims is also very strong (outside of the Conservative base, that is).
Securing Quebec’s ratification of the constitution, meanwhile, is a clear non-starter (although Quebeckers themselves are more open to the idea). Indeed, despite some of the national unity issues being tossed back and forth between Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau, revisiting this issue doesn’t seem to be a particularly high priority for voters at this time.
This study was conducted using High Definition Interactive Voice Response (HD-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.
The field dates for this survey are September 17-22, 2015. In total, a random sample of 2,343 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.0 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 region, sex, age, education). All the data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, region, and educational attainment to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.
Click here for the full report: Full Report (September 24, 2015)