LIBERALS STRONG, BUT FALLING BACK TO EARTH
[Ottawa – March 31, 2016] Looking at vote intention polls three and half years from an election is like having a fling; amusing, but doesn’t mean much. There are, however, some striking features relevant to the upcoming political calendar.
For the most part, the latest poll resembles the election outcome. Yes, the Liberals are up almost three points from October 19th, but they seem to be coming to Earth after enjoying a stratospheric lead. The Conservatives are basically stuck at their 2015 election result, although they are up somewhat from our last poll.
The truly striking feature of this poll, however, is the poor showing of the NDP. Far from propitious timing for Thomas Mulcair (as he is about to confront a leadership review), the patterns are striking and clear. Voters do not appear particularly interested in what Thomas Mulcair and the NDP are offering right now. The NDP entered the 2015 election campaign leading and enjoyed support at nearly three times the level they see today. Since then, Thomas Mulcair has gone from a plausible Prime Minister to greatly diminished political status.
There are growing regional fault lines in the Canadian political landscape. British Columbia and Atlantic Canada love the Liberals; Alberta not so much. The Liberals continue to do very well in Quebec, but they are now tied for the lead with the Conservatives in Ontario.
The very large generational and gender gaps that we had seen over the last five years seem to have largely dissipated. We do, however, see the college gap re-emerging with the university educated very happy with the Liberals and the college educated leaning comparatively more conservative.
Changing outlook on national and federal direction
While confidence in both national and federal direction is much stronger than they were during the final years of the Harper era, there is evidence that the Liberal Party’s extended honeymoon may be drawing to a close.
Alberta is in a deep funk with respect to national and federal direction, whereas British Columbia and Atlantic Canada are quite happy. Gen X voters consistently express a gloomier outlook on both the country and its government.
This survey 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 March 24-29, 2016. In total, a random sample of 2,019 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/-2.2 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 (March 31, 2016)