About EKOS Politics

We launched this website in order to showcase our election research, and our suite of polling technologies including Probit and IVR. We will be updating this site frequently with new polls, analysis and insight into Canadian politics. EKOS's experience, knowledge and sophisticated research designs have contributed positively to many previous elections.

Other EKOS Products

In addition to current political analysis, EKOS also makes available to the public general research of interest, including research in evaluation, general public domain research, as well as a full history of EKOS press releases.

Media Inquires

For media inquires, please contact: Frank Graves President EKOS Research Associates t: 613.235-7215 [email protected]

Immigration, Diversity, and the Political Landscape – April 19, 2013

IS THE FOREIGN-BORN VOTE SWINGING BACK TO THE LIBERALS?

[Ottawa – April 19, 2013] The two largest demographic forces in Canadian society are aging and immigration. Both of these are profoundly altering the political landscape and both of these forces have been favoured CPC fortunes in recent years. Here we will focus on how immigration is altering political fortunes of different parties and speculate as to how this augurs for the future. We will also look at attitudes to immigration itself, how this is evolving in Canada and how this links to party preference (and other factors).

Canada… [More...]

Mr. Mulcair Has a Bit of a Loyalty Problem – April 16, 2013

[Ottawa – April 16, 2013] Fidelity isn’t one of the strong points of Canadian voters but Thomas Mulcair seems to be suffering a bit of a loyalty problem with his new party.

A year after assuming the leadership of the NDP and the office of the leader of opposition, he is experiencing significant difficulties. He hasn’t seen anything in the polls which could be termed a disastrous or precipitous fall — but he has seen a slow slide which will become a disaster if it isn’t corrected.

He remains what would have been unimaginable just two years ago… [More...]

The Trudeau Effect – April 14, 2013

WHAT DOES THE EVIDENCE SAY SO FAR?

[Ottawa – April 14, 2013] A plethora of pundits have offered views on the emergence of Justin Trudeau as the next leader of the Liberal Party. Here we will take a more modest approach and focus on what the public opinion trends are telling us. It is probably safe to say that Mr. Trudeau is causing a buzz in media coverage. The mixture includes the gamut from committed sceptics/critics to fawning acolytes, but it is safe to say that media attention to Mr. Trudeau has risen and that arguably the overall tone… [More...]

Shifting Political Prospects for Stephen Harper

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?

[Ottawa – April 12, 2013] Despite the fact that there is no imminent election, speculation about the viability of Stephen Harper’s leadership of the Conservative Party is rising. As we near the midterm we will consider what light the trends in public opinion might shine on this question. So in the absence of anyone having asked us the question, and undoubtedly studied indifference to our conclusions on the part the subject of this analysis, we will proceed.

The first part of our analysis will have nothing to do with the fortunes… [More...]

Left-Right? Forward-Backward? – March 21, 2013

Examining Longer Term Shifts in Values, Social Class, and Societal Outlook

By Frank Graves

Presentation to the School of Public Policy and Governance University of Toronto

Click here for Frank Graves’ presentation to the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. The presentation addresses a number of important issues, including the shifting values and priorities of Canadians, the changing outlook on Canada’s middle class and economy, and the perceived health of democracy in Canada.

Left-Right, Forward-Backward (March 21, 2013)

CANADA EVOLVING – December 1, 2012

Click here for a presentation by Frank Graves for the 2012 State of the Federation conference: Values and Identity (December 1, 2012)

HOW TO BECOME CANADA’S “BEST POLLSTER” – June 14, 2012

See below for a presentation by Frank Graves titled “How to Become Canada’s ‘Best Pollster'”.

This presentation was part of the MRIA’s Beyond the Headlines forum on Thursday, June 14th.

Click here for the full report: How to Become Canada’s “Best Pollster” (June 14, 2012)

ADVICE TO THE NEW LEADER OF THE NDP – March 23, 2012

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – March 23, 2012] First of all, let me heartily congratulate you on having won what certainly seemed to be Canada’s longest ever readership race. No one doubts your endurance and that will be important. You may have found the leadership process gruelling but you have just stepped into the midst of what will undoubtedly become Canada’s longest federal election campaign. The crucial pre-campaign period used to begin maybe three to six months before the writ was dropped. This pre-campaign is clearly already on with attack ads targeted at the interim leader… [More...]

UNDERSTANDING THE PROSPECTS FOR THE NDP – March 23, 2012

DISENTANGLING MYTHS AND REALITIES

[Ottawa – March 23, 2012] The two most remarkable features of our current political landscape are the Stephen Harper-led majority government and an NDP opposition. Both of these phenomena are inextricably connected in ways many do not recognize. These shared connections and forces also define the limits and opportunities for the future of these two movements. Our focus here is the NDP but let’s quickly note that the received wisdom of the inevitability of the Conservative Party’s ascendance to majority status, and that they are on the cusp of a stable political dynasty, was decidedly… [More...]

WILL LEGALIZATION LIGHT UP OR BLOW UP LIBERAL PROSPECTS?

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – January 26, 2012] The only smoke visible in Liberal Canada these days is coming from the scorched earth of May 2nd. It may therefore not be that surprising that the party would resort to some more pyrotechnic measures to reignite its fortunes. On the surface, the resolution to not just decriminalize but to legalize pot seems more of a Hail Mary than a sound strategic foundation for renewal. But is this really that hazy? When one looks at the longer term patterns of public opinion, and considers the truly available constituencies… [More...]

THE LOOMING LEGITIMACY CRISIS – October 21, 2011

TIME TO TAKE THE DISCRETIONARY OUT OF DEMOCRACY?

By Frank Graves

[Ottawa – October 21, 2011] – In something of a nadir, the recent Ontario Election, in which a number of big issues were on the table, couldn’t summon the participation of even half of the citizenry. Have we passed the brink from democracy to oligarchy? While on pattern with a disturbing downward trajectory in voter participation, this movement into the realm where the majority of citizens aren’t voting may be a wakeup call for those who think that elections shouldn’t becoming a fringe activity. What may make… [More...]

THE 41ST ELECTION: A POLLING RETROSPECTIVE – September 22, 2011

Click the link below for a retrospective analysis on public opinion polling during the 2011 federal election.

41st Election: A Polling Retrospective

A NOTE ON IVR POLLS

FRANK GRAVES RESPONDS TO EVALUATING THE POLLS: AN OPEN LETTER TO ONTARIO’S JOURNALISTS BY DARRELL BRICKER AND JOHN WRIGHT

[Ottawa – September 16, 2011] – Darrell Bricker and John Wright have recently taken a pretty harsh scattergun to many of their media polling competitors. While they score a number of direct hits on polling, and the media, they also say some things which are simply unfair. Given the failure of public opinion polls to accurately predict the 2011 election results, the frustration expressed by Mr. Bricker and Mr. Wright is understandable. Some of the claims that have been made… [More...]

ACCURATE POLLING, FLAWED FORECAST – June 17, 2011

AN EMPIRICAL RETROSPECTIVE ON ELECTION 41

By Frank Graves

Introduction: The Nature and Purpose of this Test

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” -James Joyce

As the dust settles on what was an extraordinary 41st Canadian election campaign, it may be worthwhile taking a more careful look back at the polls. While focussing on our own research, our observations are intended to have more general relevance to the debate about the role of polling in the democratic process. In fact, the research has important lessons on the shifting nature of our society which has important implications… [More...]

A BRIEF POST MORTEM ON POLLING ELECTION 41 – May 3, 2011

EKOS VS. THE ACTUAL RESULTS

[OTTAWA – May 3, 2011] Canada’s 41st election was extremely interesting and surprising. While we believe EKOS did a very good job in charting the direction of the election and some of the historical shifts that occurred, we were caught flat footed in capturing the majority victory for the Conservative Party. We correctly predicted a Conservative victory but we failed to predict the outright majority. Our final estimate of Conservative support fell well outside of the margin of error and, while it was not that far off the industry average, we were unfortunately on… [More...]

THE GREAT CANADIAN POLL-OFF – March 29, 2011

INITIATING AN OPEN-SOURCE APPROACH TO POLLING

By Frank Graves with Jeff Smith

In the same spirit that we offer our public opinion polling, data tables, and methodology as a forum for discussion, this document is offered as a draft and we welcome comments from those interested.

[Ottawa – March 29, 2011] – Recent articles by Joan Bryden, and the responses they have generated, have launched a useful, if mildly overwrought debate about the merits of contemporary polling, with a particular focus on the perils of political polling. There are many useful caveats and lots of points of… [More...]

WHAT WAS THE OPPOSITION THINKING? – March 28, 2011

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – March 28, 2011] – With the election campaign underway, some people are beginning to ask why any of the opposition parties (with the possible exception of the Bloc) would want to go into an election now, given where they were in the polls.

Maybe we should start with the obvious answer which even the most casual viewing of the question period would underline. These guys really and truly do not like each other. This parliament has been pretty dysfunctional, mired more in acrimonious sniping than nation building. There is very… [More...]

BUDGET DAY STRATEGIC OPTIONS – March 14, 2011

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – March 11, 2011] – If the government manages to avoid an earlier non confidence motion, the budget may well become the frame for an ensuing election, which appears increasingly unavoidable. Obviously, there is a strategic advantage in being able to actively frame your election strategy in the most visible act of Parliament – the federal budget. Add to this the fact that the Government enjoys higher confidence on managing the economy than the opposition and that there has been a modest but significant improvement in outlook on country and the economy… [More...]

WILL IN-AND-OUT BE A REAL FACTOR? (and a note on why reasoned conjectures are okay) – March 3, 2011

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS BY FRANK GRAVES

[Ottawa – March 3, 2011] – Given the recent public debate, let me begin with what I would have thought would be a pretty obvious caveat. When I comment as a pollster, my preferred role is to interpret direct empirical data. There are, however, numerous situations such as this question about the potential impacts of the in-and-out issue where the pollster is asked to provide insight without direct evidence. Notably, any attempts at prediction will lack direct evidence of the effects. Perhaps this is why Yogi Berra’s caveat about how “prediction is hard… [More...]

POLITICS OF RESENTMENT – February 3, 2011

FRANK GRAVES DISCUSSES THE ISSUE OF CORPORATE TAX CUTS

[Ottawa – February 3, 2011] – There has been a lot of debate on the issue of the corporate tax cuts lately. Frankly, I find the government’s approach on this quite puzzling. Putting aside the very mixed economic literature on the benefits/costs of corporate tax cuts as a boon to job creation, the public opinion research is remarkably consistent. Corporate tax cuts, when position against virtually all of the plausible alternatives (e.g. individual tax cuts, investment in health and education, even deficit reduction) consistently emerges as a clear loser in… [More...]