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]

At the Crossroads of Hope and Fear

[Ottawa – January 23, 2018] In this unique ‘populism project’ we are conducting with Canadian Press we are trying to gain a better understanding about what many are calling the rise of populism. That term is inadequate to deal with the range of experience and attitudes which are underpinning this movement. A partial list of the closely related concepts relevant to this includes authoritarianism, an ordered versus open outlook, nativism, isolationism, and xenophobia. Questions swirl as to what these forces mean, what is driving them, and how they are distributed in Canada. [More...]

VIDEO: Canada’s Political Divides

Does Canada run the risk of a populist revolt? Frank Graves appears on The Agenda with Steve Paikin to discuss the country’s deepening ideological divides. [More...]

Here’s a Simple Idea: Most Canadians Want a Strict Ban on Guns in Our Cities

[Ottawa – December 4, 2017] Canadians are never far removed from a horrific story of gun violence. Whether it is the reports of ever escalating carnage in the United States, or the milder but still deeply concerning incidents in Canada, this problem is seen as blight on modern society. While Canada has only about one-seventh of the deaths per capita from gun violence that the United States endures, it is around the top of the list for other advanced western societies.

Interestingly, Canada explored a national long gun registry in the wake of the massacre of… [More...]

Open versus Ordered


Please click here for the full report and data tables.

[Ottawa – October 10, 2017] There has been a fair bit of debate about whether the core drivers of the new populism are economic or cultural in nature. This latest version of what we used to call materialism or idealism is an important but unsolvable riddle at this point. Did economic stagnation and despair beget rising xenophobia and nativism or were these cultural expressions really the prime mover. Our sense is that both are equally important but the… [More...]

Through a Lens Darkly


Please click here for the full report and data tables.

[Ottawa – October 10, 2017] Increasingly, the old ideological battles of left versus right are being supplanted by a new contest for the future. As Daniel Bell argued over 50 years ago, the new axis of dispute is more open versus ordered. This harkens back to classic works such as Aural Kolnai’s 1938 The War Against the West and Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies. Once again, we are seeing a rise in… [More...]

Political Landscape Deadlocked


Commissioned by The Canadian Press

[Ottawa – October 3, 2017] The horserace has remained remarkably stable over the summer and the apparent oscillations and movements that one would gather from looking at different polls are not expressed in our research. Indeed, all five parties find themselves within the margin of error of where they were in June. At 34 points, the Liberals are holding steady and are statistically tied with the Conservatives, who are a mere one point behind. At 15 points, the NDP is in a distant third… [More...]

North America at the Crossroads

Inward or Outward?

By Frank Graves

This article was published in the September-October 2017 issue of Policy Magazine.

[Ottawa – September 1, 2017] Attitudes to trade wax and wane as the issue fades in and out of political discourse. We have now entered a moment where debates about trade are occupying centre stage in the political arena.

Attitudes to trade aren’t simply about how to create a more prosperous economy: they also reflect broader cultural orientations to the external world, groups from different racial origins, and attitudes to issues such as climate… [More...]

Housing Affordability Crisis?


[Ottawa – June 27, 2017] Housing affordability is a national issue, but it really depends on where you live, how old you are, and your social class. At the national level, a plurality of Canadians say that housing is unaffordable where they live, compared to just one in seven who would rate housing as affordable. Affordability is approaching near crisis levels in Vancouver and Toronto, which are by far the two most unaffordable markets in Canada. The vast majority of respondents in these two markets rate housing as… [More...]

British Columbians Providing Tepid Mandate for NDP-Green Partnership

[Ottawa – June 29, 2017] With the announcement that the Green Party of British Columbia would provide support to an NDP minority government, we asked British Columbians what they thought of this partnership. With 43 per cent of BC residents supporting this agreement, the mandate for this deal is quite tepid. Nevertheless, of those who have an opinion, the lean is to give this partnership a try.

While we did not ask provincial vote intention in this survey, we can look at how support for the NDP-Green partnership varies by federal party support. Support is –… [More...]

Canadians Hold Grim View of the Economy


[Ottawa – June 25, 2017] The outlook on the Canadian economy remains, in a word, awful. Economists and market watchers may be optimistic about our economic performance, but consumers and workers are decidedly underwhelmed, as the numbers remain locked in historical lows. For starters, only 16 per cent of Canadians feel that they have moved ahead over the last year; this is less than half of the number who feel they have fallen behind (38 per cent). Longer-term progress is no better, with just 21 per cent indicating… [More...]

Canada 150: The National Mood and the New Populism

Gauging the national mood at Canada 150 in a carefully constructed sample of nearly 6,000 Canadians, this piece assesses how Canada is looking at its political options and how this connects to its economic outlook and a variety of other new forces.

[Ottawa – June 24, 2017] The voter landscape doesn’t mean much as we are still two years away from an election; but it does reveal some interesting new features. Most notably, we see a tightened race with the Conservatives enjoying a post-leadership bounce from the election of Andrew Scheer. The Liberals maintain a slight… [More...]

Pick Up the Phone – Pollsters Know What They’re Doing

[Ottawa – April 25, 2017] The election of Donald Trump last November shocked most observers of U.S. politics. The major consensus predictions favoured a Clinton victory by an overwhelming margin. Heading into election night, The New York Times pegged the odds of a Clinton victory at 85%. Others published similarly high odds for a Clinton win, including: FiveThirtyEight.com (71% chance), Huffington Post (98% chance), PredictWise (89% chance), the Princeton Election Consortium (99% chance), and Daily Kos (92% chance).

In hindsight, these predictions, in their overwhelming certainty, seemed more like science fiction than scientific probabilities. How could the overwhelming consensus drawn from so many have gotten it so wrong? Coming from the same species that once thought the earth was flat and that parachute pants were stylish, we really shouldn’t be so surprised. But more importantly: WHO DO WE BLAME? [More...]

Canada 150: The End of Progress?

The following presentation was delivered by Frank Graves to the Queen’s Policy Review on April 27, 2017.

To celebrate the upcoming Canadian Sesquicentennial, the Editorial Board of the Queen’s Policy Review (QPR) hosted a special policy conference to discuss pressing policy issues that have, and will shape, Canada’s present and future. Both the conference and subsequent publication were focused on the following two questions:

  • ‘What are the policy challenges that have shaped and continue to impact the Canada of today?’
  • ‘What are the emerging challenges facing public policy in Canada

Understanding the Shifting Meaning of the Middle Class

MARCH 2017

This report represents a synthesis of public opinion findings from EKOS and others to help understand Canadians’ attitudes regarding what it means to be middle class today.

This report was prepared for the Privy Council Office, and follows a review of the academic literature which looks at the evolving forces shaping the middle class from an economic and sociological perspective.

The views expressed in this report are those of EKOS Research Associates, Inc., and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Canada.

Click here for… [More...]

Rethinking Citizen Engagement 2017

Results from this edition of Rethinking Citizen Engagement reveal a continued and, arguably, strengthened case for increased citizen engagement.

The federal government’s ‘scorecard’ on engagement and consultation is up in a very significant manner, as is trust in the federal government. There is, however, a strong case for further strengthening federal performance in the area of consultations. Although marks are up, performance is still well short of importance; and there are still large portions of the citizenry who are unhappy with government performance in this area (particularly poor marks are assigned to providing Canadians with an opportunity to input into government decision-making). Survey results also reveal that there are still strong reservoirs of negative outlook on government in terms of governments not caring about the views of average citizens, and this cynicism is more prevalent among older and more economically vulnerable Canadians. [More...]

Citizenology: Towards a New Vision of Public Opinion Research

Frank Graves speaks to the Community of Practice for Public Opinion Research on January 17, 2017. [More...]

Pollocalypse? Not Again

In the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory, pollsters are again taking a beating for getting it wrong. In the Brexit referendum, the last U.K. election and recent Canadian elections, both federal and provincial, pollsters have been blamed for getting it wrong. EKOS President Frank Graves offers this explanation for what happened with the polls in the US election campaign. [More...]

Emerging Concerns about the State of the Middle Class

During the Great Recession, Canada seemed to fare better than many other countries. Our banking system remained stable, our housing values remained strong and we led the G7 in adding jobs. Many inaccurately seized upon the results of the 2014 Luxembourg Income Study to suggest that Canada has the richest middle class on the planet, buoyed by rising home values, standing in staid and prosperous relief to the still uncertain conditions in the United States. If all of this were so, Canadians should have spent the past decade feeling confident, even complacent, about their economic prospects. But nothing has been further from the truth. On the contrary, we have observed a startling degree of pessimism felt by Canadians about the economic health and outlook of the middle class. [More...]

Canadians Respond to Surprising Victory of Donald Trump


By Frank Graves

[Ottawa – November 25, 2016] As the dust settles on the rather unlikely victory of Donald Trump to the highest office in the world, Canadians are trying to make sense of what this new normal will mean for them, the country, and the world. They are also trying to grasp the best route forward for the federal government with a very different U.S. regime than expected. There is considerable anxiety about these issues but there is also some surprising resonance in some places.… [More...]

The Public Outlook on Electoral Reform

Frank Graves speaks at #ERRE, a conference on electoral reform at the University of Ottawa on November 3, 2016. [More...]