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DAILY TRACKING – SEPTEMBER 24, 2008

Conservatives Dominate English Canada; Dogfight in Quebec

[OTTAWA – September 24, 2008] – The Conservative Party now has a lead in every major region of the country except Quebec, where they are competitive outside Montreal. They have formidable strength in British Columbia, especially outside central Vancouver, and in the rest of the West. They lead in Ontario, by a wide margin outside of Toronto, and are ahead, if only barely and intermittently in the Atlantic provinces.

Increasingly, the Conservative lead over the other parties seems “locked in”, and it would take a major event to disrupt their path to victory now. Liberal support also seems to be gelling (at a much lower level), though there is considerable volatility still among the NDP and the Greens. There is some sign that the growth of the Greens that was a striking element in last week’s story has begun to plateau.

Unless one opposition party emerges more strongly from the pack, which again would take a major breach in the dynamics of the campaign, it seems that the Tories have a prospect at winning a majority, despite their inability so far to break past the 40% barrier. Whether non-Tory voters are aware of it or not, two unusual factors give Harper an excellent shot at a majority: 1) the dispersion of their vote among four parties, and 2) the size of the lead they have opened over the second place Liberals.

So, lets look at some of the regional races. Our large sample sizes give us an excellent picture into what is happening in the larger provinces.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives have established a commanding lead. The Green Party, which was threatening to make it a four-way race in the province just a few days ago has now faded, leaving the Liberals and NDP duking it our for second spot. However, this broad provincial picture disguises the urban/rural split that we dealt with yesterday. The NDP is in a powerful position in central Vancouver. The further you move from downtown “Van”, however, the greater the dominance of the Conservatives.

In Ontario, there has also been a bit of a Green fade, but here to the apparent benefit of the Liberals. That has kept the Liberals within striking distance of the leading Conservatives in the province, but like B.C., the provincial picture disguises the urban/rural reality. The Liberals dominate central Toronto, but the further you get from the CN Tower, the more competitive the Conservatives are. In fact, outside the GTA, they are dominant. The NDP has regional concentrations, of course, that will win it seats.

In Quebec, we see continuing strength for the Bloc Québécois, who in our soundings are running strong – well ahead of the other parties. The reason the race seems so competitive in the province is that, while the BQ is a significant force in most of Quebec (with some exceptions in predominantly non-francophone areas), it faces different opponents in the city of Montreal and the other parts of the province. The Conservatives, who are their principal opponents outside Montreal have actually sagged somewhat since the race began. The Liberals seem set to capture seats again in the Montreal area, but the NDP and even the Greens may also be competitive enough in some seats to seriously complicate the Liberals’ hopes.

Turning to the other regions:

In Alberta, we can tell the story pretty quickly: “Abandon hope, ye non-Tories”. The Conservative lead is so formidable that even traditionally competitive ridings in Edmonton may be falling out of contention.

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Conservatives dominate and the NDP seems to have faded somewhat from its strong early start. The Liberals are now once again in the (dubious) race for second place in the two provinces, more a result of NDP slippage than Liberal improvement. The Greens, who have been up and down in the two provinces, seem tracked upward again in recent days.

In the Atlantic Provinces, the Conservatives have been bouncing up and down from day to day – which may reflect statistical “noise” on the relatively smaller sample sizes than in the major provinces. However, the pattern is clear, that the Liberals and Conservatives are in a dogfight in the region. Both the NDP and the Greens have made charges for a few days at different points, but have faded back to allow the two traditional parties their traditional pride of place in the region.

Detailed Tables:

National Federal Vote Intention

Q. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

3398

791

232

171

895

823

486

Margin of error (+/-)=

1.7

3.5

6.4

7.5

3.3

3.4

4.4

Conservative

37

41

60

47

38

22

35

Liberal

24

20

16

19

32

18

30

NDP

19

25

12

22

19

15

23

Green

11

14

12

12

10

8

11

Bloc Québécois

9

0

0

0

0

37

0

Daily Tracking of Federal Vote Intention

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

38

36

35

38

38

38

36

36

36

37

36

37

Liberal

26

26

25

23

23

24

25

25

25

24

25

24

NDP

15

19

19

19

18

18

18

18

18

19

19

19

Green

11

11

11

11

11

12

13

13

12

12

12

11

Bloc Québécois

9

8

9

9

10

8

8

8

9

8

8

9

National Federal Vote Intention

Q. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Gender

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65

<$40K

$40-80K

$80K

n=

3398

1586

1812

272

1087

1382

657

1150

1234

1014

Margin of error (/-)=

1.7

2.5

2.3

5.9

3.0

2.6

3.8

2.9

2.8

3.1

Conservative

37

41

34

26

35

39

45

34

38

41

Liberal

24

24

25

23

22

25

29

23

23

27

NDP

19

16

21

19

21

18

15

22

18

15

Green

11

11

10

23

11

9

7

10

11

10

Bloc Québécois

9

7

10

10

11

9

4

10

10

6

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – British Columbia

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

35

35

38

40

39

39

39

39

40

42

42

41

Liberal

21

19

20

21

22

22

19

20

20

21

20

20

NDP

27

28

27

23

23

22

24

23

26

24

25

25

Green

14

16

14

14

16

17

18

18

14

13

12

14

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Alberta

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

60

60

55

62

72

67

61

57

55

60

58

60

Liberal

17

17

10

8

6

9

14

18

18

13

13

16

NDP

10

10

22

20

15

13

12

13

16

16

14

12

Green

12

12

12

9

7

11

13

13

12

11

15

12

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Saskatchewan & Manitoba

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

43

43

49

52

49

51

47

48

47

44

45

47

Liberal

21

16

19

19

21

17

18

18

22

21

20

19

NDP

30

31

21

20

25

26

26

25

21

22

21

22

Green

6

8

10

6

6

6

9

9

10

13

14

12

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Ontario

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

42

36

34

37

37

38

35

36

35

36

37

38

Liberal

31

33

33

30

30

29

32

31

32

31

33

32

NDP

12

19

17

18

19

19

19

18

18

18

18

19

Green

13

11

14

14

14

14

14

15

15

15

12

10

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Quebec

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

27

25

25

25

24

25

25

24

23

24

22

22

Liberal

21

22

21

20

21

21

21

21

20

18

18

18

NDP

9

14

13

14

14

13

13

13

15

16

15

15

Green

7

9

8

8

8

9

8

8

7

7

9

8

Bloc Québécois

35

29

33

32

33

32

33

34

35

34

35

37

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Atlantic Canada

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

33

32

33

33

36

31

33

32

37

30

35

35

Liberal

37

36

29

28

28

32

33

33

31

32

30

30

NDP

15

24

30

29

28

21

21

22

20

24

23

23

Green

13

7

7

8

8

15

14

13

12

14

12

11

Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

Q. How likely is it that you will change your mind between now and the federal election?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

Not likely (1-3)

75

85

78

73

66

79

39

Somewhat likely (4)

8

6

9

10

9

7

13

Likely (5-7)

17

10

12

17

25

14

49

Daily Tracking of Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

September

BASE: Decided Voters

% “likely” by vote intention

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

Conservative

11

11

11

11

11

10

10

Liberal

15

16

16

16

13

13

12

NDP

15

16

17

19

18

17

17

Green

22

21

19

17

18

23

25

Bloc Québécois

18

16

16

15

14

14

14

Undecided

51

48

43

45

49

47

49

Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

Q. How likely is it that you will change your mind between now and the federal election?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

Not likely (1-3)

75

75

80

77

76

70

75

Somewhat likely (4)

8

8

9

7

8

10

7

Likely (5-7)

17

17

11

16

17

20

18

Second Choice

Q. Which Party would be your second choice?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

NDP

19

18

32

0

26

28

8

Liberal

17

20

0

30

29

16

12

Green

15

10

23

25

0

17

10

Conservative

10

0

19

16

13

12

10

Bloc Québécois

5

4

4

8

7

0

4

No second choice

34

48

23

21

26

27

56

Daily Tracking of Second Choice

September

BASE: Decided Voters

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

NDP

18

19

20

20

18

19

19

Liberal

17

17

16

17

17

17

17

Green

15

15

15

14

14

15

15

Conservative

11

10

10

10

10

10

10

Bloc Québécois

5

4

5

5

5

5

5

No second choice

35

34

35

35

35

34

34

Second Choice

Q. Which Party would be your second choice?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

NDP

19

16

16

18

19

19

24

Liberal

17

22

11

13

18

16

18

Green

15

17

11

17

17

12

13

Conservative

10

10

11

9

9

11

12

Bloc Québécois

5

2

3

4

2

13

1

No second choice

34

34

47

40

34

29

31

Methodology:

EKOS’ daily tracking polls are conducted using Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. Each weekday evening, a nationally representative sample of approximately 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age and older is surveyed.

The daily tracking number presented in this report is based on a three-day rolling average of surveys collected September 21, 22, and 23. The margin of error associated with this three-day rolling sample of 3,398 decided voters (including leaning) is /-1.7 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, income). All the data have been statistically weighted to ensure the samples composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Click here to download PDF: election-08-daily-tracking-sept24

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