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DAILY TRACKING – OCTOBER 1, 2008

National Parties All Short of Their Goals as Leaders Prepare for Debates

[OTTAWA – October 1, 2008] – As the party leaders prepare for their debates, in French tonight and English tomorrow night, only Gilles Duceppe can claim to have met his objectives in the campaign so far.

The Conservatives – Stephen Harper’s Conservatives established an early lead and have held it, often at wide margins over the second-place Liberals. But while a majority seemed tantalizingly close at times, it is once again seemingly slipping away. He needs to revive his party’s standing in Quebec – so strong at the beginning of the campaign; the Tories are now in a dogfight with the Liberals for a weak second place in the province. Meanwhile in Ontario, the party has lost the edge it has enjoyed at times over the Liberals, and even in British Columbia, its commanding lead is looking less formidable than it did just two weeks ago.

The Liberals – Stéphane Dion’s first job was to save the furniture and at best he has saved some of it. The Liberal vote has stabilized and crept up a bit. In Ontario, the Liberal Party is giving the Conservatives a race, but no better, in its traditional heartland. In Quebec, the Liberals have staged a modest revival and are fighting it out with the Conservatives for second place (though still well behind the BQ). Even in B.C. and the West, the party is creeping back up behind the NDP. However, the party remains well short of being a real competitor with the Conservatives to win the election, and shockingly short of what would have been considered its core support just a few years ago.

The New Democrats – Jack Layton has lifted his party up to the top of its traditional range of support. But it is not yet in Broadbent territory. The party is running very well in British Columbia, particularly in Vancouver, and continues to benefit in Ontario not only from healthy support, but also from a three-way fight in that province. But the New Democrats have yet to break through to become a contender for power – their stated aim – or even to displace the Liberals as the natural alternative to the Conservatives, which many regard as their real strategic goal.

The Greens – Elizabeth May has led the Greens on an exceptionally successful campaign by their historical standards. They are at more than twice the level of support they enjoyed in the last election, and have at times peaked near triple their support in 2006. However, that support is broad but thin, and in many parts of the country they will have trouble mounting an on-the-ground campaign that is competitive. May accomplished a major interim objective getting included in the debate. But even at the party’s peak, in the second week of the campaign, it probably would not have won a single seat. A lot rides now on May’s debate performance.

The Bloc Québécois – Gilles Duceppe started the campaign confronted with a widespread impression that the sovereigntist movement in Quebec was dead or dying, and that whatever support had not already been lost to the Tories might start bleeding to the national parties on the left. Publicly, Duceppe framed his campaign as a crusade to deny Stephen Harper a majority. So far, so good. The Bloc revival in Quebec, since the campaign began, mostly at the Tories’ expense, has put the BQ back on track to win the majority of seats in Quebec, and that in itself is one very good reason why the Tories now seem to be tracking short of majority territory.

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=

2752

474

164

171

833

906

204

Margin of error (+/-)=

1.9

4.5

7.6

7.5

3.4

3.3

6.9

Conservative

34

38

55

44

35

20

34

Liberal

25

22

14

23

33

19

35

NDP

20

28

18

23

20

14

24

Green

11

13

13

10

13

8

7

Bloc Québécois

10

0

0

0

0

40

0

Note – The data presented in this chart is based on decided voters only. Our survey also finds that 8% of Canadians say they are undecided and 5% say they do not plan to vote in the October 14th election.

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=

2752

1267

1485

204

893

1085

570

927

1007

818

Margin of error (/-)=

1.9

2.7

2.5

6.7

3.3

3.0

4.1

3.2

3.1

3.4

Conservative

34

38

30

24

33

34

42

28

35

38

Liberal

25

25

26

21

24

26

29

26

24

27

NDP

20

17

22

20

21

20

16

22

20

17

Green

11

10

12

22

12

10

6

12

10

11

Bloc Québécois

10

9

10

14

10

10

7

12

10

7

Daily Tracking of Federal Vote Intention

2006 Vote

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

36.3

36

35

38

38

38

36

36

36

37

36

37

36

35

34

35

34

34

34

Liberal

30.2

26

25

23

23

24

25

25

25

24

25

24

25

25

25

25

26

27

25

NDP

17.5

19

19

19

18

18

18

18

18

19

19

19

19

20

20

20

20

19

20

Green

4.5

11

11

11

11

12

13

13

12

12

12

11

11

10

11

10

10

10

11

Bloc Québécois

10.5

8

9

9

10

8

8

8

9

8

8

9

10

10

10

10

10

9

10

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – British Columbia

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

35

38

40

39

39

39

39

40

42

42

41

40

40

44

42

41

43

38

Liberal

19

20

21

22

22

19

20

20

21

20

20

21

20

19

17

20

20

22

NDP

28

27

23

23

22

24

23

26

24

25

25

25

25

24

26

26

26

28

Green

16

14

14

16

17

18

18

14

13

12

14

14

15

13

14

13

11

13

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Alberta

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

60

55

62

72

67

61

57

55

60

58

60

56

59

57

58

61

53

55

Liberal

17

10

8

6

9

14

18

18

13

13

16

20

19

17

14

14

12

14

NDP

10

22

20

15

13

12

13

16

16

14

12

11

12

14

18

15

18

18

Green

12

12

9

7

11

13

13

12

11

15

12

13

9

12

10

10

16

13

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Saskatchewan & Manitoba

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

43

49

52

49

51

47

48

47

44

45

47

46

44

41

40

41

42

44

Liberal

16

19

19

21

17

18

18

22

21

20

19

21

20

23

21

21

26

23

NDP

31

21

20

25

26

26

25

21

22

21

22

21

24

25

29

31

24

23

Green

8

10

6

6

6

9

9

10

13

14

12

11

11

10

9

6

8

10

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Ontario

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

36

34

37

37

38

35

36

35

36

37

38

36

34

32

34

33

34

35

Liberal

33

33

30

30

29

32

31

32

31

33

32

33

33

34

36

35

37

33

NDP

19

17

18

19

19

19

18

18

18

18

19

20

21

21

20

20

18

20

Green

11

14

14

14

14

14

15

15

15

12

10

11

12

13

10

11

12

13

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Quebec

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

25

25

25

24

25

25

24

23

24

22

22

20

21

21

22

22

21

20

Liberal

22

21

20

21

21

21

21

20

18

18

18

18

17

18

18

18

19

19

NDP

14

13

14

14

13

13

13

15

16

15

15

15

15

14

13

14

16

14

Green

9

8

8

8

9

8

8

7

7

9

8

7

7

7

8

8

7

8

Bloc Québécois

29

33

32

33

32

33

34

35

34

35

37

40

40

40

39

38

37

40

Tracking Federal Vote Intention – Atlantic Canada

September

BASE:
Decided Voters

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

32

33

33

36

31

33

32

37

30

35

35

40

37

37

29

29

30

34

Liberal

36

29

28

28

32

33

33

31

32

30

30

27

28

24

26

30

37

35

NDP

24

30

29

28

21

21

22

20

24

23

23

23

26

27

34

31

25

24

Green

7

7

8

8

15

14

13

12

14

12

11

10

9

11

11

10

8

7

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: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

Not likely (1-3)

78

88

77

75

79

81

44

Somewhat likely (4)

7

4

9

8

8

5

13

Likely (5-7)

15

8

15

17

13

14

43

Daily Tracking of Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

September

BASE: Canadians

% “likely” by vote intention

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Conservative

11

11

11

11

11

10

10

9

10

11

11

11

9

8

Liberal

15

16

16

16

13

13

12

13

12

12

12

13

14

15

NDP

15

16

17

19

18

17

17

15

14

14

16

16

18

17

Green

22

21

19

17

18

23

25

21

19

18

22

19

16

13

Bloc Québécois

18

16

16

15

14

14

14

15

13

14

13

15

18

14

Undecided

51

48

43

45

49

47

49

45

46

42

46

47

46

43

Blocking a Conservative Majority

Q. If you KNEW that the Conservatives were about to win a majority government in this election, would you then reconsider your current voting intention?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

Yes – would reconsider

19

10

21

22

32

15

26

No – would not reconsider

81

90

79

78

68

85

74

Daily Tracking of Blocking a Conservative majority

Sep.

BASE: Canadians % “reconsider” by vote intention

29

30

Conservative

11

10

Liberal

20

21

NDP

24

22

Green

31

32

Bloc Québécois

14

15

Undecided

27

26

Blocking a Conservative Majority

Q. If you KNEW that the Conservatives were about to win a majority government in this election, would you then reconsider your current voting intention?

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

Yes – would reconsider

19

19

14

16

22

16

24

No – would not reconsider

81

81

86

84

78

84

76

Vote Switching

Q. Which Party do you think you might vote for instead?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Those who say they would change their vote

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

Liberal

23

21

0

44

44

19

9

NDP

13

15

20

0

11

8

26

Conservative

10

0

11

16

7

16

12

Green

6

6

12

3

0

7

10

Bloc Québécois

3

3

2

6

3

0

2

Do not know

45

56

56

31

36

50

40

Daily Tracking of Vote Switching

Sep.

BASE: Those who say they would change their vote

29

30

Liberal

24

23

NDP

14

13

Conservative

10

10

Green

6

6

Bloc Québécois

7

3

Do not know

39

45

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 Canadians, 18 years of age and older is surveyed. The daily tracking number presented in this report is based on a rolling average of surveys collected September 28, 29, and 30.

In total, 3,177 Canadians responded to the survey over this period. The margin of error associated with this rolling sample 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.

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