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

DAILY TRACKING – OCTOBER 2, 2008

Room for Breakout Shrinking on Eve of English Debate

[OTTAWA – October 2, 2008] – All the parties are holding to their lanes, and the prospects of any of them making a dramatic shift in the remaining 12 days of the campaign are ebbing away as the number of undecided voters and potential switchers falls.

“The English debate tonight may be the last chance for the leaders to break out of the pattern set in this campaign so far,” said EKOS President Frank Graves, “but it is also something of a faint hope, as Canadians are settling in and getting comfortable with their current vote choice.”

The Conservatives’ dreams of doubling their representation in Quebec, which seemed plausible just three weeks ago, now seem extremely unlikely. The Bloc Québécois is now the commanding leader in Quebec – a position it has held in elections since 1993.

“Last night’s debate was inevitably a four-on-one pile-on the Prime Minister,” Graves said. “He did what he could to look calm and prime ministerial. But that is unlikely to be enough to turn around his prospects in Quebec. Gilles Duceppe, meanwhile, was on home turf, in his native language, and if anything consolidated his party’s support.”

As Conservative strength ebbs in Quebec, and to a less dramatic extent on the West Coast, the party is losing a little of its appeal across income groups. Just two weeks ago, they could boast that they were almost as popular with Canadians making under $40,000 a year income as with those making over $80,000. No more. Conservative supporters are now skewed towards the better-off.

The Liberals continue to track far behind the Conservatives in the latest EKOS tracking poll. At times they have edged abreast of the Conservatives in Ontario, but have been unable to break through. The best prospect for the Liberals to charge ahead from where they are now would be if Canadians believed the Tories were about to form a majority, and the Liberals were able to capture the ABC (Anyone but Conservative) vote. Many New Democrats and Green Party supporters would consider switching in that situation.

But a consensus is emerging among the polls and the media that a Conservative majority is less likely than it seemed at the beginning of the campaign, and that means many voters will not feel they need to make a difficult “tactical” choice to support the Liberals.

That having been said, there are still some “loose fish” among the electorate. Women, and Generation X-ers (25-44 years of age), are less firmly decided than other Canadians. Watch for the parties to hone their pitches on these demographic groups in the last days of the campaign.

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=

3428

479

159

192

1120

1260

218

Margin of error (+/-)=

1.7

4.5

7.8

7.1

2.9

2.8

6.6

Conservative

34

36

51

47

36

21

33

Liberal

25

22

17

22

32

19

33

NDP

19

29

19

21

19

13

25

Green

11

14

13

10

12

8

9

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 on October 14th.

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=

3428

1569

1859

275

1140

1328

685

1176

1240

1012

Margin of error (/-)=

1.7

2.5

2.3

5.9

2.9

2.7

3.7

2.9

2.8

3.1

Conservative

34

38

31

24

33

35

41

29

35

39

Liberal

25

25

25

19

24

26

30

25

24

27

NDP

19

17

22

23

21

19

15

22

20

15

Green

11

11

11

21

12

11

6

12

11

11

Bloc Québécois

10

9

11

13

11

10

7

13

10

7

Tracking Federal Vote Intention

2006 Vote

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

36.3

38

36

36

34

34

34

34

Liberal

30.2

26

26

25

25

27

25

25

NDP

17.5

15

19

18

20

19

20

19

Green

4.5

11

11

13

11

10

11

11

Bloc Québécois

10.5

9

8

8

10

9

10

10

Note – To view daily tracking numbers from throughout the campaign, please download PDF version of this release (link located at the bottom of page)

Tracking Federal Vote Intention in British Columbia

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

35

35

39

44

43

38

36

Liberal

21

19

20

19

20

22

22

NDP

27

28

23

24

26

28

29

Green

14

16

18

13

11

13

14

Tracking Federal Vote Intention in Alberta

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

60

60

57

57

53

55

51

Liberal

17

17

18

17

12

14

17

NDP

10

10

13

14

18

18

19

Green

12

12

13

12

16

13

13

Tracking Federal Vote Intention in Saskatchewan & Manitoba

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

43

43

48

41

42

42

47

Liberal

21

16

18

23

26

26

22

NDP

30

31

25

25

24

24

21

Green

6

8

9

10

8

8

10

Tracking Federal Vote Intention in Ontario

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

42

36

36

32

34

35

36

Liberal

31

33

31

34

37

33

32

NDP

12

19

18

21

18

20

19

Green

13

11

15

13

12

13

12

Tracking Federal Vote Intention in Quebec

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

27

25

24

21

21

20

21

Liberal

21

22

21

18

19

19

19

NDP

9

14

13

14

16

14

13

Green

7

9

8

7

7

8

8

Bloc Québécois

35

29

34

40

37

40

40

Tracking Federal Vote Intention in Atlantic Canada

Pre-Writ

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Sep. 3

Wk1

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

33

32

32

37

30

34

33

Liberal

37

36

33

24

37

35

33

NDP

15

24

22

27

25

24

25

Green

13

7

13

11

8

7

9

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

87

78

78

76

82

43

Somewhat likely (4)

7

4

9

8

9

5

13

Likely (5-7)

15

8

13

15

15

13

44

Tracking Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

End of Week Results

Week 4

BASE:
Decided Voters

Wk 2

Wk 3

29

30

1

Conservative

11

11

9

8

8

Liberal

16

12

14

15

13

NDP

17

14

18

17

15

Green

19

18

16

13

15

Bloc Québécois

16

14

18

14

13

Undecided

43

42

46

43

44

Note – To view daily tracking numbers from throughout the campaign, please download PDF version of this release (link located at the bottom of page)

Strategic Vote Switching

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

11

20

22

31

16

27

No – would not reconsider

81

89

80

78

69

84

73

Tracking Strategic Vote Switching

Sep.-Oct.

BASE: Canadians % “reconsider” by vote intention

29

30

1

Conservative

11

10

11

Liberal

20

21

20

NDP

24

22

22

Green

31

32

31

Bloc Québécois

14

15

16

Undecided

27

26

27

Strategic Vote Switching

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

21

14

14

21

17

24

No – would not reconsider

81

79

86

86

79

83

76

Where do the “Strategic Switchers” Migrate to?

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

Conservative

11

0

13

15

7

17

15

Liberal

24

21

0

48

45

18

9

NDP

14

21

20

0

10

7

22

Green

7

6

13

6

0

4

11

Bloc Québécois

3

4

3

5

5

0

4

Do not know

41

49

52

28

33

52

39

Tracking Vote Switching

Sep.-Oct.

BASE: Those who say they would change their vote

29

30

1

Conservative

10

10

11

Liberal

24

23

24

NDP

14

13

14

Green

6

6

7

Bloc Québécois

7

3

3

Do not know

39

45

41

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 29 and 30, and October 1.

In total, 3947 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.

Click here to download PDF: election-08-daily-tracking-oct2

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