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ELECTION OUTCOME EXPECTATIONS

Canadians Prepare for A Conservative Government

[OTTAWA – October 2, 2008] – More than three-quarters of Canadians say they expect the Conservatives to win the election on October 14, but whether they expect the Conservatives to get a majority or minority has a lot to do with whether they like the Conservatives, or prefer another party.

Fifty-two percent of Conservative supporters expect a majority government, compared with 42% who expect a minority. But Liberal, NDP, Green and Bloc Québécois voters all say they expect a minority government after the election by substantial margins. That may make it tougher for the Liberals and the NDP to stampede voters their way in an attempt to stop the Tories from winning the majority they seek.

Looking across supporters of all the parties, most Canadians – 58% — expect a minority government. That said, there has been a modest rise in acceptance of a Conservative majority outcome since the last election.

Commentators sometimes talk as if everyone who doesn’t vote Conservative wants them to lose. Not so. When our respondents were asked to choose among four options — Tory majority, Tory minority, Liberal minority or Liberal majority – almost half (49%) preferred a Conservative government of some kind, compared with just 42% who preferred a Liberal government.

But paradoxically, when asked what the worst outcome of an election would be, nearly half again (47%) said that would be a majority Tory government. This negativity is very strongly pronounced in all camps save Conservative supporters. This may help explain the see-saw pattern of the campaign to date, with Canadians reining in the Conservatives when they seem to be headed for a majority.

Interestingly, Liberal voters are not universally enthusiastic about a Liberal majority – as distant a prospect as that may seem. Barely half (49%) preferred a Liberal majority, compared with 36% who preferred a Liberal minority. More than one in ten Liberal voters actually preferred a Conservative government of some kind.

Detailed Tables:

Perceived Likely Winner

Q. Putting aside your personal voting intentions for the next federal election, which party do you think will win?

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

1496

244

124

108

569

298

153

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

6.2

8.8

9.4

4.1

5.7

7.9

Conservative

76

73

83

81

77

73

67

Liberal

9

11

8

7

9

9

9

NDP

3

3

0

3

3

5

4

Bloc Québécois

1

0

0

0

0

3

1

Green

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Do not know/no response

11

12

9

9

11

10

18

Perceived Likely Winner – Tracking From Previous Elections

Election 2004

Election 2006

2008

BASE: Canadians

(Jun. 16-17)

(Jan. 16-19)

(Sep. 29-Oct. 1)

n=

1000

2462

1496

Conservative

49

61

76

Liberal

35

20

9

NDP

2

2

3

Bloc Québécois

2

1

1

Green

0

0

0

Perceived Likely Winner

Q. Putting aside your personal voting intentions for the next federal election, which party do you think will win?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

n=

1496

497

383

280

136

109

41

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

4.4

5.0

5.9

8.4

9.4

15.3

Conservative

76

92

67

71

71

73

46

Liberal

9

3

14

10

12

12

9

NDP

3

0

4

7

6

1

2

Bloc Québécois

1

0

0

0

0

8

0

Green

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

DK/NR

11

5

14

12

11

6

43

Majority or Minority?

Q. Do you think it will be a minority or a majority government?

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

1496

244

124

108

569

298

153

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

6.2

8.8

9.4

4.1

5.7

7.9

Minority

58

59

50

58

60

59

59

Majority

34

29

44

36

34

33

32

Do not know/No response

8

12

7

6

7

8

8

Minority or Majority? – Election 2004, 2006 & 2008

Election 2004

Election 2006

2008

BASE: Canadians

(Jun. 8-10)

(Jan. 10-12)

(Sep. 29-Oct. 1)

n=

1270

2306

1496

Minority

69

72

58

Majority

26

22

34

Do not know/No response

5

6

8

Majority or Minority?

Q. Do you think it will be a minority or a majority government?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

n=

1496

497

383

280

136

109

41

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

4.4

5.0

5.9

8.4

9.4

15.3

Minority

58

42

71

66

61

62

50

Majority

34

52

24

25

32

31

22

Do not know/No response

8

6

6

9

7

6

29

Preferred Outcome

Q. Which of the following outcomes do you think would be BEST?

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

1496

244

124

108

569

298

153

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

6.2

8.8

9.4

4.1

5.7

7.9

Conservative Majority

29

29

50

28

27

23

29

Liberal Minority

22

21

12

21

25

25

17

Liberal Majority

20

23

13

14

21

19

23

Conservative Minority

20

19

18

22

20

23

14

Do not know/No response

9

8

6

14

8

10

18

Preferred Outcome – Election 2004, 2006 & 2008

Election 2004

Election 2006

2008

BASE: Canadians

(Jun. 8-10)

(Jan. 3-5)

(Sep. 29-Oct. 1)

n=

1270

1968

1496

Conservative Majority

25

25

29

Liberal Minority

26

23

22

Liberal Majority

21

22

20

Conservative Minority

19

20

20

Do not know/No response

9

10

9

Preferred Outcome

Q. Which of the following outcomes do you think would be BEST?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

n=

1496

497

383

280

136

109

41

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

4.4

5.0

5.9

8.4

9.4

15.3

Conservative Majority

29

74

1

11

12

15

0

Liberal Minority

22

2

36

35

25

35

20

Liberal Majority

20

1

49

16

19

19

25

Conservative Minority

20

20

11

25

32

25

9

Do not know/No response

9

4

4

13

12

6

46

Least Preferred Outcome

Q. Which of the following outcomes do you think would be the WORST?

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

1496

244

124

108

569

298

153

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

6.2

8.8

9.4

4.1

5.7

7.9

Conservative Majority

47

46

25

42

50

54

38

Liberal Majority

34

38

57

40

31

25

33

Liberal Minority

9

6

10

9

8

11

7

Conservative Minority

4

4

3

1

5

5

3

Don’t know/No response

7

6

5

8

6

5

19

Least Preferred Outcome

Q. Which of the following outcomes do you think would be the WORST?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Canadians

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

n=

1496

497

383

280

136

109

41

Margin of error (+/-)

2.5

4.4

5.0

5.9

8.4

9.4

15.3

Conservative Majority

47

3

81

65

59

65

41

Liberal Majority

34

74

4

19

24

21

13

Liberal Minority

9

15

6

6

8

6

0

Conservative Minority

4

4

5

3

3

7

0

Don’t know/No response

7

5

4

6

7

1

46

Methodology:

Today’s poll was conducted using EKOS’ unique hybrid internet-telephone research panel, Probit©. This panel is randomly recruited from the general population, meaning that, the only way to be included in Probit© is through random selection. Unlike opt-in internet-only research panels, Probit© supports confidence intervals and error testing.

The field dates for this survey are September 29 to October 1, 2008. In total, a random sample of 1496 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. A sample of this size provides a margin of error of /- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as regions).

All the data were 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-winner-oct21

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