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TORY LEAD EBBS SLIGHTLY – October 22, 2009


[Ottawa – October 22, 2009] – Canada’s two leading parties are now back almost to where they were in the last election, held a year ago this month. The Conservatives are tantalizingly close to majority territory, but possibly just short. The Liberals are mired at less than 30% – at a level that is near to their historic low.

“In the first two weeks of this month, the Conservatives tipped into comfortable majority territory, but the scales are so delicately balanced that even a slight tightening of the race, as we have seen this week, edges them back to a place where a majority would be in doubt if an election were held today.

“We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see whether this pattern is confirmed,” said EKOS President Frank Graves, “but the Harper Conservatives have had a habit in recent years of popping up into majority-government territory, only to be tugged back.”

“The news has been dominated less in the last week or two by the Liberal threat to force an election, and more by the controversy over the use of Conservative logos on prop-cheques used to announce federal stimulus spending,” he said. “What in normal circumstances would be small fluctuations in popular support have huge implications for the parties with the Conservatives on the cusp of a majority.”

This week’s results are more consistent with the pattern of support for the two main parties over the last year: Tory support skews heavily towards older people and men, while the Liberals have an edge among the young, the better educated and New Canadians. However, at these low levels of overall support, the Liberals are failing to win a demographic group that has been crucial to their success in recent decades: women, who have tilted into the Conservative camp, though by smaller margins than men.

The EKOS weekly sounding of Canadian public opinion is conducted for exclusive release to the CBC.

The irony is that while a majority of Canadians favour a majority government, not surprisingly they are divided over who should form it. When offered a choice between a majority Conservative or minority Liberal government, the least favoured option was the one we currently have: a Tory minority.

On the other hand more Canadians prefer some sort of Conservative government at the moment to a Liberal government, whether minority or majority.

“Canadians are currently in a period of deep dissatisfaction with their political system and the options it is providing to them as voters,” said Graves.

Click here to download the full report: full-report-october-22

7 comments to TORY LEAD EBBS SLIGHTLY – October 22, 2009

  • Alex

    “while the Liberals have an edge among the young, the better educated and New Canadians. ”

    Thats a pretty bold statement. Though i know that the intention is not to say that folks who vote for the Tories are not well educated, I think it would be interesting to pick out why that is.

    If we were to take these “better educated” as being University professors lets say. It would be only too smart for them to vote fort he Grits, who have traditionnaly been alot more generous when it came to handing out cash(if you’ll foregive the parlance) and creating social programs which can be summed up as free governement money. Not to be synical, but it would definitely relieve the University from having to raise a portion of their money.

    In the end, this has really just been my own uneducated guess (not to say i sleep in Tory territory), but i would definitely like some insight into the reason behind tis particular slice of the voting demographic.


  • Michel

    To alex:
    There are not enough university profs to skew the results. I think what is meant by better educated means that the higher the average level of education the likelier they are to vote liberal. Hence voters with only a primary school education are much likelier to be conservative voters. Likewise people with one or more university degrees are likelier to support the liberals. Not all people with university degrees are professors. Most of my acquaintances have one or more university degrees and only a very small minority of them teach at university. The rest are doctors, lawyers, architects, work in private enterprise or have their own businesses.
    Just as an asside the educational divide between Liberals and conservatives extends to the caucuses. The average liberal MP is much better educated than the average conservative.

  • Bob

    To Michel:
    As you state, most of your acquaintances are “well educated” and it seems likely that you, and most of your acquaintances, are Liberal supporters. That’s fine; however, I suspect that your final sweeping statement–“the average Liberal MP is much better educated than the average conservative”–is strongly colored by your Liberal perspective. I have grave doubts that it is true, as stated. Can you provide the facts or research to back up that pronouncement. Perhaps they are BETTER educated, BUT I’d want to see the evidence. To see they are MUCH better educated feels like a clear overstatement that undermines your position. Show me the evidence.

  • June Vaughn

    Such nonsense. You call Jean Chretien and Paul Martin and Stephan Dion smarter than Harper. All three brains together couldn’t even come up to Harper’s brilliance.

  • Alex


    Lets just for a minute here not take this as a completely partisan debate.

    To Michel:
    I think that you are taking my comment a little too literally and too far. When i used ”Profs”, it was as an example. The model i painted is still very much applicable to the trades you speak of. All are VERY dependent on public funds in Canada, Doctors, even more.

    In a different perspective, (and since we’re comparing friends it seems) I too have educated friends (not that i would call them that in their presence). I have friends with business degrees, engineering degrees of all kinds, Masters in Applied sciences, Masters in engineering, doctorates, etc… All of whom I’m quite certain would roll their eyes at having a Liberal Government. Now, I’m not sure if we’re to call these people less educated than, Oh, i don’t know, Lawyers, Architects (not to be confused with Civil Engineers), Doctors (Dentists included), people with multiple degrees in Theater and or Music, Women’s studies, History, Human Kinetics… etc….

    What i think I’m driving at here, is that a good education is truly a matter of perspective. I myself was fortunate enough to obtain myself a degree in Engineering (with all the associated ring knocking that goes with it). Now, to draw another comparison (and again, this is not a stab at anybody’s job or career choice): if i were to measure myself to an architect, which i would consider to be closer to a liberal arts (No pun intended) degree than an actual science, i would probably consider that i have a bigger stick to shake professionally than him or her in matters of designing structures and machines. And again, if i were to try and beautify a building or a structure, i most likely would have no idea where to start, and would probably put more beams here in there in a vain attempt.

    Finally, just to wrap it all up, i still find that lumping ‘educated people’ (however we may categorize them) into a voting demographic is ridiculous, for whoever they may vote.

    You’ll have to excuse me, i would write more, but i have to prepare for a flight.
    Your thoughts?

  • cyber

    It really shocks me that Canadians think Harper is better than any other government. I would like to see other than Reformers-Conservatives or Liberals in power. Other parties can’t do much worse seeing the situation
    this country is in at present so they should get a chance too. Canada is laughed at in the world conference circles with our current government. As for the polls, they must be calling only Harper supporters because in my world we are very anxious to have some accountability and honesty from a responsible government.

  • Alex

    To Cyber:

    Accountable and Responsible Government is a very noble cause, and the wish to bring new blood and new ideas is also a goal that would help stir the pot.

    Where i would interject here is to (as you put it) ‘Think Harper is better than any other government.’

    For starters, Harper is not a government. Though he will direct the party line, the Tori ideology remains the same. I think that pretty much covers that one.

    As to say that the present Tori government is better than the other parties available, i would venture to say that this is entirely dependent on what you expect to gain from the ruling party, since each party will inevitably dip the quill first into whatever demographic they target.

    And as for the ”situation” our country seems to be in, i think we were doing quite well for ourselves: Our banks were among the only ones to really absorb the blow from the recession, our economy has remained strong for what i will call a small country (based on population), and there have been more than enough vaccines (enough for 1.5 times the population of this country ref: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/h1n1-swine-flu/flu-shot-impatience-lets-try-a-dose-of-reality/article1351353/) brought in for what i would consider to be a common flu (not to say it isn’t everyone’s civic duty to get vaccinated).

    As for being laughed at in conference circles, well, again, this entirely depends on your circle of friends. Now i’m going to take a stab at this and guess that in the last election, you voted NDP. And that is alright. this is not to call you out on political ideology, but simply to demonstrate that maybe our priorities aren’t exactly the same (as each party’s bottom line will show).

    Finally, (and because its beer call time) with regards to accountability and honesty in a responsible government. Not to say ”well i’ve heard this song before” but there will always be bad apples in every party, and there will always be dissatisfied voters to write about it.

    Your thoughts