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[Ottawa – April 1, 2011] – This week, EKOS is entering into the first phase of our election polling program. We will be publishing surveys at the end of each week based on a roll-up of the previous four days. We will be diverting additional resources to these polls to ensure that we are offering the most rigorous coverage of the campaign. This week’s poll is based on the responses of nearly 3,000 Canadians collected from Monday to Thursday night.

At the conclusion of the first week of the 41st Federal Election campaign, the Conservatives have modestly widened their lead over the Liberals who have remained stagnant (perhaps even slipped slightly). Joining the Conservative Party in forward movement is the NDP who saw a significant bump up in support, largely at the expense of the Green Party and, to a lesser extent, the Liberals.

So despite a week that much of the media thought went not so well for the ruling party, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives find themselves in a significantly more comfortable position today than when the writ was dropped. In fact, their 36.9 to 26.2 advantage over the Liberals may understate their hidden advantage in the regional and demographic patterns underlying this 10.7-point lead. They have opened up a large and meaningful advantage in seat rich Ontario and their constituency is much more weighted to older voters (boomers and seniors who are far more likely to vote than younger voters).

For the Liberals, who seemed to have a good week with the media, these numbers will be quite dispiriting. They really haven’t fallen back much, but see themselves making no progress while both the Conservatives on the right and the NDP on the left have advanced somewhat. Their only comfort here is that there has been no improvement in the directional numbers for the federal government and the sense that the country is on the right trajectory is quite low and declining. In fact, outside of Conservative supporters (only 10% of whom are unhappy with federal direction), about 70% of other party supporters are dissatisfied with the direction of the federal government. Somewhat concerning for the Liberal Party, however, is the fact that their supporters show relatively higher levels of ambiguity about national direction.

For the NDP, the results are pretty positive. They have moved up to 17.2 points, which is both statistically and substantively significant. Less auspiciously, for the Green Party, in a week in which Elizabeth May became somewhat of a cause celebre in certain sectors, the Green Party fell back to one of their lowest scores in our recent polling. They are still doing very well among youth, but they are being spurned by older Canada just as this debate has occurred.

The Bloc now seems to be confronting a confused federalist vote that is utterly fractured across the other federalist choices. There would appear to be opportunities for the Liberals and NDP in Quebec, as the confidence in the current federal government has virtually evaporated in the province. But so far, there is little evidence of any rallying hub for federalist forces in Quebec.

As a final note, it is interesting to note that there has been very little variation in support throughout the week. Indeed, the preliminary results tabulated on Tuesday are virtually identical to the results released today. The consistency suggests that the widened advantage of the Conservatives appeared in the first few days of the campaign and has remained stable since.

Click here for the full report: full_report_april_1_2011


  • Wascally Wabbit

    Frank – are you tracking the uncommitted vote – and any consequential changes in the the totals of the committed?
    Reason I ask – it seems to me – by the total numbers cast being down so much last election – due in large part to formerly committed voters sitting out last time – there is more up side for the Opposition parties by reducing that uncommitted number – than by any swapping of committed voters between parties.
    Bottom line – whether or not the Opposition parties – especially the Liberals – inspire re-commitment by their platforms and improved perception of their current leader – I believe – and have some anecdotal evidence in the way of casual conversations to support this – that the voter turnout will be higher this election – swelled by the folks who have been saying to me – I haven’t voted in the last 2, 3, 4+ elections – but I’m going to vote this time to get rid of Harper. Doesn’t indicate which party they’ll vote for – but I’m guessing an individual voter intuitive bit of strategic vote casting might be involved here. Could be interesting!

  • Naveed

    I find it interesting to compare your Ekos poll with the Nanos poll that has been done for April 1st. Nanos gives Conservatives 39.4 and the Liberals almost 32 percent, suggesting that in fact many NDP voters are turning to the Liberals. Also suggesting that Harper is much closer to a coveted majority.
    Your poll on the otherhand has lesser Liberal numbers, and in fact a rosier outlook for the NDP. Also the Conservatives are not as close to a majority, though pretty much possible.

    I think the reality may be that Ekos is closer on the Conservative poll numbers, but perhaps not on the Liberal, and that Ignatieff may have good potential to close in the gap and prevent a majority Conservative win. But lets see on election day, much can happen before then.

  • Chris

    One question, based on the full report, that I’ve long wondered: It’s fairly standard for firms to report breakdowns by education attainment. But these are never reported controlling for age. Breakdowns by education always seem to show that the support for the Conservatives declines as education increases. In so far as income increases with education, this seems counter-intuitive, but supports the “liberal elite” narrative. But education levels also increase sharply amongst younger cohorts – who are also much less Conservative.

    So, is the apparent education effect really an age effect, that swamps the income effect, or something else?

  • mallard duck

    people are so upset with another election and that fact that the opposition parties wont work with the government that a majority may be coming. There is so much opposition to the liberals who think that they have the god given right to rule us that a disaster may be in the making for them. The liberals clearly need a leader who is not an elitest and not an academic.Perhaps someday the liberals will find someone with the qualifications to run this country.People have not forgotten ad scam or the buying and selling of a golf course on the back of a napkin or a pc who took bag fulls of money in a hotel. People are just fed up. The senior vote will be high.

  • J Foti

    To all who would even suggest a liberal vote is not facing up to today’s world.Economic Recovery / Jobs ,national debt eg balanced Budget, Health Care and Education in that order is what we Canadians want and need.Stability in our Nation .this election is a big waste of money 3-400000000 million dollars times 4 = around a BILLION dollars ,in seven years all due to power hungry Liberals who have a complete disregard tfor our tax dollars.The scandels that only the liberal party could achieve.How many Millions of tax dollars wasted again?
    And then to want to place More social services when we need to save our dollars and pay our debts.At home I pay my debts first then I decide what is good for me.The socialist liberal party would rather spend more ,tax more, and introduce more debt on socialist programs instead of paying our debts and creating a stronger Canada.It boggles my mind how much is wasted and behind most of it is always a liberal.I do not even like Ignatief and his socialist thinking.Thats more than likely the reason he left the USA,they didnt put up with his socialistic agenda.What we need is less government not more.If you have children raise them yourself like we did not open up more daycare and have our children raised in institutions.Not to mention the rights of parents who already raised our children why burdon us with your socialist intitution.I would much rather the parents decide what is good for their children not the liberals/Ignatief .the Gov was and should be for the people and not abused for 2 dollars a vote.Harper is right if they had to pay for this election themselves or through there parties funds it would surly not be taking place right now.So I agree with no more money for votes.Also his stand on crime i dont deny we need more Jails and more time for violent people no exceptions.Our military needs to be strong.Dont forget WE are AT WAR and a strong military of our own is needed.It took the liberals years to deplete our armed services and it will take years to rebuild it so yes to the phantoms equiptment to keep our service men and woman as safe as possible.Long Guns should not need Government involved in my bedroom.I am responsible enough to own a gun and No Government registration is needed,just a big waste of money, have you ever had a bad guy register his gun.Stupid thinking by liberals again who would like to stick there noses in everyday life.They forgot that they work for us and should do what we the people say or leave.So a vote for the Liberals ….Never Again ….
    and those that do vote liberal must love being told how to live by others and follow rules from a socialist dictator who leads a pack of thieves who should be Jailed for the corruption in a party
    that doesn’t care what we the people elected and would go againt our people ,waste our money 4 times in 7 years.Shame on them

  • Crystal ball

    Is anyone doing any door-to-door polling, other than the parties themselves, and if so, what is the MOE of those polls, and what are the results?

  • Michael Milne

    Because of the effeciency of the vote the Conservatives will do better than the polls which reflect a national opinion. Also Conservatives are more likely to identify themselves as uncommitted making the vote day totals reflect this. Look back as far as you can remember and every election except maybe Kim Campbell’s mess the Conservatives polled higher on elction day than the last opinion poll. We are close enough now with htese factors for a Conservative majority

  • Morris Chaban

    I agree with all comments. WE DONOT NEED ANOTHER ELECTION.
    But we have it. We therefore need a Conservative Majority so we don’t have another election next year. The Liberals think we are all stupit and they have a right to rule. They will try to take over the Government again with the help of the other parties. I have a solution for this. Have the Liberal Party go to Libia as they will need a new leader soon!
    Furthermore, we donot need more taxes. I am retired and need my investments. If the Liberals get in we are going to see a massive job loss and turn down of our economy. It will take another 8 years to build back our investments which we need to live on. Will the Liberals replace our investments when his Government puts us into another deep recession. I don’t think so. They will only Tax us more.

  • Wascally Wabbit

    Revisiting here Frank – I find it interesting that – while you deal in facts – most of these CPC fans deal in fantasy. But that is what is the fundamental differentiator between the supporters of the different parties – the Conservatives believe the fables about the gun registry numbers, believe that F-35s will have some practical value to us and believe that prison will protect us. All ideology – all based upon fallacious arguments.