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NDP and Mulcair Continue to Rise


[Ottawa – June 5, 2015] Just as it appeared that a locked in three-way tie was setting in, we see the NDP opening up some daylight between them and the Conservatives stuck at sub-30 and the listless Liberals that are drifting downward in a gentle but cumulatively significant erosion of their position. The NDP should be jubilant and the Liberals very concerned. It may be, however, that the truly bad news is for the Conservatives. This is evident if one takes a deeper look at the trajectories and underlying forces.



NDP and Liberal fortunes are inextricably connected in a shared pool of promiscuous progressive voters who are now looking more favourably at the NDP for a variety of reasons (e.g., Alberta, C-51, rising plausibility as option to dislodge current government). These swings, while real, are by no means fixed and we have seen several such large movements in this group of voters over the last several years. We do know that those outside of the dwindled Conservative base are increasingly receptive to some forms of arrangement across progressive parties and a more concrete view of those arrangements will now await voters catching up with the rise of the NDP.

Whatever the current harmony of polls regarding a near three-way tie, that is so two weeks ago. If we examine the trends here based on very large probability samples, the near-tie of a month ago (seen as sketchy by many at that time) is morphing further. The Liberals continue to decline and the NDP continues to rise. The Conservatives are languishing sub-thirty, well back of where they need to be for a reasonable shot at another stable government.

NDP has pan-Canadian strength and now well in front in Quebec

What was shaping up to be a tight two-way race has now morphed into a one-way race. The NDP now holds a commanding lead in Quebec and enjoys double the support of any of the other three contenders. Liberal support, meanwhile, has dropped considerably in the province and the party now finds itself in a three-way tie for second place. Ontario, meanwhile, has transformed into a tight three-way race and all three major federalist parties now find themselves within three points of other. This is a far cry from the situation just a few short weeks ago, when Ontario was a fierce Liberal-Conservative contest and the NDP was not even considered competitive there.

It is notable that the NDP is now the only real “pan-Canadian” party in that it is the only party that enjoys at least 20 per cent of the vote in all provinces. The Conservatives have not been a serious contender in Quebec for some time and the Liberals do quite poorly in Alberta and Saskatchewan.


Finally, the NDP also owes its recent fortunes to their success with university graduates. Indeed, the party has jumped ten points with this group in just three weeks and now holds a ten-point advantage over the Liberals, a complete reversal of the situation just a few short weeks ago. Similarly, the NDP is now tied for first among the college educated, a group that until recently appeared widely committed to the Conservative Party.







Second choice becoming more important and revealing

This week, we had a look at second choice which is a very revealing indicator. It can help assess growth opportunities, and the relative distance separating the different options in the minds of voters. This is also more important in a world where there is rising ‘anyone-but-Harper’ sentiment and growing receptivity to strategic voting and coalitions.


The most obvious features of this chart are two-fold. First, the opportunities for growth for the Conservatives are extremely scant. Not only are they below thirty points, but almost nobody is considering them as a second choice. This is also reflected in the loyalty of their base who are by far least likely to consider any second choice. The ‘my way or the highway’ is an asset for turnout, but it may also be a crippling blow to prospects for success; even when converting every possible second choice, the party is left short of its 2011 election result.

On the other hand, the NDP has the most headroom and now, astonishingly, the party leads on both first and second choice. The Liberals also have enough first and second to theoretically aspire to a majority. In the world of a united right, however, the huge advantage that the NDP and Liberals have on ceiling vote is severely dampened by the realities of vote splitting.


This becomes clearer when we look at the array of second choices by party. Overwhelmingly, both NDP and Liberal supporters cite each other as their second choice. If we consider second choice as a measure of values and issues distance, we can quickly see that the NDP and Liberals are far closer than the Liberals and Conservatives. This is the most interesting and dynamic to be watched in coming months. How will the clear majority of center progressive voters array themselves to get a progressive government? The answer is not clear at all and the Conservatives still may triumph because of this dynamic.


An update on the approval front: great for Mulcair, lousy for Harper

Consider the increasingly daunting challenges for Stephen Harper. The directional numbers for the country and government are horrid. The majority public view that the economy is in recession now seems to be emerging in at the least the first quarter growth rates. The Conservative base is down and the opportunities for growth extremely limited. On top of that, Mr. Harper’s personal numbers are now declining in a clear patter which sees about twice as much disapproval as approval. Follow a real softening/warming on outlook on Mr. Harper in the fall of last year, his numbers have been in retreat and are now tracking near historical lows. Thomas Mulcair, on the other hand, is now the new champion of approval with pretty well the reverse two-to-one favorability ratio of Stephen Harper. Justin Trudeau is somewhere between and flat as the electorate wait to hear more about why he and the Liberals are the best bet to replace Mr. Harper.









This study was conducted using High Definition Interactive Voice Response (HD-IVR™) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. In an effort to reduce the coverage bias of landline only RDD, we created a dual landline/cell phone RDD sampling frame for this research. As a result, we are able to reach those with a landline and cell phone, as well as cell phone only households and landline only households.

The field dates for this survey are May 27-June 2, 2015. In total, a random sample of 2,204 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/-2.1 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, education). All the data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, region, and educational attainment to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Click here for the full report: Full Report (June 5, 2015)

37 comments to NDP and Mulcair Continue to Rise

  • The only way too go is VOTE NDP and having a Orange Crush MAJORITY GOVERNMENT VOTE NDP

  • Esa Torbel

    YES. Finally, people are opening their eyes to the truth.

  • Richard Hart

    A strong leader and a full blown antidote to the current Goverment. However, a split between Liberal and NDP votes could still make the Nation suffer more of what most Canadians do not want — Harper in charge.

  • good man

    Left wing ideologists killed Greece now they have a chance to kill Ontario.

    • Marc

      Empty rhetoric. Greece was doing fine until the neo-liberal policies the world over plunged us all into the great recession. If Greece still had it’s own currency it would be doing much better. Iceland which is very left wing is doing extremely well as are most of the European countries, all far more social democratic than Canada which is nothing like Greece to start with and will never be. The NDP is the best choice for Canada.

    • Mark Eddy

      Poor fiscal management has nothing to do with political ideology, and it’s a myth that right wing governments manage finances and the economy better than those of the left.

      As an example, the Harper and Mulroney governments are responsible for close to 80% of the national debt in Canada… that demonstrates that those two conservative governments are four times worse at fiscal management that every other government in Canadian history combined. Not really something to brag about for the Conservatives, now is it?

      Conservatives always talk about how the NDP and Liberals are bad money managers, but the Liberals actually reduced the federal debt under Cretien and Martin. Harper has blown it out of all proportion.

      In British Columbia, the current ultra right-wing BCLiberal government has nearly quadrupled BC’s debt in less than 14 years. Yet they claim to be great managers of the economy and good guardians of taxpayers money. It’s ludicrous. It’s worth noting that yourself a ‘liberal’ by slipping the word into your party’s name doesn’t make you so… this government is the most right-wing in BC history (which is saying a lot).

  • Qasim

    NDP is doing a great job!

  • Mike

    I’m voting NDP

  • Paul

    I am also voting NDP.

  • Jean-Charles Merleau

    Apparently, the «left-wing ideologists» who have killed Greece must be «good men», too, since these have also not been identified. No-name politics is hardly the best way to make headways in terms of credibility.

  • Whiplash

    If one wants to see the country managed right in to the ground, vote NDP (or Liberal). If not, stick with the CPC and Harper – experience counts.

    • Marc

      Hilarious since the Canadian economy is still in the crapper and the only way for Harper to balance the books is to sell off the family silver.

      • Bruce

        Marc, Sad to see how little you know about the world and economics. Canada’s economy is one of the strongest in the world with relatively high employment and relatively high standard of living in spite of world wide slow down. On what basis of fact are you saying the economy is in the crapper?

        • Charles

          Bruce, I agree with you in the case that Canada is indeed relatively fine in the global arena of economics. However, as a younger Canadian, I think the argument most of us take up is not that Canada is, strictly speaking, in the crapper, but rather that the current government has shown a widespread lack of interest in making the economy something better. Better in the sense that is has a more longsighted, renewable, and clean way of operating. Think Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland. Also, as a Nova Scotian, I am seeing first hand an increase in discontent and a decrease in employment and opportunities. People are leaving NS in droves because of lack of employment here, due to so many industries being shut down (in the past: fisheries, in the present: culture and film) and also due to the fact that the cost of living is shooting up like crazy. Perhaps Canada’s economy is fine on paper because the country is doing fine in Ontario, Alberta, and perhaps B.C, but the east coast is being let down. All in all, Steve’s a huge douchebag.

        • Karl Gros

          Canada is the richest country in the world. Best resources, best trained people. We should have 4-5% growth. However, its GDP growth for last decade is mediocre, or better said miserable because of conservative policies. Country has already been managed to the ground, now if conservatives win, it will go bellow ground. Liberals and NDP should cooperate in some ridings to ensure Harper’s defeat and slug it out in others.

    • Mark Eddy

      The Canadian economy is well managed??? You must be joking. The Tories are the most inept fiscal managers in Canadian history. Harper and Mulroney are responsible for nearly 80% of the National debt. That’s good money management? If Canada was a private corporation, it would have been in bankruptcy twice… Once under Mulroney, and again under Harper.

      Out of every five dollars our country owes to money lenders, two of those dollars was borrowed by Harper, and another two were borrowed by Mulroney. The other dollar is the shared responsibility of all the rest of the PMs in Canadian history.

      Experience counts… You’re absolutely right, and the ‘Harper Experience’ hasn’t been a very good one, now has it?

    • Mark Eddy

      The Canadian economy is well managed??? You must be joking. The Tories are the most inept fiscal managers in Canadian history. Harper and Mulroney are responsible for nearly 80% of the National debt. That’s good money management? If Canada was a private corporation, it would have been in bankruptcy twice… Once under Mulroney, and again under Harper.

      Out of every five dollars our country owes to money lenders, two of those dollars was borrowed by Harper, and another two were borrowed by Mulroney. The other dollar is the shared responsibility of all the rest of the PMs in Canadian history.

      Experience counts… You’re absolutely right, and the ‘Harper Experience’ hasn’t been a very good one, now has it?

  • John Wenthouse

    I still don’t understand how 29% of the people can still even be considering the conservatives? We NEED to watch for voter fraud more than ever in this election…If Harper can cheat, he will cheat…and I sincerely doubt 29% of Canadian support him.

    • Bruce

      Are you delusional? The opportunity for voter fraud is virtually zero in this country. I can appreciate that YOU think that this number is in doubt but we will need to wait for the actual election to decide. Your type of paranoia has no place in a rational society. If you are truly concerned about this I suggest you volunteer fro Elections Canada on election day. Might make you feel a bit better about this wonderful country you have the privilege to live in.

  • Naglaa

    Harper should start the countdown

  • NDP is the only way to vote. At least, Mr. Mulcair looks like a Prime minister.

  • Greg

    The moment that Mr. Trudeau voted for C51 he lost my support. I will never vote for the LPC again as long as he is in charge. His career in politics is over before it ever began.

  • Sebastien

    Vive le Bloc! Vive Duceppe!

  • Paul Crete

    Gilles Duceppe give BQ a new Life and Will change vote intention in Québec dramatically with support from Peladeau

  • Rob

    Don’t know, it’s becoming a tough call, have always supported the Conservatives but…..

    Though I am a fiscal conservative to the core and believe in helping people help themselves, not in providing handouts which promotes laziness and free-loading, I believe it is time for change. I am very, very, very disturbed by the TFW program as it makes Canadians compete with foreigners for Canadian Jobs and has robbed jobs away from Canada’s youth as they also have had to compete with TFWs. The Conservatives have gotten way off track and are now way out of touch with Canadians. Unfortunately, the alternative choices are very dismal – the Liberals are still trying to get their house in order and the NDP though organized would cause irreparable damage to the economy. A protest vote is imminent, the question is if it should be orange or red…

    • Jean

      Well, I don’t support them but you may want to consider the Green Party. Seriously, if you would look at their platform, they are generally right wing, anti corporate handout, pro environment. They are smack in the middle of the the liberals and the ndp in terms of spectrum. If you want to protest, the Greens would be where you should put your vote. It is too bad that the Conservatives are really corporatists and slowly becoming fascists. I personally liked the Joe Clark PC’s back in the day and its sad that they have tilted so far to the right.

  • Drew Tarnowski

    Its time for new leadership and a leader that will put the middle class and low income people first and leave the rich in the dust to vend for themselves but it serves them right they are filthy rich pigs that do nothing except things that help them

  • Drew Tarnowski

    Its time for new leadership and a leader that will put the middle class and low income people first and leave the rich in the dust to vend for themselves but it serves them right they are filthy rich pigs that do nothing except things that help them.

  • Peter

    If you want the Conservatives out, don’t split the vote on the left! I live in Alberta and the Liberals and NDP have consistently over the past several elections had more popular support. It took strategic voting to finally remove the PC’s.

  • RJ Pisko

    Economy. The most abused, misused term in most languages, I would guess. Lots think it’s a simple supply/demand system that affects job numbers and “standard of living”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. Salary security? A new Volvo in the driveway every four years? Stailess steel appliances? That lifted F350? “Economy” isn’t a closed sytem, is it? Must it not include factors such a a healthy, educated, productive population, a healthy natural environment, freedom from income disparity and greed-nourished corruption? “Economy” I think, has merely become the big stick which with those who have “the most to lose” are beating the votes out of those who know no better.

  • Hopefully Justin will see the light and form a coalition with Tom. Erasing Stephen from the political map of Canada is essential for the wellbeing of our country and Canadians of all walks of life!
    Justin’s Liberal war machine must see this and must take the helm o their party. Justin can be the figurehead deputy PM but Tom will the real leader!

  • d ronson

    we have the best managed country in the world

  • Justin Thyme

    Enough of this garbage about a split vote. if the vote splits equally between NDP and Lib (the worst case scenario) they BOTH have higher numbers than Harper. BOTH would be in a minority position, and Harper is third. Any uneven split guarantees a minority for the leader, and a possible second place (max) and official opposition for Harper. A greater split guarantees a majority, and official opposition is moot.

    The only effect of a split vote is whether Harper is second or third.

  • Omi

    There is no choice nowadays. Only the parties with enough financing are able to even have a chance. What does that leave you with no choice. Democracy is only a myth

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