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Conservatives Swing into Lead


This survey was sponsored by La Presse. The full article is available here.

[Ottawa – September 24, 2015] In the span of one week, what was a three-way race has become a Conservative lead with the Liberals and NDP trailing. Whether these movements are the result of the government’s handling of the Syrian refugee crisis, the announcement of a budget surplus, Harper’s debate performance, his challenging of the Niqab ruling, or something else is unclear, but the party is recovering the constituencies that were key to its majority victory in 2011.



The Conservative Party is doing much better in Alberta and Ontario and, interestingly, they’re showing some renewed signs of life in Quebec. Indeed, the party is now back in a position where we would expect them to capture some seats, namely in the Quebec City area (we suspect this rise is linked to the refugee and Niqab issues). More importantly, however, their current elevation has been greatly assisted by their ownership of the senior vote; in 2011, nothing was more important to the party that this constituency.




Nevertheless, the public have not yet caught up with these shifts. While a plurality thinks the Conservatives will win on October 19th (a finding that has remained stable since the beginning of the summer), there has been a sharp rise in percentage of Canadians who see the NDP winning. The Liberals are seen as less likely to win, despite their recovery since the start of the campaign.


Coalitions popular everywhere outside Conservative base

Coalitions remain a popular choice, particularly outside of Conservative supporters. Indeed, among progressive voters, it really doesn’t matter if one is a Liberal supporter or an NDP supporter or whether the question is framed in the context of a Trudeau-led coalition or a Mulcair-led coalition; support for a coalition is very high and certainly much higher than in 2011.




Canadians are dead split on the merits of a minority government. Conservative supporters are far less likely to favour a minority government, while progressive voters lean more towards to a minority government. These differences are not entirely surprising since both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau have stated that they will not support a Harper-led government and any Conservative minority would therefore have a short shelf life.


Turning to the preferred lifespan of a coalition government, there is a clear preference for something long-term. Indeed, if we take Conservative supporters (who are dead-set against the idea of a coalition) out of the equation, we see a lean to a full four-year term.


Canadians receptive to constitutional talks… as long as it’s not about Quebec

Finally, there is strong majority support for opening up the constitution, particularly when it comes to Senate reform. NDP and Conservative supporters are particularly enthusiastic about opening up a dialogue on the future of the Senate, while Liberal supporters are a bit more hesitant. Support for opening up the constitution to address Aboriginal claims is also very strong (outside of the Conservative base, that is).


Securing Quebec’s ratification of the constitution, meanwhile, is a clear non-starter (although Quebeckers themselves are more open to the idea). Indeed, despite some of the national unity issues being tossed back and forth between Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau, revisiting this issue doesn’t seem to be a particularly high priority for voters at this time.



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 September 17-22, 2015. In total, a random sample of 2,343 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.0 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 (September 24, 2015)

45 comments to Conservatives Swing into Lead

  • Brian H Coulter

    Good work…..seems more accurate than Nanos……we will see.

    • Joe Murray

      Given Nanos’ pretty good track record, just wondering what evidence you have for thinking this Ekos is right rather than an outlier?

    • Billions of $$$$$$ spent on wars that benefited no one but the rich bankers, oil tycoons and industrial war machines; at the expense of our families, including the elderly, women and children; undermining and underfunding federal transfer to our education/medical systems & infrastructure; supporting regimes that abuse human rights (Guantanamo Bay, war-lords that are inept and corrupt (Afghanistan); silencing oppositions, scientists, social workers, educators… for total media control; toxic, short-term/myopic vision to use dirty money & energy to power his New World Order. Canada has dropped from 1st place from UN’s OECD for advanced countries to 8th, and if Harper has his way, our country will go down even further… Scandinavia, Germany, advanced European countries, and even China are heading towards a green movement with research and development for scientific innovation… If Canada does not abandon this quest for dirty oil control and catch up, we will be left in the dust bin and become a laughing stock to the world!

      • Ian

        See, that comment is nothing but clap trap. Emotional arguments to convince the weak minded. It just doesn’t do it for me.

      • lisa

        As I ponder those who would vote Conservative, I can only think that their myopic vision of Canada is wrapped up in pension splitting and a false sense of security that results from more of the same.
        If the polls don’t change before Oct.19 the division will be deep and divisive.

  • Ian

    Yes sss!!! Let’s go Harper and pick up some Quebec seats tonight!

    • List some convincing reasons for your support of the neo-cons!!!!

      • John

        I doubt any amount of reasoning would convince you. I’ll still be voting for Harper, thanks.

        • SP

          This is my problem with the CPC vote… you don’t even understand how the electoral system you’re participating in works and you’re SO very sure you’ll be voting for Harper.

          Unless you’re living in Calgary you’re probably best to figure out who you’re actually voting for first.

    • Harper’s economic visions are toxic and short-sighted indeed. Former NATO 4 star general, Wesley Clark, has spoken about Pentagon’s plan to invade 7 countries in the Middle East in 5 years… That is precisely what has happened: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Sudan, … Please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7NsXFnzJGw&list=LLgO1R0wdvs_6q_jmALNSzkw&index=6 The US tried to establish itself a hegemon in Southeast Asia after WW2 and was defeated in Vietnam… What make you think they can win this Middle East wars this time?????? Who were the people that benefit from the few decades of war, destruction, suffering of mankind? Not the average citizens; but the bankers, weapons manufacturers &dealers, oil tycoons, industrial barons… Canada has racked billions in joining the US war machine against foreign domination and globalizing 3rd world poverty and do you think US-aligned neo-cons have spent Canadian tax dollars wisely?????? Middle class Canadians are over-worked and over-taxed because of the neo-cons’ cut backs in all public sectors, Why on earth did we elect to have governments in the first place? Why don’t we have anarchy instead?????? Our Canadian humanitarian and environmental reputation has gone down the tube internationally… Canadians are being despised all over the world: in Asia, Africa, South America, even in Europe… All because the neo-cons of Harper & his cronies’ for the biggest American neo-cons terrorists. You need to read “The Untold History of the United States” by Hollywood’s award-winning director, Oliver Stone, and renowned historian, Peter Kuznick. Oliver Stone fought in Vietnam and was wounded; unlike Bush, who dodged the war, and only knows how to wage war…

    • Simon


      Harper is not a Neo-Con, you clearly don’t even know what that expression means. Harper is not even very conservative, he’s a right of center version of Paul Martin.

      His conservative base would love for him to do actually conservative things, but instead, he mostly just prevents a slide into left-wing loonie land.

      He holds the wheel steady on the economy, and resists as best he can the special interest groups trying to wipe out canada’s history, tradition, and culture.

      I can’t even imagine how shrill the fascist-socialist left would be in Canada if a REAL conservative were ever in power.

      Obama is more right wing than Harper LOL. Harper wouldn’t be drone killing arab weddings, selling out the poor to Big Pharma, etc etc.

      Our right is still Left of the American Left on everything except social issues.

      • Simon, comparing ourselves to Americans will only encourage complacency and denial: which the US has been doing for the past 5 decades: have nuclear weapons, arms, guns, oil, made America safer, richer, socially more mobile, environments cleaner?morally more superior (just look at typical American families: multiple divorces, domestic violence);

        I am neither left nor right: This is how we can subdue the earth: build families, build tolerance for religions, schools, cities, governments, laws; harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, compose music, save souls…

        There are plenty of countries better than the US: Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway and other Scandinavian countries…

  • Ellen Pedley

    Great news–Harper has kept our economy strong for years, and supports Israel when the world turns away.
    We know him and his record and are pleased

    • James

      Two recessions, an increase in unemployment by 0.4%, and $180 Billion dollars added to the national debt makes Harper’s economic performance the worst since WWII. Add his attempts to destroy democracy, billions spent advertising his failure of a government (not to mention programs that never were implemented), and a governing style that excludes the wishes of the majority of Canadians, instead choosing to focus policy solely upon the desires of his limited base, and you have the worst PM in Canada’s history.

      • Mark from Brampton

        Unfair comparisons. Two facts, are that any PM presiding over this period would have the worst economic performance because of the worldwide recession and the collapse in oil prices, and the Liberals and NDP were asking for higher deficits when the budgets were coming down. Blaming that on Harper just reveals your hatred for him.
        It is OK to disagree with him, but voice your honest facts, and not left-wing propaganda.

      • Marian

        In 68′, Trudeau senior became PM, Canada’s debt was $18 Billion when he left in ’84 it was $200 Billion.

        • Trudeau’s debts were incurred for good causes (pension plan, medical care, our own Charter)… Mulroney did not do anything damn right: Sold Canada to the US and the US basically bought everything Canadians owned and bullied us. Remember we had to resort to The World Trade Organization to get our $5 billion back for US/Canada softwood lumber dispute???? When Chretien took over, he diversified Canada’s foreign trade, made Canada become 1st place in UN’s oecd list of advanced countries (most livable country with happy citizens), had a good fiscal balance that enabled the Conservatives to cut 7% GST down to 5%. The 7% GST was put on by Mulroney’s conservatives. If Chretien’s Liberals did not have a surplus, would the Conservatives have been able to cut GST once they came into power??????? It was the Conservatives that were inept, not the Liberals…

  • Bob

    MOre and more I seem to be hearing from people I encounter that they intend to “stick with the devil I know”. As for me, I feel the same. Not to place myself as a Harper loyalist….but…when I look at the alternatives I cannot see voting for either of them. For instance, why would a staunch Canadian vote for the NDP when their Sherbrook Declaration , as well as the pledge to repeal the Clarity Act, in effect , makes it easier for Quebec to separate? Oh, yeah…I forgot…many of the NDP MPs from their are closet separatists, aren’t they? As for Trudeau…sorry, without his talking points, he’s lost. So……..what to do but to stick with that devil we know………………

    • Douglas Laframboise

      Good on ya. Using rational deductive reasoning. Harper ain’t no saint. Personally I hate him, but. The alternatives are a french ignatief or a wee entitled boy who figures daddy’s name (BTW the worst PM ever) is reason enough to elect him

    • Trudeau is French. Do you think he would want Quebec to separate???

    • Jake

      I find it amazing how many will sell their morals and support Harper [aka Ali Baba leader of the forty thieves. Speaks his magic words and disappears.]after all of the corruption he has spread. No respect for the courts, and not a leader to get things done. No planes, no ships no pipelines, no manufacturing no lumbering or paper mills. It is Harper that is just not ready. It is time for him to go.

  • Stan Squires

    I am from Vancouver and I wanted to say that Harper got to go.He got a hatred for muslim people and bills C-51 and C-24 are reactionary and should go with Harper.

  • Douglas Laframboise

    Lets just see what You think of Harper’s refugee ideals once the dust settles . eu is having troubles with them. Our immigration guru who usually doesn’t like Harper is touting him calling many of these syrians bogus refugees

  • Harper is the only leader that truly reflects the opinions of the silent majority – He is an economic genius that has turned our economy around and we continue to be envied throughout the G7 countries – Liberal deficits which follow the foot print of Ontario and Washington will only plunge our country into economic chaos. N.D.P. hatred for the resource sector followed by billion dollar day care and high risky carbon taxes will once again plunge Canada into economic black hole – Harper is the most trusted leader who has demonstrated a keen vision to keep the middle class engine thriving – It is the easiest choice to once again support a Conservative majority

    • Well, you can have security without freedom: You can guard yourself with guns; your friends, family and community with gates and machine-gunned arm guards; when you are injured, don’t stay in a Canadian hospital; fly yourself down to an American or Mexico hospital.. Perhaps should become an American or Mexico, not a Canadian…

  • ken miller

    Harper wants to stand pat and hope for a recovery in our economy while Trudeau wants to pump money into our enfo structure which makes more sense. Harper has to go.

  • ken miller

    Why is there such a difference in ekos polls and Ipso Reid and nanos?

  • Douglas

    This poll is clearly an outlier.

    Nothing else out there is showing results anywhere near to this.

  • Francis

    Worst Prime minister,loathes democracy and free speech. He has to Go

  • Alex

    Québec should not seperate from Canada…Canada should merge with USA and than maybe with Mexico than with Europe and than…

  • Suzanne

    Harper is the best Prime Minister we’ve ever had. Despite economic uncertainties worldwide he has kept Canada as one of the most stable economies on earth. He has balanced the budget a year ahead of schedule with over 1 billion dollars surplus! Not debt and deficit. He-‘s taken a strong stand on illegal immigrants and terrorists and has sent planes to help the coalition against Isis. He stands firmly against anti-semitism and for Israel in an increasingly hostile world. He has shown character, honor and determination and he’s a man of strong principles. I can’t think of anyone more suited to lead our country and really hope Canadians will wake up to this truth and reelect Harper on October 19th. Our future literally hangs in the balance.

  • Leib

    Ekospolitics can talk a big talk all they want but it will be the voter to decide not them. Further, Harper will need a majority government which I doubt he will get. Otherwise, there will be another election and another election and another election every six months until he is gone because the left of center has made it clear they will not prop up a Conservative minority government under any circumstances.

  • Caper

    Agree this must be an outlier. The gender result also points to this; Harper has never polled well with women and here he is ahead by a good margin…. very questionable. This is the worst caucus, cabinet, and by far the worst PM we have ever seen. Hope this one proves to be way off base.

  • Dena Short

    Prime Minister Harper has done an excellent job on the Economy, Jobs, Canada’s reputation, in the world, where it really counts!
    Harper has been vilified, in the extremely biased media! You would think the CBC was the 5th party running! It is shameful and the tax payers are paying for their very unprofessional behavior! Do they not take an oath regarding ethics? The NDP mistakenly won in Alberta because they wanted a “change”. Change for change sake, has certainly proven to be a grave mistake there: job losses are rampant, investors and business people have and are taking their business/investments elsewhere. The Liberals have proven they are inept and Justin Trudashian is simply lost without his speaking notes. Not leader material! We will do Canada extreme harm if we elect anyone other than Harper. He has done a great job, he is not perfect, who is? Another thing Harper “Loves”Canada and has provided us with leadership in difficult times! Proud to say Prime Minister Harper and Laureen Thank you for your committment!

  • rob

    The left wing in Canada is truly left. The current director of the NDP, Anne McGrath, ran as a communist party candidate in the 1984 federal election. There is no equivalent situation in the conservative party. It would be like Harper’s chief of staff being a former Nazi party candidate. The NDP is a very scary option for Canada, and Trudeau appears to want to drag the Liberals further left. There is only one centrist party left in federal politics, the Conservative party. Lisa the left-wing troll on this site isn’t going to change my opinion with her ranting, she’s just another Marxist running loose in Canada.

  • Don

    I’m currently in a small, very traditional, very Dutch town in the Netherlands where the refugee crisis is very real. It is also very divisive – on the one hand a national debate is going on, on the other hand individual ‘municipalities’ are quietly converting surplus sort-of-suitable buildings such as vacant schools, military cassernes, jails, or schools into refugee-ready facilities. A town of approx. 1200 residents will soon house upwards of 300 refugees. The societal impact will be enormous. Imagine, say, Brandon having to ready itself for 10,000 Syrian/Iraqi refugees – Then the Canadian debate on refugees would begin in earnest. Now, it’s an easy discussion to have with almost zero local impact, and no actual personal cost to appear sanctimonious.

  • Vance

    EKOSpolitics, you need to consider that most polling place volunteers are appointed directly by Harper, which could very well weaken the vote relatively for other parties through bullying and intimidation. You should have people stake out polling locations to decide if the Conservative underestimation in 2011 will happen again. I happen to predict another majority for the cancerous and worst prime minister of all time, Stephen Harper.

  • Johanna

    Polling Place Volunteers are just that! Volunteers giving up their time to Help our democracy work Vance your posting is utter garbage get your facts straight

  • Lily

    Prime Minister Harper has weathered many a storm during his terms in office. He has handled them well politically and in the best interests of the Canadian people. Our country rates well among the G7 nations. Harper has maintained a good image globaly for Canada.

  • Freda Gordon

    Mr Harper is the best PM we have ever had, decisive, smart and has Canada’s interests at heart. The left will raise taxes and waste our money.u

  • Gwen

    This is the same as every campaign. They promise the people, and never follow through. Do we truly have a say? Not one political party has ever been accountable to the lies they tell to be elected. I have always voted, and will continue and I think all government needs to be held accountable in the promises they make.

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