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Stable but Narrowing Conservative Lead as NDP in a Holding Pattern Well Back of Leaders

[Ottawa – October 6, 2015] The Conservatives hold a stable but narrowing lead over the Liberal Party which has been moving up in the past week. The NDP, meanwhile, has declined and the party is plateaued right now.

There has been some confusion regarding the differing results being published by various pollsters in recent weeks. However, we have seen a clear and sustained Conservative lead and we are confident that this is not some statistical anomaly. We saw Conservative Party starting to rise on the 12th of September, moving into a clear lead on the 16th, and holding that lead for 20 consecutive days. It is unclear whether these numbers would produce a majority or not, but it is certainly within the realm of plausibility.



The regional races are showing important movements. The Liberals and Conservatives are statistically tied for the lead in the critical Ontario contest while the NDP seems to be falling out of the race here. Quebec is now a dead heat with the Conservatives and NDP tied and the Liberals up somewhat. Alberta and Saskatchewan have gone solidly blue and British Columbia sees a tight four-way race with the NDP holding the lead. The Green party continues to do well in British Columbia.


The Conservatives lead with men and continue to do well with older voters, but they are now doing well with boomers and have a clear lead with the Generation X cohort. The most striking demographic gap, however, may be the less-well-educated who have flocked to the Conservatives. The Liberals, meanwhile, are recovering the university educated vote. In addition to the older and younger fault lines separating Conservative Canada, there is a large gap across education. This will be important to watch.




This study involved a blended sample collected using two separate methodologies: Computer Assisted Live Interviews (CATI) and EKOS’ proprietary 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 October 3-5, 2015. In total, a random sample of 1,658 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey (1,069 by HD-IVR, 589 by live interviewer). The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.4 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 (October 6, 2015)

64 comments to Stable but Narrowing Conservative Lead as NDP in a Holding Pattern Well Back of Leaders

  • Freda Gordon

    I love your polls

    • Raunch

      I agree that the huge problems with this poll is the Quebec numbers………most of the other pollsters have the BQ or Libs in 2nd place, with the Cons in 4th.

    • Raunch

      Check out the October 7th Ekos poll……….in one day, the Con lead has shrank to 1.8 (instead of 4.2). Ekos and Abacus both say the Liberals are surging in Ontario.

  • Scott H

    I find the Conservative Quebec numbers hard to believe. The moe for these regional polls is so large they can’t be trusted.

  • BC Voice of Reason

    13 days before election 2015 Ekos poll has

    Cons 35.1 Liberal 30.9 and NDP 22.2

    April 20 … 12 day before the 2011 election … at the Start of the Orange Crush EKOS had

    Cons 34.4 and Liberal NDP tied at 27.4 each.

    Cons might be looking at a larger majority.

    NDP need a surge to get back to opposition and they might get it as the only party against the TPP they might rally the union vote.

  • RCNE

    …..”stable but narrowing lead”…..Oxymoron?

  • Helix

    A 2.4% margin of error still shows the NDP basically out of this. Especially with the first Blue Jays playoff games to be played in 22+ years in the country, stealing much of the news up ahead.

    Any undecided or NDP voter might as well vote Liberal at this point. If they do they could decide the election.

    • Raunch

      I agree. Check out strategicvoting.ca . They look at every riding in Canada and who has the best chance to defeat the Cons. People who support the Cons will tell you that strategic voting does not work. I beg to differ. I know of a lot of people, right here in Ontario (in a lot of different ridings), who are going to vote for their 2nd choice, to try and stop the Cons.

  • Marlies Loehde


  • Oleary

    I’m going with Nanos. I believe in good old fashioned human caller.

  • RCNE

    …..”stable but narrowing lead”…..Oxymoron?

  • Amanda KR

    This poll is incorrect. Currently the Liberals have nearly a 10 point lead over the Conservatives.

  • Filter

    Last election all the polls but one said LIB win by minority. Only poll that counts is the one on voting day, or for us, this Friday, CPC is the only smart choice!

  • There is a large group of people that are going to hold their noses to a certain extent and vote for Harper again…..He was wrong on marijuana and prostitution IMHO but big picture stuff like the economy and terrorism he has me onside….Someone has to watch the public purse and he best of bad bunch at that.

  • Mark

    The fact that the government is making promises as to whom it will help because of TPP indicates that they exactly what was going on, but chose not to inform any one.
    One day after the deal was signed they knew of the dollar amount to the last cent each farmer would receive.
    So it not strange that the opposition parties cannot promise any help to any one.
    About a year ago the deal with the European Union was signed and it was heralded as the biggest deal signed.
    The TPP is now supposed to be the biggest trade deal signed.
    So which is it? Up to this date the EU deal has not made it to parliament far less to being ratified

    • sandra

      It is obvious that you have not been closely involved in negotiations. You DO NOT make public all the terms being discussed until the deal has been ratified.

  • Larry Maheu

    I have been very suspicious about Nanos polls. They always show PM Harper with a lower % than the Liberals.
    Your next poll will probably be able to show the new results at should show PM Harper’s Conservatives at over 40%. I predict the Conservatives will have a near 50% of the vote on election day, because of the new trade agreement. After all, 800 million new customers is huge. University students should be able to find good jobs as the agreement produces good results.
    Are you, Mr Graves, trying to get the TV and newspapers to show your numbers? I am one who received a call asking who I would vote for by punching in the 3 digits. A very quick system I voted for the Conservatives,

    • Raunch

      50% ? Really?. Take a look at threehundredeight.com today. If you average out all the polls, the Cons sit at 32.9, the Libs at 32.3, and the NDP in the low 20’s. Not everyone is as thrilled as you are with the new trade agreement. How about the Canada – EU trade deal that Harper told us was a done deal over 2 years ago. It still has not been ratified by all the countries involved. Just because Harper says something does not mean it is fact !

    • Halcyon

      Wow. Reach muchÉ There is exactly zero chance the CPC pull in over 50% of the vote on election night. Zero. Chance.

  • Mike


    No party has ever received 50% of the vote in Canadian history except for the 1867 (when only exactly two options existed). 50% is basically never going to happen.

  • eddie felson

    I just took the poll, which attempts to sway the participants with misleading questions.
    Simply put, I do not believe these numbers whatsoever. Others mention the small samples sizes in Nanos polls-however neglect to mention that they take a 4 day average making their sample sizes similar.
    I trust nanos-and the 5 point liberal lead!!

  • Mark

    I’m not much of a poll guy but all these polls have the Cons in the lead

    Sept 28 Abacas Data 32 – 29 – 27
    Sept 29 Fourm Research 34 – 27 – 28
    Oct 1 Angus Reid 34 – 27 – 27
    Oct 6 Ekos 35.1 – 30.9 -22.1
    Oct 6 Ipsos Reid 33 – 32 -26
    Oct 6 Mainstreet Research 37 – 29 – 24

    While I think Nanos does a good job all these polls can’t be wrong. If you’re objective you will see that the Cons clearly have something going but we won’t know until election day which pollster got it right. Until then pick the poll you want and run with it. I chose to be objective and wait.

    • Raunch

      Today’s Abacus poll has the Cons at 33, Libs at 32, and NDP at 24. They say the Libs are surging in Ontario and now have a 7 point lead over the Cons. Nationally, 59% of voters say they would consider the Libs, 52% NDP, and 43% Cons.

  • * Billions of $$$$$$ spent on wars that benefited no one but the rich bankers, oil tycoons and the industrial war machines at the expense of our families and communities;
    * Undermining and underfunding federal transfers to the province and municipalities; thereby undermining our education & medical systems, social services and infrastructures;
    * Supporting US neo-conservative governments that abuse human rights (gruesome/dehumanizing tortures in Guantanamo Bay), and regimes that are corrupt and inept (Afghanistan warlords…)
    * Squeezing the middle class, forcing them to work harder and longer;
    * Silencing oppositions, scientists, social workers, educators… for total media control;
    * Toxic, myopic economic vision focusing only on short-term gains and wreaking havoc to our environment and earth…
    * Undermining the self-determination of governments in entire regions and around the globe;
    * Causing Canada to drop from 1st place in the UN oecd index to 8th since taking office;
    Causing large increases of Canadians to live in poverty and become homeless…
    * Aligning with the US governments will only encourage complacency and denial: which the US governments have been doing for the past 5 decades: have nuclear weapons, arms, guns, oil, made Americans morally more superior (prolific & promiscuous sex)? Families stronger (multiple divorces, domestic violence & abuses)? Its society safer (gun violence, murder, rape)? Ordinary Americans richer (homelessness and bankruptcies)? Socially more mobile (education and college more affordable)? Its environment cleaner (drought & forest fires in California, drying up of the Colorado River)?
    * The US has tried to establish itself a hegemon in Southeast Asia after WW2 and was defeated in Vietnam. What makes the US (Canada as its accomplice) think they can win the Middle East wars this time?
    * Why are Canadians fighting in wars that have no end in sight? * Why should we give up our freedom that 36 million lives have lost in WW1, 60 million lives in WW2?
    * Scandinavia, Germany, advanced European countries, and even China are heading towards greener alternative energy with research and development for scientific innovation… If Canada does not catch up, we will be left in the dust with a further declining economy, erosion of our civil liberties, freedom of speech, rising terrorism, and being despised all over the world…

    • Felix

      Your Marxist misunderstanding of the world is difficult to follow, but if promiscuity is caused by nuclear weapons then you have taught me something new. Thanks, I guess.

    • Bcando

      Wow. Your optimistic. It’s not that bad.
      It sounds like you went to NDP University!
      It’s like doom and gloom.
      The Conservatives have protected you from all of the horrible things going on around this turmoil

    • John

      WOW!!! A little one sided in your opinion, spouting off “facts” I’m surprised you didn’t mention that 911 was an inside job or that the planes are actually spraying us with agent orange..

    • audrey

      What planet are you living on? You must be smitten by pretty boy. Get a brain.
      Do you want to live in a Islamic world? China getting greener????????????

  • JD

    Lisa, I tell you Canada is HELL. It is HELL, pure and simple!

  • Aaron

    A sad sad day for Canada. Bigotry triumphs.

  • Mark

    The amount of hate for Harper is making people not think straight, does anybody in their right mind think Justin
    has any idea how to manage this country? It’ll be a Conservative majority!

    • Raunch

      You should read today’s Abacus poll………..Cons lead 33 – 32 over the Libs. but, Libs are surging in Ontario (8 point lead over the Cons).

  • Sylvia J. Wilson

    Dear Editor: In Canada we have the right to religious freedom and to worship who we please, even if we believe that the moon is made of blue cheese or that there is no God and we’re just an alien experiment. HOWEVER, when you mix that religion with politics and start making policies based on your religious beliefs, then it becomes MY business.

    The Christian Alliance Church, Evangelical Christians, believe that the earth is only 6,500 years old and all scientists are liars.

    They believe that without Israel there can be no Armageddon and therefore no Rapture. Therefore Israel must be protected at any cost.

    They do no support abortion or homosexuality and believe that those who aren’t born-again are “lost.”

    WHO is the most PROMINENT member of the Christian Alliance Church in Calgary, Alberta? Canada’s Prime Minster, Stephen Harper.

    Does this help you to understand where a lot of the policies that have been made in Canada stem from?

    I am NOT against ANYONE’S religious beliefs, but religion and politics don’t mix and what is happening in Canada right now is a perfect example of why it doesn’t.

  • Mark Kahnt

    For those comparing other polls, the Mainstreet samples are trying to shape the respondents they seek out to be similar to the population that cast ballots in elections – a much heavier profile of older respondents. That is also the demographic prone to say Conservative more, which is why their numbers are higher.
    I’m hearing more that younger people want a say this time around, that they feel that only if they participate can they get the parties to pay attention to them, so the Mainstreet results could be out of alignment with the electoral profile they sought to match.

  • CB

    Just goes to show: neoliberal economics won’t win you an election, but flat-out white-supremacist racism will. The Lynton Crosby touch.

  • Larry Maheu

    EKOS poll has been showing PM Harper above Trudeau since September 21st. October 6 PM Harper reversed the popular vote by showing he had 35% and Trudeau at 30%
    Forum Research had PM Harper at 39% Why hasn’t the TV networks and newspapers not informed Canadians about these numbers.?
    These numbers were before the trade agreement was announced.
    The trade agreement is acceptable to the farmers. The 4.5 billion compensation is a safety net for them The car companies are also in agreement. When Canada can say it can do tariff free export business with 800 million companies with a GDP of 28 trillion, it should be praised by the opposition. However, they will nock the agreement and PM Harper. When the agreement is brought to parliament, you can bet the opposition will delay acceptance of it. It’s what they have always done. he hatred they have for him is unacceptable. He’s a wonderful family an.
    PM Harper has said if he loses the election by even one seat, he will leave. He will see all he has worked for to help all Canadians unravel. I think Canadians are smarter than that,

    • Raunch

      Trudeau has not said that he is against the deal. He would like to see the fine print before he passes judgement on it. The final wording (and fine print of this deal) will not be available until 2 weeks after this election. Everyone who supports the Cons want us all to believe that this is a done deal. Far from it! It has to be ratified by all the countries involved. If Obama does not get this through the U.S. Congress (and there is a lot of opposition to it), the deal is dead.
      Harper told us all (over 2 years ago) that the Canada – EU trade deal was completed. Well, guess what, folks? It still isn’t.

    • Darryl A

      Look at cbc polls have every national poll done since start of election. That is what Harper says about the TPP. We haven’t seen the agreement yet so who can say what is in it. Because he has to pay off the farmers(which might be against the TPP and we can be sued by foreign companies if they feel they are wronged by our laws) and he is going to give money to the big auto companies who can still pull out of our country and go to one of the other 12 companies where the work can be done cheaper so we could still lose lots of jobs.
      Now why do most Canadians hate the conservatives and Mr. Harper. Him and his cronies usually tell half truths or lie out right when they talk to Canadians about things. Child care money, don’t tell you its going to be taxed, can’t wait till people get that bill and that they have taken back the credit for children which was worth about $300 a child.
      Duffy Scandal- tells Canadians that paul martin was corrupt or incompetent because he didn’t know about something happening in his party that was wrong(ad scandal). But he expects us to believe he isn’t corrupt or incompetent when his right hand man and the people he puts around himself are doing illegal things for duffy and expending 90% of their time dealing with the problem and he doesn’t know. That doesn’t pass the smell test.
      The economy – he taxes 10B in surplus and pisses it away and was going to run a deficient even before the meltdown in 2008. Didn’t realize it was a huge problem until the other parties brought it to his attention. Runs deficient for most of his terms and put us into debt to the tune of 150 billion dollars. All we have to show for it is some cruddy gazebos in Ontario.
      Destroys our climate by his oil love affair. Tries to claim he brought down green house gases by getting rid of coal fire plants in Ontario which his government has fought tooth and nail to keep open. His party and himself have been found in contempt of parliament. He practices the politics of hate and division. He uses our differences to make us hate one another instead of trying to use it to our advantage. There is so much crooked about this government to even trying to mention it all. That is just a sample of why we hate the Harper Gov’t

  • Let’s keep a stable government in power, it is not time to change now. The alternative’s to the Conservatives are the same old hack’s.

  • Heather

    I am amazed that anyone in Ontario would even consider voting for the Liberals after what Wynne has done to the province.Trudeau is all for backing her with her ridiculous pension scheme!

  • John Smith

    Canadians will take look at the undeniably unecectable Trudeau on election day and will hand the election to the Tories. Im gonna say there is a 50+ percentage chance of a Tory majority.

    • Raunch

      Good luck with that………..check out the new EKOS (October 7th) poll or Abacus Data. Both show the Liberals surging, especially in Ontario.

  • Raunch

    For all the Conservative supporters who are getting giddy with the Ekos poll numbers (I know you like to tell everyone that will listen, that the Nanos numbers are wrong………..even though, 4 weeks ago, a lot of you liked the Nanos poll when it had the Cons in the lead), maybe you should have a look at today’s Abacus Data numbers (you know….the pollsters who used to do the numbers for Sun News Network). They show the Cons at 33, the Libs at 32, and the NDP at 24. In vote-rich Ontario, Abacus says the Libs have jumped 6 points, and are 7 ahead of the Cons.
    Nationally, 41% of Canadians have positive feelings towards Trudeau, 35 % for Mulcair, and 28% for Harper.
    59% of accessible voters (people who say they would consider voting for a party) say they may vote Lib……..52% NDP, and 43% Cons. In Quebec alone, 48% of voters say they are considering the Libs, 30% for the Cons. In Ontario, 67% are considering the Libs, 57% NDP, and 43% for Harper..
    So, if we look at today’s Nanos and Abacus numbers….they give a completely different scenario playing out that the one shown by the Ekos numbers (sorry Mr. Graves). Looks like a horse race to me.

  • michelle

    Perhaps I am not the most highly educated person around, but please show me how Trudeau’s seat count has climbed to over a 100 new seats! His promises and spending frenzy reminds me of a child in a candy shop; he wants everything no matter what the cost! I believe the media is doing a dis-service to the public. It is no secret the media is a Liberal hub who have pumped up these numbers to ridiculous heights.
    I am looking at this through clear eyes. It reminds me of the Hunger Games. We take the fear tactics, deceit, lies, scandals from both the Con and Liberals for 140 years then we stand up and say enough.
    It is time to stand up for the man who has my best interest in mind and it definitely isn’t the guy who was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth or the despicable, dislikable war monger.
    It is a simple as an X in the right box.

  • audrey

    Larry I agree with you 100%. I don’t understand the hatred for such a fine man. He has done so much for this country that I think one day he will be considered the best Prime Minister Canada has ever had.

  • see, again, i’m starting to wonder if you need to interpret the undecideds differently when measuring over ivr – like, literally, rather than throwaway as following the same distribution. at 7.7% undecided, scaling down puts the conservatives at 32.4 absolute response rate – which is consistent with the other numbers, although it’s also almost in the margin of error. even 33-34% doesn’t strike me as inconsistent, it’s the consistently lower liberal numbers that are weird and, regionally, that seems to be in bc and quebec. i’m even willing to accept that nanos may be overweighting the liberals in bc. but, what was the sordid story about underweighting the liberals in bc, again? aha. but, then if you scale them down you get to 28.5, which you can the scale back up to the mid 30s (and there’s even a bit room to give to the ndp).

    i know this is being very creative and everything, but it does make a lot of sense if you consider that actually talking to somebody is going to get a different undecided response than a telephone system. i mean, yeah: i’m just playing with the numbers. but it adds up. and it makes sense.

    that said, it might not be generalizable, it might just be the specific nature of this election, where support for the incumbents is so deeply entrenched, and support for the two opposition parties is so uncommitted.

    it’s an idea, to consider, anyways.

    although i’m curious about what an “invalid response” is. 11% is a lot. please shoot me an email if you decide to respond in this space, so i can come back and see it.

  • John West

    This is such good news. Truly, Mr. Harper is the only adult operating in this race. He must be re elected if Canada i to survive as a prosperous free capitalist democracy. We do not need tens of thousands of young fit muslim men coming here under the guise of refugee.

    Thank you, thank you very much.

  • Boy did the conservatives get the whole file WRONG on the refugees;
    it was sent to the wrong office:
    it was suppose to be sent to Michelle Rempel the Minister of EVERYTHING!

  • Kovai

    I am an immigrant came to Canada as a refugee in 2002 and got my citizenship 2005.

    I have voted Harper from the first election. This is what he did to me and my wife and two children.

    1. I learned English from ESL and watch every Speach of Harper and the way he speaks and I picked up the style.

    2. He cut income tax as soon as he elected in first term and my weekly pay stub went up by $38.00 huge for an immigrant to survive.

    3. He put an tax free saving account and to date myself and my wife we maxed out. Love it.

    4. We contributed Resp for kids now I am getting more money from universal childcare and I am going to double the Resp for kids and they will be debt free once they finished university.

    5. We bought a house with first time home buyer program and did very well and went up in value triple.

    6. Now I own a business and turning $15 million a year through small business loan. Splitting income with my wife and save $17000 year since we are in high bracket on income.

    7. Our too kids are in day care and we deduct the expense to reduce tax burden.

    8. Our life has much changed from $20 dollar worth immigrant to $2 million dollar immigrant with in 8 years of my hard work and amazing programs put out by conservative.

    9. I love to change my vote but not now. As long as this gentleman as party leader I am in and hearts with Harper.

    10. Every time time people Harper is hardcore, it brings tears into my eyes, even tho I am 36 years old he is family man thriving for all families in Canada. If Harper sees this massage, I want him know that you created a good law biding, tax paying immigrant with your term. Even though he loses it, but he touched lots of hard working immigrants.

    This is true story of a guy from war torn third world country.

  • John Smith

    60% of people voted against Turdeau. Hey, if its ok to say when Harper was PM its ok to say now. Hello to massive government induced debt Canada. Good luck.

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