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Tie Continues


[Ottawa – October 11, 2015] The statistical logjam continues as we enter the final week of the election campaign. The Liberal and Conservative parties continue to see-saw back and forth for the lead. Indeed, the only clear movement over the last few days has been a decline in NDP support.

Contrary to other polls, we continue to see a three-way deadlock in Quebec. Ontario, meanwhile, is now a very unpredictable two-way contest with the NDP finding itself in an increasingly distant third-place. However, the NDP continues to be a major force in both Quebec and British Columbia. The Green Party is a definite force is British Columbia; indeed, if you combine the party’s first and second choice standings, the Green Party enjoys a 32-point vote ceiling in the province and could pull off a few surprises on October 19th.

In terms of our prediction for Election Day, we are almost certainly looking at either a minority government led by either the Conservatives or Liberals. Very little else is clear in this campaign, as there are two major sources of uncertainty.

The first is engagement and turnout. The Conservatives retain a huge and stable lead with seniors, the only group where they enjoy a clear lead. Seniors are a very large and very reliable voting bloc and this will be a major advantage for the Conservatives in terms of turnout. Meanwhile, the university-educated are the leading source of Liberal renewal, which could be a response to the debate surrounding the niqab and cultural politics.

The second is the issue of cellphone-only households. While this may seem like an area of technical obscurantism, we believe this segment will be critical to the outcome of the election. In the last election, we were further off the final result for having included this segment that was less likely to vote and less likely to favour the Conservatives. Those two features are still very much in play this time with the notable differences that the cellphone-only is now roughly three times larger and tells us they are much more certain to vote than they told us last time. The cellphone-only population contains lots of the younger – less old and educated respondents who tell us they are extremely engaged and motivated by the values war that seems to underlie this election. If they show up, Harper loses; if they don’t, he wins.

Other internal polling suggests four things:

  1. Canadians are far more engaged that they were in 2011.
  2. The election that was supposed to focus on the economy has instead become all about values.
  3. The election is not seen as “business as usual”; instead, it is seen a historic and stark choice.
  4. The public do not believe that either the Conservatives or the Liberals will win a majority, but Canadians will be apoplectic if Stephen Harper wins another majority.









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 figures in this report are based on a three-day rolling sample. Each day, a new day’s worth of interviewing is added and the oldest day is dropped. The field dates for this survey are October 8-10, 2015. In total, a random sample of 1,428 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey (1,018 by HD-IVR, 410 by live interviewer). The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.6 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 11, 2015)

74 comments to Tie Continues

  • Luc R. Bouchard D.C. FICC

    Ave – I have a question – how much seats to each party ?
    MErci – Bonne soirée …
    Joyeuse fête de l’Action de Grâce …

  • Steve

    If you add the extra 2 – 3 points into the conservative column to account for the “timid Tory” factor it starts to look like a slim conservative majority.

    • Lisa

      One can only hope!!

      • One can only hope otherwise. In the end ekos seems to be out of step with almost all other polls. You have to question why! The weight placed on past election results seems to be skewing the results. My question has to be are the pollsters at ekos purposely doing this?

        • Tyler

          I’ve wondered that also, Ekos rates the cons very low last election compared to their actual results. This election, they are rating them the highest of any pollster. They’ve said that they have compensated since last time, but I think they overdid it.

        • Chris

          Yep, that’s the important question. Looking at their accuracy over past elections, it’s a recurring problem. I pretty much disregard EKOS when I look at polls. Maybe pay attention to their final polling before election day.

    • Janice Szikszay

      My family and I voted for Harper Saturday.

  • Bob

    Obviously an attempt to skew public opinion in favour of the Harper Conservatives. This entire polling will be utterly devastated when Canadians take their country back on the 19th. I really hope you go bankrupt so you can stop spreading fascist propaganda.

  • PTPT

    Bob, this pollster UNDER-estimated the Conservatives by 6 points in 2011 yet remains one of the most respected in the business. He’s also a well-known and proud progressive. I don’t think he wants to do the Conservatives any favours and his results are consistent with at least two other pollsters right now (e.g. Angus Reid, Mainstreet). You’re barking up the wrong tree, sir.

  • Steven

    Bob, settle down , Ekos / Frank Graves is clearly a Pro at what he does . His polls provide excellent data and in-depth analysis / insight / if you don’t like the numbers that’s fine but its not necessary to hurl insults and hope that his enterprise fails.


  • Ryan

    Your thought and effort into the back ground of this information is probably as blank as the the thought and effort going into your vote. Maybe you can take an npd candidates place since you know everything. I want to vote conservative just to cancel out a vote of a mindless voter.

  • Alan

    I wonder if anyone has considered that the 13 percent of non responders are suspicious that their voting intentions are being monitored as a result of Harper’s “let’s make it legal to spy on law abiding Canadians” Bill C-51? I wonder how they would vote.

    • JOE

      Alan, That is an emotional argument that makes no sense. So you are saying that Bill C 51 was meant to monitor law abiding citizens. Are you not aware of the world we live in? Do you think we can all afford to give terrorists the right to attack us first. Then clean up the mess. If you really think the gov’t is interested in monitoring the entire population you need some help. They could care less about either of us as long as we have no ill intent on the rest of Canadians. If you are indicative of those that would vote for NDP or lib then we are in big trouble if you get your way.

    • darren

      i find it totally ironic that the C51 is still on the Liberal rebuff..
      did you happen to notice that JT has also said that he will continue to “spy on Canadians”? So is that through C51 or does he have “other ways and means” up his sleeve? Perhaps this is a typical Lib campaign promise…? Yup he says it is in critical to the security and safety of us all.
      If you think thst there is ANY government anywhere that’s not “spying” on everything you do, then you are perfectly suited to vote for the elitist left, as you are completely delusional.

  • CDB

    One poll does not a Conservative lead make. Given the other polls out there, it is highly unlikely this trending up of Conservative and down for Liberal is correct.

    As for this poll skewing favour for the Conservatives, that is highly unlikely; more like it will drive NDP votes to Liberals.

    And Steve, if you think there is any hope whatsoever of a Conservative majority, you’re dreaming.

    Politicians like babies need to be changed regularly … and that time is well past due.

  • Judy

    Liberal minority….Ontario will be a huge win for Trudeau….also picking up seats in Quebec and dominating in Atlantic Canada…..Harper will be Opposition leader which means he won’t hang around

    • Kevin

      Judy, you could be right. Ontarians (well GTA funkys) gave Wynne a majority last year when she clearly was corrupt and withholding her intentions to do things (sell Hydro One for example) so maybe you are right and the GTA will do it again for Trudope since Wynnebag is spending tax dollars campaigning for him right from the start. She doesn’t have enough problems to look after but has to spend valuable time working for him…… Funny thing is Harper has raised the Federal transfers to Ontario by 80% in 6 years and she is still bitching!!

  • Patrick

    The differences u see in polling in this close election is really because of sample size and methodology. I trust the ekos poll slightly more than others, but you have to remember two things: 1) this was how people thought on Friday or Saturday. After the Thanksgiving Monday I expect all these polls to show a push as Canadians make up their mind after these holiday gatherings with families. That would scare me a little if I were running the Conservative campaign. The votes tend to harden that last week and at that point any advertising is only effective with undecided which at this point are possibly non-voters. Family and friend influence is huge. (And I know Thanksgiving is not the same as big ado in Quebec as in most of English Canada) and 2) We are generally seeing agreement that this is a 2 way race in every poll. Now what is important is vote distribution. Especially urban areas of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver. The Conservatives are the only party to win governments without these before. If the NDP vote is collapsing here and not splitting some seats in Toronto and Vancouver out of Liberal hands it will be a big night fo Trudeau. This is beginning to look like in BC the Liberals vote is skewed heavily in metro lower mainland. That Green vote is heavier outside Vancouver so the Libs could get every seat there if NDP vote drops 2-3 points there. I am giving all Island Montreal to Liberals in my forecast and see no reason that will change.

  • Leon

    Nice to see a poll that isn’t skewed to the left like Nanos polling is. If CBC is associated with anything you can assume it’s bogus!

  • Calalta

    I am a former Conservative who voted Liberal at the advance poll yesterday. The last time I voted Liberal was in 1968, however Mr. Harper’s government is so divisive, nasty, unprincipled and incompetent that we urgently need change.

  • Cre47

    PTPT the problem is Mainstreet and Angus Reid are trending like Nanos, Forum and Leger and strongly in favor of the Liberals while EKOS is trending the other way. This is the issue. All the other pollsters are showing gains for the Liberals, some significantly Mainstreet jumped from 29 to 35 for the Liberals in one week for example. Angus-Reid from 27 to 31. Forum from 27 to 35 than to 37. EKOS does catch the trend for a bit but then gone the way unlike the others

    • PTPT

      You may well be correct, but it was no reason for Bob to insult the pollster, accuse him of spreading “fascist propaganda” and wishing he went bankrupt. Don’t you agree?

  • Brad

    Funny how the University grads are the highest Liberal supporters and Trudeau hides his money in 3 offshore banks to avoid paying Canadian Income tax. He then has to up the taxes on the ‘rich’ who DO declare their Canadian incomes. Does this mean University grads support such actions as a whole? Makes me a minority.

    • John Smith

      Surely Trudeau wouldnt hide daddies money in overseas taxhavens?

    • Jo

      What evidence do you have…lying accusations of Liberal wrong doing seem to be the norm from the Cons…and their own immorality and wrong doings…Duffy, Wallin, Wright etc. etc. etc are quietly ignored by candidates who do not show up for regional debates.

  • What truly is laughable is how Eric Grenier throws everything into the hopper to get an overall poll. His biggest mistake is to put so much on an overnight and seriously compromised poll like Nanos.Could it be that he is bucking for a Liberal victory in order to save the CBC?

  • Spx

    I really can’t see the Conservatives being at 47% in Manitoba and the Ontario and Quebec numbers also make no sense. They are off by almost 10% from the other polling sites. I also don’t understand what those 13% invalid answers would be, since there are already 8% undecided.

    • John Smith

      You are seeing people waking up to reality. Trudeau isnt PM material.

      • Heavesteve

        Haha. Harper is pm material, but bad pm material.

      • Bruce M

        People are waking up to Trudeau showing much better than expected, to actually being ready to be PM. And strategic voters are waking up to the fact that th Liberals are the only party that can beat Harper. Please note the comment on Ekos that Canadians will be apoplectic if Mr Harper pulls off another majority. Your trope about Trudeau not being PM material has gotten stale and is disproven by his performance in the campaign.

  • As I look at all the different polls it appears to me that some differences exist. Namely Nano’s his polling seems to be opposite to yours. Your sample size is twice that of his so should be more accurate ,but, one of these pollsters will be wrong. My take away is this is going to be a close one and I am concerned that one of these companies are lacking integrity and trying to influence the vote.Should I be?…ljr…

  • Kevin Mathison

    I have checked several different polls and I don’t think there worth even following anymore, the numbers are radically different from one poll to the next.

  • Stan Morin

    How come the Ekos polls seem to frequently be so far out of whack with other polls done at the same time?

  • John Smith

    EKOS was pretty much the only poll that got it right last time. People will see that Trudeau really isnt PM material and their share of the vote will drop. I am going so far as to predict if these numbers hold the Tories will have the keys to 24 Sussex Drive again. Just look what happened in the UK when voters took a good look at the opposition and put the Tories in power with a majority.

    • Heavesteve

      Dream on buddy. One more week and tories will be official opposition.

    • Bruce M

      This statement is false. Ekos underperformed at least four other pollsters in the last days of the 2011 campaign. They underestimated Conservative support by almost 6%. Forum, Nanos (which has come in for much criticism here), Abacus, and Harris Decima all did better. No pollster predicted a Conservative majority. The interesting question is, do the polls consistently underestimate Conservative or incumbent support, or both? Are they overcompensating for their errors last time?

      I just dropped by my advance polling place and there has been an hour wait all day. Something in the political air has shifted and I think it may be that the anti-Harper voters a more motivated than they were last time. But that is only my intuition, and unlike you I don’t imagine that my opinion is a fact. So we’ll know in a week. Fun, eh?

    • Chris

      That is unequivocally incorrect. When you compare the 8 main pollsters (Forum, EKOS, Nanos, Harris-Decima, Abacus, Angus Reid, Leger, and Ipsos Reid), EKOS was dead last on accuracy.

  • John Smith

    I fail to see anywhere that Trudeau can pick up any more than 75 seats from where they are at the moment.

  • Mark

    If you think EKOS is out of whack I’d say Nanos is equally out of whack skewed towards the Liberals. But reading the comments above I wonder if there’s any truth to Nanos being associated with the CBC while EKOS was the most accurate in 2011

  • Heavesteve

    Feels great to be around on oct 19. Way overdue.

  • mozzaikh

    nanos will come back coming next friday. it s a tactical procedure to persuade smooth voters to break for the party leading in the polls.
    I can not buy Nanos when He put liberals 7 points ahead while even Trudeau does not campagning. huh!

    the 19 is not too far. The night will be very long and very disapointing for some….

    Vote and Vote.

  • Steve

    Trudeau lacks the experience, judgement and gravitas required in a national leader. What has he ever accomplished other than drop out of grad school. To quote Senfield or perhaps Larry David, trudeau is a mimbo, you know a male bimbo.

  • Polls mean nothing. Every paper,radio station, tv etc. Is affiliated with a party. There just trying to alien you with there prefered party, thinking Canadians are influenced in voting with there opinions. Just vote on who YOU want to lead this country, hopefully for the next 4 years.

  • carl rideout

    i think we must look behond the leader and rather look at what they are offering;AS A SENIOR IT IS VERY IMPORTMENT to me.seniors in tnis election are keyed in and indeed carry a big stick.

  • Marc Moisan

    I think that this poll like many others place way too much importance on data from the previous election. I know of some people who voted Liberal at the last election going Conservative this time and some people who voted NDP in 2011 and now going Liberal or Green. Seriously looking at our political landscape in Canada I would little faith in the previous election at all. The only thing we can draw for sure from all the polls right now is that it is probably the closest race in history and the Oct 19 will be an interesting night. Regardless of you political leaning that is something I am sure we all agree on.

  • Anne

    I really have to love those who claim they are former conservatives who this time voted for Shiny Pony. as if. unprincipled govt? try looking at the Ontario liberals if you want to see what liberals do when they are in govt. also, the Trudeau years were not as rosy and wonderful as the CBC would have you believe. read Bob Plamondon’s book The Truth About Trudeau. wasnt all that wonderful. highest mortgage rates ever, alot of people lost their homes, he spent and spent and spent with no thought to paying the debt down and successive govts had to deal with it. if Shiny Pony is the answer, what was the question? you are an idiot if you think he would run this country better than Mr Harper. what do you like? he is nice looking, has nice hair. nice hand shake? you need more stones than that to run a country and deal with world leaders. God I can only imagine what he would do to Canada’s position on the world stage that is now very respectable thanks to Mr Harper. those suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome really cannot see straight and somehow have on rose coloured glasses buying into some utopian version of what your life will be like under Trudeau. promises are just that, promises. few leaders fulfil them. remember Chretien red book promise? he was going to get rid of the GST. did he? nope. it was not until Harper that anything was done with it, he lowered it 2 points. that represents a big tax savings and not just for well off people. lower income people benefit more from tax breaks like that since it gives them more buying power. Harper also introduced the Tax Free Savings Account. Rich ;Boy wants to get rid of it. thanks dear that is about the only tax break I currently have. I love that account and apparently so do 11 million other Canadians. gee are we all rich according to Trudeau, anyways. nope turns out more lower income people have those than wealthy people. and he wants to take it away. also anything the govt gives you they have to take from someone else. if you think he wont be raising taxes you are nuts. also carbon tax/cap and trade whatever you want to call it will just lead to everything costing more and more unemployment. Harper has been a good steward of this country and has tried to keep us safe. Shiny Pony will throw that
    away. you liberals are voting for a straw dog with nothing under it who will be ruled by the back room boys like Gerald Butts, the genius behind the not so green energy program in ONtario that is leading so many of us into energy poverty and has driven out 300k manufacturing jobs by crippling hydro rates. think what the hell you are voting for. sometimes change is not what you imagine. we will be lucky to have any change in our pockets under Trudeau. also Trudeau said that Kathleen Wynne has been a good fiscal steward for Ontario. really? you really believe that? with 300k debt in this province, an 11 billion dollar deficit, 11 billion interest on the debt alone each year. and no sign of cutting spending. in fact her prized stables of overpaid teachers just got yet another raise, while her govt has cut the pay of doctors and health care in Ontario gets worse and worse every day. voting conservative is the only sound choice anyone can make for the future of this country. vote for Stephen Harper. I already did.

  • AJ

    Historically Nanos has been the most accurate in predicting federal elections. That being said, differences in polls represent deference in methodology. Suggestions that this or any of the major pollsters are deliberately scewing results is without merit. I am greatful that as Canadians we have both the freedom of speech and of choice. It is important we all exercise these freedoms on October 19th.

  • Nadezhda Krupskaya

    To everyone who is writing Stephen Harper’s political obituary, here is a name to remember – David Cameron. The U.K.’s prime minister was vilified and written off as politically dead by most of Britain’s mainstream media – just like Harper in Canada. What happened when British voters went to the polls? David Cameron scored one of the biggest upset victories in the history of British politics. He crushed Labour and ended up winning by a margin of around 100 seats. Stephen Harper is about to become Canada’s David Cameron.

  • Jay Walker

    Harper ads were very effective in the early days in speaking to his base, but he wore a lot of other people out and turned them off the Conservatives. Liberals second half advertising was pretty good and clearly broadened Libs base. But it all depends on turnout and that makes this one too close to call. Every living Conservative will crawl to the polls to counter the Liberal surge.


    I am certainly sure that all the political pundits and pollsters would NEVER see this coming…… but I can tell you that this country would have a CONSERVATIVE majority come Oct. 19th. The million dollar question is, what would Trudeau do better? To all Conservative allies, please accept my congratulations in advance!

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