View Full Version : Conservatives have committed voters, NDP has growth potential, polls suggest

08-06-2015, 02:49 AM
Aug 05, 2015

Polls are suggesting the federal election race is close and could go down to the wire. But the campaign still has more than two months to go, and some voters — perhaps many or even most — could change their minds between now and election day.

So who has the most committed supporters, and who is at risk of losing waverers to one of their rivals?

The votes of many Canadians remain up for grabs. Apart from the 15 to 20 per cent who say they are still undecided in most surveys, fully 60 per cent told Nanos Research in a recent survey that they are considering their options. Only 40 per cent had said that they had already made up their minds. This aligns with a survey conducted by Abacus Data in early July that showed 36 per cent of Canadians would only consider voting for either the Conservatives, Liberals or NDP.

Of those who have already settled on their choice, the polls suggest the Conservatives have the most dedicated voters. When respondents were asked whether they were "a strong supporter" of their preferred party in a recent poll, 70 per cent of Conservative voters told Forum Research that they were. That compared to 60 per cent among Liberals and 56 per cent among NDP supporters.

Second choice polling, particularly in terms of those who say they have no second choice, is also quite revealing. In its most recent poll, EKOS Research found that 59 per cent of Conservatives could not name a party they would consider their second choice. Only 33 per cent of New Democrats and 35 per cent of Liberals said the same thing.

Green voters seem the most willing to consider other options, with just 26 per cent saying they had no second choice. With about half not naming another party, Bloc Québécois supporters were the most committed after those of the Tories.

With Conservative voters believing their choices limited, it is to the left of Stephen Harper that voters see more options. But neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats seem to have the clear advantage, suggesting that whoever is seen as the best alternative to the Conservatives may take the lion's share of those voters seeking change.

If the Conservatives do lose some of their waverers, it is not entirely clear where they would go. In the EKOS survey, 14 per cent of Conservative voters said their second choice was the NDP, little different from the 13 per cent who instead chose the Liberals. However, Conservatives are far more likely to approve of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair than they are of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. If the Tories drop in the polls in the coming weeks, then, the NDP may stand to benefit most.

Among New Democrats, the Liberals are the consensus second choice. In the EKOS poll, 34 per cent chose the Liberals, more than twice as often as any of the other parties. And between 40 and 41 per cent of New Democrats, depending on the poll, approve of Trudeau.

The Liberals may be in greater danger, however, of losing waverers to the NDP. While 11 per cent of Liberal supporters said the Tories were their second choice, 43 per cent chose the NDP instead. And though the recent Forum poll showed about as many Liberals approving of Mulcair as New Democrats approved of Trudeau, EKOS found Mulcair's approval rating to stand at 57 per cent among Liberal voters.

If the NDP does have a more obvious advantage over the Liberals, it may be among Green and Bloc voters. Greens are twice as likely to choose the NDP as their second choice as they are the Liberals. Bloc voters are more equivocal on second choice, but Mulcair's approval ratings among this group are far superior to Trudeau's. If supporters of these parties decide they should instead throw in their lot with a party more likely to form government, the NDP is in the best position to take those votes.

However, these calculations may change if the NDP and Liberals swap position in the polls. Voters may already be baking in the relative standings of the parties into their responses.

These shifts between parties may come at the margins, moving just a few percentage points' worth of support one way or another. But all three leaders need to make major gains in order to approach the threshold for a majority government. The polls suggest all three parties do have the accessible voters to do it — but the NDP's ceiling is the highest.

Polling by Nanos found that 50 per cent of Canadians would consider voting for the NDP, while the Abacus July poll pegged that number at 62 per cent. This was the highest score for any party in both polls, with the Liberals registering between 45 and 55 per cent, respectively, and the Conservatives between 42 and 45 per cent. More than enough for a majority government.

But this gives the NDP the largest margin for manoeuvring, and most of that will have to take place on the left of the political spectrum. The Abacus Data poll showed that 23 per cent of Canadians were Liberal-NDP swing voters, by far the largest group. Only 9 per cent said they were Conservative-NDP voters. Most intriguingly, however, 15 per cent said they could cast a ballot for all three major parties.

In an election where five or six points separates all three parties in voting intentions, this swing group, in addition to the large number of uncommitted voters, has the potential to send the direction of the campaign careening any which way.

[lots of harper and economy bashing in the 2310 Comments]

08-06-2015, 07:34 AM
Many Conservative voters I've spoken with intend to boycott the election, or vote for a longshot independent. C-51, insufficiency of C-42, neglecting conservative social policies.

Many more are voting just to keep out the NDP + Liberals.

They might be surprised on election night.

08-06-2015, 07:53 AM
I understand voting for an independent, or the local candidate rather than the party they belong to, but I've always felt "boycotting" an election is foolish.

08-06-2015, 08:00 AM
Frustration manifests itself in weird ways.

08-06-2015, 08:06 AM
Many Conservative voters I've spoken with intend to boycott the election, or vote for a longshot independent. C-51, insufficiency of C-42, neglecting conservative social policies. Then they're supporting the ndp, whether they intend to or not. We just can't afford to be THAT stupid. Or we'll wind up with the alberta result.

The NFA has to hold a lot of responsibility for that kind of thinking. They've done a lot of harm to the firearms community in the last few years.

It's important to talk to people and remind them that there are ways to change and or punish a party - but letting the people who would do us the MOST harm both economically, from a firearms point of view, AND from a personal freedoms point of view get into power is NOT a good way to do that. It punishes us far more than them.

If the ndp get into power, we will suffer for it while most of the CPC will likely still have their seats and most of the defeated ones will have their fat pensions. 4 years later the CPC will regain power because people will be pissed at what the ndp has done and the CPC will be all happy again, but meanwhile we'll still be stuck paying for all the things the NDP did and chances are we'll have a bunch of new gun laws to enjoy, and the CPC will not be interested in doing us any favors seeing as we weren't there for them anyway.

That's a pretty minor punishment for them, and a pretty major one for us.

People need to think. You don't punish someone by shooting YOURSELF in the foot.

08-06-2015, 08:27 AM
In many ways, the article is just putting some hard numbers to stuff we already knew. The left wing vote is soft, hence the term "promiscuous progressives', and it's mobile. The cpc support is more firm but it has limits - only about 40 - 45 percent of Canadians would consider themselves 'conservative' in their thinking. Justin's in trouble, Mulcair has the best raw material to work with if he can capitalize on it.

Drilling down a bit i think there's some interesting things tho. I think a lot of that support that mulcair could pick up is in ridings where he's already going to win or if he lost he'd lose to the libs, and so it's not really much of a threat to harper. If mulcair would have won with 40 percent of the vote in a given riding, but now picks up 60 percent of the vote, he's still just won a single riding, it hasn't done him any good.

In other words I think the ndp vote is very very inefficient and I think that their POTENTIAL vote is also pretty inefficient. Going up 2 or 3 percent probably wouldn't give him a tonne of new seats, whereas that would guarantee harper a strong minority or possibly a majority.

There is a threat of the soft left vote suddenly becoming solid at the very end. Soft voters don't turn out in huge numbers - but if at the end there is a clear collapse of the libs and the ndp gets the wind in it's sails and gets a lot of excitement going, that could actually be a very real threat. The cpc could lose in such a case. A combined hard left vote that was motivated to go to the polls could leave the NDP with close to 45 - 50 percent of the vote and that's enough even with inefficiencies to give them a majority gov't.

I suspect in the short term, unless something really comes out of this debate tonite, that we'll see the CPC and NDP both climb up against the libs thru august. Not a huge amount and there will be swings and dips, but overall. you're going to see the libs fall a little further behind I think or really struggle to maintain their current standing. We'll see things start to firm up a bit more towards the mid-end of september, but my guess is that right now it's just going to be sort of a general jockying for position and the cpc and ndp are going to probably firm up a little support while the libs struggle to hold on.

Camo tung
08-06-2015, 11:52 AM
The pollsters seem to call relentlessly so my standard answer is "Elizabeth May, for change". That ought to skew a few charts and graphs! :la: