Our most recent national poll indicates support for the federal Liberals continues to incrementally trend upwards.
Considering the economy is in the midst of a significant downturn, the Conservatives have generally done well in maintaining their overall support. While they continue to trail the Liberals it’s not realistic for an incumbent government to expect their polling numbers to improve in this economy. The reality is that the Conservatives are still strong in the West and are generally competitive in Ontario. The greatest erosion of Conservative support has occurred in the province of Quebec.
Although the numbers in Quebec for the Conservatives are currently low, one should be cautious because voter volatility in Quebec has historically been much higher than in other parts of the country. A look at Ontario indicates that the Liberals currently have an eight point lead. We know from our research that Ontarians tend to be more concerned about the economy compared to other Canadians and the widening margin could be indicative of increased grumpiness among voters in Ontario.
Support for the NDP is incrementally improving but still below average compared to the high-teens. Support for the NDP in Ontario is another critical factor which could influence potential vote splits. The Conservatives have an interest in a more competitive NDP, especially in Ontario where vote splits would favour the Liberals. Hypothetically, an economic downturn should be a time when the NDP should be able to reassert itself and demonstrate more relevance but Jack Layton and the NDP have not realized that potential at this time.
The Nanos polling suggests that EI is not an “election worthy” issue to trigger an election. Generally, Canadians are very pragmatic and are more interested in solutions than political posturing by the federal party leaders. In a minority situation, there is an expectation that none of the parties will get everything they demand in regards to EI reform. The questions will be whether the opposition judge the changes enough or whether it the issue is a show stopper. Also, based on past experience, the default position for most voters is not to have an appetite for an election but that this subsides once the election begins. It’s not surprising that Canadians likely want to see stability and solutions at this point in time.
Polling between May 26 and June 1, 2009. (Random Telephone Survey of 1,001 Canadians, 18 years of age and older). A survey of 1,001 Canadians is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.
Ballot Question: For those parties you would consider voting for federally, could you please rank your top two current local preferences? (Committed Voters Only - First Choice)
The numbers in parenthesis denote the change from the last Nanos Omnibus Survey completed in April 2009.
Committed Voters - Canada (N=879, MoE ± 3.3%, 19 times out of 20)
- Liberal Party 37% (+1)
- Conservative Party 32% (-1)
- NDP 16% (+1)
- BQ 8% (-1)
- Green Party 7% (NC)
(Note: Undecided 12%)
EI as an Election Trigger Question: As you may know, there have been discussions and proposals related to Employment Insurance. Is disagreement about how Employment Insurance could be changed important enough or not important enough to trigger a federal election?
- Not important enough 60%
- Important enough 31%
- Unsure 10%