The latest round of Nanos tracking suggests that although the Conservatives and Liberals are now gripped in a deadlock, the change has been driven more by self-inflicted damage by the Conservatives than the efforts of the Liberals.
Liberal fortunes most dramatically increased in seat-rich Ontario which will be a key battleground in the coming election. Conversely, Conservative support has dropped in British Columbia.
Of note, the Nanos Leadership Index, which tracks the perceptions of the federal party leaders on trust, vision and competence shows a continued and substantive advantage for Stephen Harper. He continues to lead his counterparts in trust, vision and competence. The Leadership Index tracking for Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff remains unmoved, even in the wake of what has been recognized as a successful summer tour.
The combination of data indicates that the impact of the Liberal leader’s summer tour has not helped materially boost the personal numbers for Michael Ignatieff at this point, and more fundamentally, that the accumulation effect of controversies may be taking effect on the government. Harper’s personal focus on the economy and jobs has, to this point, helped insulate him from the broader controversies the government has faced.
Overall, although election speculation may be on the rise because of the tightened ballot numbers, it is most likely that, tough talk from the leaders aside, an election at this time would be risky for both the Conservatives and the Liberals.
Nanos conducted a random telephone survey of 1,014 Canadians, 18 years of age and older, between August 28th and September 3rd, 2010. A survey of 1,014 Canadians is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20, for 823 committed voters, it is accurate to within 3.4 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. Margins may be larger for smaller samples.
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 Preference)
The numbers in parenthesis denote the change from the last Nanos National Omnibus survey completed between May 29th and June 3rd, 2010.
National Committed Voters Only (n=823)
Conservative 33.3% (-2.3)
Liberal 32.8% (+3.6)
NDP 15.6% (-5.1)
BQ 12.1% (+2.7)
Green 6.2% (+1.1)
Note: Undecided 18.6% (-5.6) of total voters surveyed
Leadership Index Questions: As you may know, [Rotate] Michael Ignatieff is the leader of the federal Liberal Party, Stephen Harper is the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Jack Layton is the leader of the federal NDP, Gilles Duceppe is leader of the Bloc Quebecois and Elizabeth May is the leader of the federal Green Party. Which of the federal leaders would you best describe as:
The numbers in parenthesis denote the change from the Nanos National Omnibus survey completed between April 30th and May 3rd, 2010.
The most trustworthy leader
Stephen Harper: 25.5% (+1.6)
Jack Layton: 16.5% (-0.3)
Michael Ignatieff: 10.3% (-0.7)
Elizabeth May: 7.8% (+1.0)
Gilles Duceppe: 10.0% (+1.0)
None of them/Undecided: 29.9% (-2.7)
The most competent leader
Stephen Harper: 30.3% (+0.1)
Jack Layton: 12.3% (+0.6)
Michael Ignatieff: 14.6% (-0.5)
Elizabeth May: 3.7% (+1.5)
Gilles Duceppe: 8.7% (+0.5)
None of them/Undecided: 30.5% (-2.1)
The leader with the best vision for Canada’s future
Stephen Harper: 27.5% (+2.4)
Jack Layton: 15.1% (-1.2)
Michael Ignatieff: 14.1% (-0.6)
Elizabeth May: 6.1% (+0.9)
Gilles Duceppe: 5.2% (+1.3)
None of them/Undecided: 32.2% (-2.4)
Leadership Index Score
Stephen Harper: 83.3 (+4.1)
Jack Layton: 43.9 (-0.9)
Michael Ignatieff: 39.0 (-1.8)
Elizabeth May: 17.6 (+3.4)
Gilles Duceppe: 23.9 (+2.8)
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