NDP continue to lead Conservatives, Liberals

| Filed under: National

NDP continue to lead Conservatives, Liberals

NDP minority government in the cards

TORONTO August 20th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1473 Canadian voters, more than a third will vote NDP in the coming federal election (34%), while just fewer than 3-in-10 will vote Conservative (29%) or Liberal (28%). Few will vote Green or for the Bloc Quebecois (4% each) or for other parties (1%). These results are very similar to those noted last week (NDP - 34%, Conservatives - 28%, Liberals - 27%), so the race may have achieved temporary equilibrium.

NDP lead in Atlantic, Quebec, BC, tied in Ontario

In Ontario, where elections are won and lost, the three parties are currently tied (Conservatives - 33%, Liberals - 32%, NDP - 31%), while in Quebec, the New Democrats dominate (40%), and the Liberals are second (23%). The Bloc (17%) and the Conservatives (16%) are tied in third place. In the once- Liberal fortress of Atlantic Canada, the NDP are ahead (39%) and the Liberals are second (32%). In the Prairies and Alberta, the Conservatives are dominant (42% and 47%, respectively) while the NDP is a solid second (28% and 27%, respectively). The NDP lead the pack in BC (39%), while Conservatives and Liberals are close in second place (24% and 28%, respectively).

NDP vote is youngest, Conservative vote oldest; strong gender bias

The NDP vote attracts the youngest (under 35 - 44%), while the Conservative vote is common to the oldest (65+ - 41%). Mid age groups are partial to the Liberals (35 to 54 - 34%). Males favour the Conservatives (36%) over females (24%), while females favour the NDP (17% males, 35% female). The Liberal vote is more gender balanced (38% and 32%, respectively).

One quarter of past Liberals will vote for NDP

About one tenth of past Conservative voters will support the Liberals (12%) or NDP (13%) this time, while as many as one quarter of past Liberals are voting NDP in 2015 (24%). About one sixth of past New Democrats will vote Liberal (16%). Very few Liberals or New Democrats will vote Conservative this time around (5% and 4%, respectively). This effectively puts to rest the concept of the “Blue Liberals” who will vote Conservative to prevent an NDP victory.

Conservatives are most committed supporters

Three quarters of Conservative voters are strong supporters of the party (77%), as are two thirds of Liberals (63%), while just more than one half of those who intend to vote NDP claim to be committed to the party (55%).

Conservative Party is second choice of very few

Fewer than one tenth of voters say the Conservative Party is their second choice (8%), and this implies their vote ceiling is just more than a third (37% in total), scarcely enough for a majority. The Liberals and the NDP, on the other hand, are the second choice of a quarter each (25% and 23%, respectively), which means the NDP vote ceiling is close to 6-in-10 (59%) and the Liberal vote ceiling is more than half (51% in total). A substantial minority of Liberals and New Democrats choose the Green Party second (17% and 18%, respectively).

Almost half will never vote Conservative

Close to one half of voters say they will never vote Conservative (45%), and this is compared to less than a third of this proportion that says this of the Liberals (13%) or the NDP (14%). Liberals and New Democrats are quite insistent about this (56% and 71% respectively), but so are one tenth of past Conservatives (12%). Conservatives, on the other hand, are likely to never vote for both the Liberals (30%) or the New Democrats (40%).

NDP minority government seen

If these results are projected up to the 338 seat House of Commons, the NDP would form a minority government with 133 seats, 37 fewer than required for a majority, while the Conservatives would take 10 fewer seats, at 123. The Liberals would hold the balance of power with 79 seats, the Bloc would seat 2 members and the Greens would retain their leader’s seat.

Mulcair with solid lead as best PM

Mulcair’s lead in the Best Prime Minister stakes has increased (from 25% to 29%), while Stephen Harper’s score has remained stable (25% to 24%) as has Trudeau’s (23% to 21%). Few pick Elizabeth May (9%) or Gilles Duceppe (4%) on this measure, and close to one tenth think none of them can do the job (7%).

NDP now expected to win election by modest margin

One third of voters now expect the NDP to win the election (32%), compared to just less than 3-in-10 who think the Conservatives will be victorious (28%). This is a change from last week, when Conservatives and New Democrats were tied on this measure (30% each). Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are still seen to be the eventual victors by about one fifth (22% last week, 20% this week). This tends to be a lagging measure, following vote intention by a week or two. This would indicate that the NDP lead has stabilized for now.

Trudeau's favourables up sharply

Justin Trudeau has seen his approval increase from less than 4-in-10 two weeks ago (August 2 - 38%) to close to half this week (46%), and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) has increased from a negative -4 to a positive +9 this week. Tom Mulcair continues to enjoy the approval of one half of voters (50% now, 49% two weeks ago) and his net is up to +26 from +20. Stephen Harper still has the approval of just fewer than3-in-10 (28%, similar to 29% two weeks ago) and his net favourable score has declined from -33 to -37.

It appears the NDP are settling nicely into first place, and expectations of victory, usually the last measure to shift, are in their court now. It should be noted, however, that Justin Trudeau has performed magic with his approval ratings since the election writs were drawn up, and this must give the New Democrats pause," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at lbozinoff@forumresearch.com or at (416) 960-9603.