Federal NDP falters, Conservatives take lead

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Federal NDP falters, Conservatives take lead

Conservative minority projected

TORONTO September 16th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1402 Canadian voters, close to one third will vote Conservative in the coming federal election (32%), compared to 3-in-10 who will vote NDP (30%) and just fewer who will vote Liberal (28%). These results represent a sharp loss of vote share for the NDP since last week (September 10 - 36%). At the same time, there has been a slightly smaller increase for the Conservatives (from 28%). Few will vote Green (6%) or Bloc Quebecois (4%) or for other parties (1%).

Conservatives lead in Ontario, prairies, Alberta; NDP in Quebec, BC

In vote rich Ontario, where the parties have been roughly tied, the Conservatives now lead (37%), the Liberals are second (31%) and the NDP trail (24%). In strategic Quebec, the NDP are in front (38%), while the Liberals (25%) and the Conservatives (20%) contend for second, while the Bloc Quebecois is in third (13%). The Liberals dominate in the Atlantic provinces (45%) and the other two parties tie for second (Conservatives - 24%, NDP - 26%). In the prairies, the Conservatives lead again (42%) and the Liberals (27%) and NDP (28%) tie for second. In Alberta, it’s all Conservative (52%), and the Liberals (22%) and NDP (20%) vie for distant second. The NDP leads in BC (38%), and the Conservatives (29%) and Liberals (24%) strive for second place.

Switchers in each party

One quarter of those who voted Liberal in 2011 will vote NDP now (24%), and a fifth of past New Democrats will vote Liberal this time around (21%). Just fewer Conservatives from 2011 are voting Liberal this time (16%) and a tenth are voting NDP (9%). Very few past Liberals or New Democrats will vote Conservative, though.

Conservative voters the most committed

Fully three quarters of Conservative voters are strong supporters of their party (75%), while just more than one half of Liberals (56%) or New Democrats (53%) are strong supporters. This supports the switching hypothesis above, in that many Liberals and New Democrats will switch each other’s parties, but not to the Conservatives.

Conservative minority projected

If these results are projected up to the 338 seat House of Commons, the Conservatives would take 138, 32 seats short of a majority, while the NDP would be the Opposition with 113 seats. The Liberals would hold the balance of power with 86 seats, the Greens would seat their leader and no other party would be represented.

Liberals, NDP equally likely to be second choice; not Conservatives

About one quarter of voters pick either the NDP (22%) or the Liberals (24%) as their second choice party, but few pick the Conservatives (7%). One half of Liberal voters pick the NDP as their second choice (53%), while a similar proportion of New Democrats opt for the Liberals (47%). One sixth of Liberals will pick the Conservatives second (16%), and a similar proportion of Conservatives will return the favour (15%). Very few New Democrats choose the Conservatives second (7%).

4-in-10 will never vote Conservative

Far more voters avoid the Conservatives (39%) than they do the Liberals (12%) or the NDP (16%). Conservatives are especially likely to never support New Democrats (38%) followed distantly by Liberals (22%). One half of Liberals will never vote Conservative (51%) and two thirds of New Democrats agree (67%). There is less distrust on this measure between the NDP and the Liberals.

Conservatives more likely to be seen as victors

The Conservatives (29%) and NDP (28%) are equally likely to be seen as the victors in this electoral contest, while the Liberals trail (23%). This represents improvement on this predictive measure for the Conservatives since last week (September 10 - 26%) and a corresponding drop for the NDP (from 33%).

Tom Mulcair still seen as best PM

Three-in-ten voters see Tom Mulcair as the best Prime Minister (30%), while one quarter think this description fits Stephen Harper (25%). Fewer select Justin Trudeau (19%). These results represent a slight decrease for Trudeau (from 22%).

Harper’s approval up sharply

Stephen Harper has seen his approval increase from less than 3-in-10 last week (April 10 - 29%) to one third today (33%), and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) has increased from a very negative -36 to a less negative -26. Approvals for Mulcair (50%) and Trudeau (46%) are stable.

It appears the accepted view of the refugee crisis has been incorrect, and the Prime Minister has benefitted significantly from his response to it. Our polling has shown no majorities of Canadians urging more than a measured response to the crisis," 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.