Winner of Thursday’s debate; none of the above

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Winner of Thursday’s debate; none of the above

Conservatives lead in voter preference

TORONTO September 20th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 922 Canadian voters the evening after the second leaders’ debate, more than half saw or heard something of the debate (56%), and among these, the clear winner was “none of them” (30%), followed by a tie between Stephen Harper (23%) and Justin Trudeau (22%). Tom Mulcair trails on this measure (18%).

Conservatives continue to lead

The Conservatives have one third of the vote (33%), compared to just fewer than 3-in-10 votes for the Liberals and the NDP (29% each). Few will vote Green or for the Bloc Quebecois (4% each) or for other parties (1%). More than one quarter of those who voted NDP in 2011 will vote Liberal this time (26%) and the reverse is true for those who voted Liberal last time, and will vote NDP this election (28%). Just more than one tenth of past Conservatives will vote Liberal this time (13%) but few New Democrats or Liberals from 2011 will be voting Conservative.

Conservative minority seen

If these results are projected up to a 338 seat House of Commons, the Conservatives would form a minority government with 145 seats, 25 fewer than required for a majority, while the Liberals and the New Democrats would split the rest of the House with 97 and 95 seats, respectively. The Greens would seat their leader, and no other parties would be represented.

Conservatives expected to win by slim margin

Voters expect the Conservatives to win the election (31%) more than they do the New Democrats (27%), a reversal of findings in recent weeks on this measure. The Liberals are not seen to be the victors by as many (23%).

Stephen Harper seen to be best PM

After a number of weeks where Tom Mulcair was seen to be the best potential Prime Minister, Stephen Harper now occupies that spot (28%) and the other two leaders are matched at about one quarter of the votes (24% each).

Debate changed some Liberal minds

Of those who saw or heard the debate, one sixth say it made them change their mind about their vote (14%) but this increases to one fifth among Liberals (19%).

Mulcair, Trudeau see their favourables drop

Tom Mulcair has seen his approval drop from one half (50%) at the beginning of the week, to just more than 4-in-10 now (42%), while Justin Trudeau’s approval has also declined (from 46% to 43%). Stephen Harper’s approval has stayed stable at about one third (32%).

This development shows the power of a long campaign, when the lead switches as often as it has, it’s inevitable every party will have the advantage at one point. The Prime Minister has had a good week, and his calm performance in an otherwise boisterous debate seems to have helped him," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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