Federal Liberals, Conservatives now tied

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Federal Liberals, Conservatives now tied

Conservatives with slim minority

TORONTO January 28th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1382 Canadian voters, equal proportions, about a third each, will vote for the Conservatives (35%) or the Liberals (34%) if a federal election were held today. This is in contrast to earlier this month, when the Liberals (January 6 - 37%) led the Conservatives (33%) and represents the first time the two parties have been tied since March, 2013 (Liberals - 31%, Conservatives - 30%). The New Democrats will take one fifth of the vote (20%), and this is stable from the beginning of the month (January 6 - 20%). About one fifth will vote Green (6%) or Bloc Quebecois (5%), while very few will vote other parties (1%). The Conservative vote is common to younger voters (35 to 44 - 44%), males (39%) rather than females (30%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 41%), in the prairies (50%) and Alberta (48%) and among those with some college or university (40%). The Liberal vote is characteristic of Gen X (45 to 54 - 38%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 42%), in Atlantic Canada (46%) and Ontario (40%) and among the best educated (post grad - 40%). The New Democrat vote is common to Quebec (25%) and among the best educated (24%). Of note, 1-in-7 past Conservative voters (15%) and one quarter of past New Democrats (26%) would vote Liberal if the election were held today.

New seat distribution favours Conservatives

The new 338 seat House of Commons favours the Conservatives in seat projections, despite a tie in the popular vote. If the election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives would take a modest minority of 145 seats, 25 short of the 170 needed for a majority. The Liberals would capture 125 seats, the NDP 61 and the Greens would take their leader’s seat. The Bloc would elect 5 MPs and one Independent (André Arthur, if he runs) would also take a seat.

Equal proportions expect Liberals, Conservatives to win next election

Mirroring the voting preference question, and despite the seat projections, respondents are equally likely (more than a third each) to expect the Conservatives (36%) or the Liberals (37%) to win the next election, while few expect the NDP to be victorious (9%). Even among New Democratic voters, just one third (31%) expect their party to win. Conservatives have higher expectations of their party’s victory (82%) than do Liberals (72%). This “expectation" measure may be predictive of electoral outcomes.

Leaders’ favourables stable

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the approval of one third (34%), stable since the beginning of the month (January 6 - 34%) and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is also stable, if very negative (-22 then and now). Tom Mulcair’s approval is steady (40% now, 42% at the beginning of the month) as is his net score (+14 then, +12 now). Justin Trudeau is also stable (43% and +7 now, 42% and +5 on January 6).

"Nothing much in particular has happened recently, the Prime Minister is no more popular, the other leaders are no less so, yet the incremental decline in the Liberal lead has continued to the point where it is no longer a lead, for the first time in our polling since Justin Trudeau became leader. The Prime Minister benefits from what is proving to be a popular war, and that’s a hard act for any opposition leader to follow," 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.