NDP lead slips slightly

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NDP lead slips slightly

Parties approach parity

TORONTO June 30th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1221 Canadian voters, just fewer than one third will vote NDP if the federal election were held today (32%) and this represents a drop from their high of more than a third noted last week (June 23 - 36%). At the same time, the Liberals attract the votes of just fewer than 3-in-10 (29%) and the Conservatives have the votes of just fewer (27%), and this hasn’t changed (June 23 - 28% each). The Greens (4%) and the Bloc Quebecois (6%) each attract about one twentieth of the vote, and very few will vote other parties (1%).

In Ontario, the Liberals are tied (35%) with the Conservatives (32%) and ahead of the NDP (27%). In Quebec, the NDP have the lead with a third of the vote (33%) while the Liberals (22%) and Bloc (23%) strive for second. In BC, the NDP are firmly in first (43%), in Alberta, the Conservatives (41%) are increasingly challenged by the NDP (37%), and in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (39%) are being challenged by the NDP as well (34%). Conservatives (32%) and Liberals (35%) are tied in the Prairies, and the NDP is slightly behind (29%). These findings represent a setback for the NDP in Ontario, and an increase in Alberta and the Atlantic provinces.

One quarter of those who voted Liberal in 2011 will vote NDP this time (27%), which is a reversal of the usual situation, where about one quarter of past NDP voters would vote Liberal this time. One fifth of past NDP voters will vote Liberal this time around (19%). Fewer past Conservatives will vote Liberal (14%) or NDP (15%).

Deadlock seen in the House

If these results are projected up to a 338 seat House of Commons, the parties would be close to deadlock, with the NDP taking a minority of 119 (31 less than needed for a majority), the Liberals capturing 106 and the Conservatives occupying 104. The Green Party would keep their leader’s seat, and the Bloquistes would seat 8 members.

NDP has second choice advantage

While one half of NDP voters pick the Liberals as their second choice (49%), close to two thirds of Liberal voters select the New Democrats as their second choice party (60%). Just less than a quarter of Conservative voters would pick either the Liberals or the NDP second (22% each). The Green Party is the second choice of one fifth of New Democrats (21%), but this is not the case with other partisans.

Mulcair’s favourables up, others steady

More than on half of the electorate approve of Tom Mulcair (53%), up from one half last week (June 23 - 50%), and his net favourable rating (approve minus disapprove) has increased from a very positive +25 to an even better +32. Justin Trudeau’s approval is steady at close to 4-in-10 (38% this week and last) and his net has fallen slightly from -3 to -6. Stephen Harper has the steady approval of 3-in-10 (31% this week, 30% last week) and his net score is an abysmal -30.

Conservatives still expected to win

Voters are still slightly more likely to expect the Conservatives to win the federal election (30%) than they are the NDP (26%) or the Liberals (27%), despite their stated preference for the NDP. Conservatives are far more certain of their party’s victory (81%), than are Liberals (66%) or New Democrats (58%) of theirs.

Mulcair seen as best PM

Close to 3-in-10 voters see Tom Mulcair as the best choice for Prime Minister (29%), compared to about one quarter who think this of Stephen Harper (25%) and a fifth who pick Justin Trudeau (21%). Few pick Elizabeth May (7%) or Gilles Duceppe (3%), and some say none is up to the task (10%). Mulcair dominates this measure in Quebec (41%) and leads strongly in BC (36%). Harper is slightly preferred in Ontario (30%) and more strongly in Alberta (39%) and Justin Trudeau leads only in Atlantic Canada (32%), although not by much. As many as one fifth of Liberal voters think Tom Mulcair would make the best Prime Minister (18%).

"It appears the parties have begun to converge in the polling, and they’re seeking parity among the electorate. The NDP lead is not quite so clear now, the Liberals aren’t really trailing so much and the Conservatives are still holding on to their core support. The Liberals appear to be thriving in Ontario, while the NDP centre of gravity is shifting westward, to Alberta and BC, especially, where they’re now dominant. We have to look also at the seat projections, which hold the promise of something close to a hung parliament. This is going to be a very interesting election," 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.