Federal Conservatives rebound

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Federal Conservatives rebound

Tied with NDP, but headed for a minority

TORONTO July 29th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1397 Canadian voters, equal proportions, a third each, will vote for the federal Conservatives or the NDP if the election were held today (33% each). One quarter will vote Liberal (25%). Few will vote Bloc Quebecois or Green (4% each) or for any other party (1%). These results represent a sharp increase for the Conservatives since last week (July 21 - 28%) and an equally sharp decrease for the Liberals (from 29%). The NDP sees stasis (33% last week).

Conservatives now lead in vote-rich Ontario

In Ontario, the Conservatives now lead (37%) the NDP (31%) and Liberals (27%) where once the parties were tied. In Quebec, the NDP lead (36%), ahead of the Liberals (24%). Fewer will vote Conservative (19%) or for the Bloc (17%). In BC, the NDP (38%) are tied with the Conservatives (36%) and the Liberals trail (19%). The Liberals lead in their traditional stronghold in Atlantic Canada (38%), while the NDP (31%) and the Conservatives (28%) vie for second. In Alberta, the Conservatives dominate with half the vote (49%), while the NDP is second (30%) and the Liberals trail (16%). In the Prairie Provinces, the Conservatives have a slight lead on the NDP (39% to 33%), while the Liberals trail (24%).

One third of past Liberals voting NDP this time

Of note, more than a third of those who voted Liberal in 2011 will vote NDP this time (35%). About 1-in-6 past New Democrats will vote Liberal this time (14%), and about one tenth of past Conservatives will desert their party for the Liberals (11%) or the NDP (10%). The Conservative and NDP votes are relatively equally “sticky” (past voters will vote again - 77% and 72%, respectively), while the Liberal vote is not (55%). Furthermore, fully three quarters of Conservative voters say they are “strong supporters” of that party (74%), while just one third of Liberals (62%) and just more than one half of New Democrats (55%) say this.

TV ads and UCCB cheques make little difference

Those who have been exposed to the Conservative Party “Justin Trudeau’s Resumé” TV ad are more likely to vote Conservative (34%) than are those who haven’t seen it (29%). On the other hand, those who received a UCCB cheque are slightly less likely to vote Conservative (31%) than those who have not (34%).

Conservatives advantage in seat distribution to lead to minority government

If these results are projected up to a 338 seat House of Commons, the Conservatives would take a healthy minority of 156, 14 fewer than required for a majority. The NDP would capture 122 seats, and the Liberals would hold the balance of power with 58 seats. The Greens and the Bloquistes would each seat one member.

Leader Approvals stable

Prime Minister Harper has the approval of one third (32%) and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a very negative (but stable) -27. One half the electorate approve of Tom Mulcair (49%), and his net is a very positive +20. Justin Trudeau’s approval is down slightly (from 38% to 35%) and his net favourability is an increasingly negative -12 (-6 last week and -3 the week before).

Conservatives increase their expectation of victory

While the Conservatives and the NDP were tied in who was expected to win the election last week (30% and 29%, respectively), the Conservatives clearly lead this week (34% to 29%). The Liberals are not seen to be competitive (18%) on this predictive measure.

Harper and Mulcair now tied for best PM

Where Tom Mulcair led on this measure last week (29% to Harper’s 25%), the two leaders are tied this week (30% and 29%, respectively). One fifth sees Justin Trudeau as the man for the job (19%) and few pick Elizabeth May or Gilles Duceppe (6% and 4%, respectively). One tenth think none of the leaders would make a good Prime Minister (8%).

"It’s clear the Conservatives have gained favour in the last week, and much of it can be ascribed to the orgy of handouts, beginning with the UCCB cheques, that’s started. Curiously, recipients of these cheques are less likely than parents in general to vote Conservative. It may be the idea is more persuasive than the reality," 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.