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Federal Election Gridlock Continues as NDP Holds Steady (33%), Liberals (30%, +2) and Conservatives (29%, -2) Jockey for Second 

In Battleground Ontario, Grits (33%), NDP (32%) and Tories (31%) Locked in Three-Way Tie

Friday, August 28, 2015

Toronto, ON – The federal election campaign appears to be having little impact on the vote choice of Canadians so far, despite the sustained coverage of Nigel Wright’s testimony in the Mike Duffy trial and the recent volatility of financial markets and the Canadian economy, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. All three major parties remain gridlocked in the closest (and longest) election in modern Canadian political history as we near the end of the phony war in August and the campaign begins to come into focus following Labour Day.

If the election were held tomorrow, 33% of eligible voters would vote for Thomas Mulcair and the NDP (unchanged since Ipsos’ last poll published on August 11). Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would receive 30% of the decided vote (up 2 points), while Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives would receive 29% of the vote (down 2 points). All of this fluctuation is well within the credibility interval of the poll.

The Bloc Quebecois led by Gilled Duceppe would receive 4% of the vote nationally (unchanged), 16% in Quebec, while 4% would vote for Elizabeth May and the Green Party (unchanged). Nearly two in ten say they either won’t vote (4%) or are still undecided (12%).

The Conservative Party’s 29% vote support is equal to the 29% of voters who say that the ‘Harper government has done a good job and deserves re-election’ (down 2 points), compared to the 71% who say it’s ‘time for another federal party to take over’. The slight decline in the Conservative’s vote share is also reflected in the lower approval ratings of the Prime Minister and Conservative government, with fewer (38%) approving (8% strongly/30% somewhat), down 3 points, and 62% disapproving (36% strongly/26% somewhat).

With all three parties bunched up nationally, it’s perhaps no surprise that the close race is also reflected in Ontario, Canada’s most populous and seat-rich province:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (33%), NDP (32%) and Conservatives (31%) are all tied for first place, while the Green (5%) party trails.
  • In Quebec, the NDP (40%) has a commanding lead over the Liberals (25%), Tories (16%), Bloc (16%) and Green Party (3%).
  • In BC, the Conservatives (34%), NDP (31%) and Liberals (30%) are also locked in a tight race, with the Green Party (5%) well back.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (47%) hold a dominant position province-wide over the NDP (26%) and Liberals (22%) with the Green Party (2%) and other parties (2%) trailing.
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (38%) have a tenuous lead over the Liberals (36%), with the NDP (20%) and Green Party (6%) further back.
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (46%) and NDP (35%) are well ahead of the Conservatives (17%) and Green Party (1%).

Despite the relative stability in the national vote-choice figures, when voters are asked which party they think is gaining the most popularity and momentum in the election, 48% believe it’s Mulcair and the NDP, while fewer voters say it’s Trudeau and the Liberals (30%), Harper’s Conservatives (16%), May’s Green Party (6%) or Duceppe’s Bloc (1%).

NDP, Liberals Most Likely to Gain or Lose Votes…

The data suggest that Conservative voters appear most committed to their party and least likely to change their mind before Election Day. One half (50%) of Conservative voters say they’re ‘absolutely certain’ that they’ll support the Tories, compared to only 38% of NDP supporters, 37% of Green supporters and 35% of Liberal supporters who are absolutely certain of their vote choice. Only the Bloc’s supporters are more committed to their choice, with six in ten (60%) saying they’re absolutely certain of their vote.

Examining how votes could shift in the coming weeks of the campaign, it appears that most of the volatility is likely to be between the NDP and Liberal Party.

  • Among NDP voters, 47% would choose the Liberals as their second choice, while few would choose some other party (17%), the Conservatives (10%) or Bloc (9%), and 16% are unsure.
  • Among Liberal voters, the NDP (56%) would be the biggest beneficiary of vote switching, well ahead of the Conservatives (13%), some other party (11%), or the Bloc (0%), while 19% don’t know who they’d pick second.
  • Among Conservative voters, the Liberals (21%) and NDP (20%) are equally appealing as the second choice, followed by some other party (14%) and the Bloc (0%). But nearly half (44%) say they don’t know which party they’d choose second, reinforcing the notion that Conservative supporters are most locked in to their vote.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 24 to 26, 2015 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians eligible to vote was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say Panel. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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