A detailed analysis of Canadian public opinion: NDP up significantly

Whenever a dramatic new poll is released like yesterday’s Decima poll (available here) , it’s always a good idea to actually look at a detailed anlaysis of public opinion before the various blogging partisan hacks chime in.

So, before we start hearing from the Tories, Liberals, New Democrats or Greens, let’s take a look at what the polling trend lines show.

The last update to the Paulitics Polling Resource (which was yesterday) was posted just hours before Decima released their poll which suggested, among other things, the collapse of Tory support in Ontario and a nation-wide surge for the NDP.

The Decima poll had the party support as follows:

Con: 30    Lib: 29    NDP: 18    Green: 11    Bloc: 8

If this poll is indicative of future trends (and keep in mind that this poll doesn’t take account of the Tories’ recent embarrassments this week), then the political landscape is about to become very interesting.

So what does this poll and the Paulitics Polling Resource suggest about the political landscape?

Firstly, and most importantly, while the Conservatives are still tied with their 2006 vote results in the key province of Ontario, this latest Decima poll puts the Conservatives down 12% from the previous Decima poll and down 15% from the more recent Ipsos-Reid poll’s Ontario results.

Conversely, this poll has the NDP’s support up 10% in Ontario.  While they are still below their 2006 results in the Paulitics rolling-rive poll average in the province of Ontario, this poll brought their average up significantly.

Secondly, as was discussed here,  the NDP had previously been down badly in Atlantic Canada, however with the intervening few polls which have been released, the NDP has risen back up to be statistically tied with their 2006 vote result and they accomplished this in a relatively short period of time.

Thirdly, both the Liberals and the Conservatives are either stagnant or in decline in both nationally and in every region or province surveyed.  The Liberals, who were once in the process of making statistically significant gains in Quebec and Alberta only a few weeks ago, are now statistically tied to their 2006 election results across the board in every province and region.  A similar story is true of the Conservatives, except for the fact that they are outside of the margin of error with their drop in Atlantic Canada.

Lastly, the provincial breakdown for the Greens is not favourable.  The Greens made impressive gains in both BC, but perhaps most surprisingly, in Ontario as well.  However, the near-double-digit gains have evaporated and the Greens are now within the margin of error in BC.

The new, updated, national results according to the Paulitics rolling and weighted averages are:

2007-04-26-results.jpg

For the long-term trend lines of national party support, click here

For the breakdown of party support for all the regions/provinces, click here

5 Responses to “A detailed analysis of Canadian public opinion: NDP up significantly”


  1. 1 janfromthebruce 26 April, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    It’s really decent of you Paul to do this. Keep it up. I’m lovin it when the dippers are being constantly told they are errelevant.
    I sometimes wonder about how the cons and libs would fair if did’t have national media cheerleading them. I mean, take the Globe, it almost pains them to even mention the NDP, and if they do, it is minimal and usually derogatory. The star, well we all know its a liberal newspaper, but unless the NDP do something out of this world, well the mention is minimal.
    No matter how much is dished our way, we just don’t go away.

  2. 2 Kuri 27 April, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Interesting analysis. I especially like that you’re breaking it down regionally, as that what makes the bigger difference at election time.

    I’ve heard however, that most of the regional sample sizes the major polling companies use are insignificant? Do you know if that’s true or not? That has made it hard to put too much stock in any of polls for me, because the national public opinion is skewed in a FPTP election and I don’t have as much confidence in the regaional numbers.

    Nevertheless, with that caveat, it’s still interesting to see a regional analysis and trending, so thanks for putting it together. :)

  3. 3 paulitics 27 April, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Kuri,

    You’re entirely correct that the regional sample sizes for ALL polling firms is quite small and thus has a higher margin of error (MOE) for their regional/provincial breakdown than at the national level.

    In fact, this problem is so pronounced that most polls put out don’t even have reliable data on regions outside of Ontario and Quebec at all.

    However, this is why I use a rolling average for the Paulitics Regional/Provincial Resource rather than merely picking the latest poll to describe what’s going on. Averaging multiple polls together greatly increases the accuracy of the poll, reduces the MOE (which it does logarithmically) and thus provides a greatly more accurate picture of what’s happening at the provincial and regional level.

    To the best of my knowledge there isn’t another website on the internet (either blog or a professional website) that does a rolling average of provincial polls. So the Paulitics Provincial/Regional Resource is, to the best of my knowledge, the most accurate and detailed tracking of Canadian politial opinion at the provincial and regional level because of this rolling average.

  4. 4 paulitics 27 April, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Janfromthebruce & Kuri,

    I thank you both for your kind comments.

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to emphasize that this analysis was not an attempt to give the NDP a shot in the arm, nor was I attempting to serve as a cheerleader for the party.

    The objective, material evidence suggests an NDP surge and thus that’s what I spoke of. When the NDP is down, I draw attention to that and likewise when the Greens, Liberals, Bloc or Conservatives are down (or up) I draw attention to that.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that I try my very hardest to keep the polling resource 100% non-partisan and I generally don’t let my partisan views influence my analysis. Very few things piss me off more than listening to various bloggers (the Libbloggers, aspecially Cherniak, seem to be the worst on this front in my opinion) try to spin one poll or try to discredit one poll because it shows that their beloved party is down. So as a result, I created the Paulitics Polling Resource as something objective, made by somebody who’s not a supporter of ANY of these parties, and which people of all parties can point to as a reliable measure of the Canadian political landscape.

  5. 5 Annie 27 April, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Much appreciate your analysis. I’ve often
    wondered how those taking polls account for
    those who answer polls but don’t vote. It’s
    one thing to say you would vote for, say, the
    NDP, and another to actually do it.


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