Challenging Times for the NDP
April 14, 2016
We conducted our latest national survey of voting intentions in the days immediately following the NDP national convention in Edmonton. The results show erosion of NDP support since our last survey. The shrinking NDP support appears largely to benefit to the Liberal Party.
Here are the highlights of our findings:
• Across the country, 49% say they would vote Liberal today, 26% Conservative and only 13% NDP.
• The Liberals lead in every region of the country, except the Prairies. Worth noting is that in our Alberta sample, the Liberals have 34% support, 10 points above their election result (Given the small sample size for the province, caution should be exercised in reporting this result).
• In Ontario, the Liberals have 53% support, followed by the Conservatives at 28% and the NDP dropping to 13%. To put this in perspective, when the election was called late last summer, the NDP was marginally ahead of the Liberal Party in Ontario (32-30). The Liberal number in this survey is 8 points above the election result in the province.
• In BC, the NDP has lost 10 points since the election, while the Liberals have picked up 10. What was a three-party race is now a 16 point lead for the Liberals over the Conservatives and a 29 point advantage over the NDP.
• The most challenging news for the NDP may be what has happened in Quebec. From a high of 47% and leading in the province last summer, NDP has plunged to 12%, leaving the party fourth behind the Liberals at 47%, the Bloc at 21%, and the Conservatives at 15%. NDP support has dropped by half since the election.
National conventions are ideally a springboard for creating renewed interest in political parties. This event in Edmonton had no apparent salutary effects, and with almost a quarter of last fall’s NDP voters saying they would now vote Liberal, the challenges for the party are clear and somewhat intensified.
In one sense, voting intention numbers this far from an election mean very little, but at a minimum they provide a sense that the party has been struggling to establish a strong value proposition.
The debate about the Leap Manifesto may help the NDP establish some edge, or it may render it more of a fringe idea – that will depend on how it is handled and how prominent it becomes. For the moment, the evidence is that the battle for the centre-left was a see-saw one last year, but as of now the NDP has fallen well back of their progressive rival.
Our survey was conducted online with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and over from April 11 to 13, 2016. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians.
The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.6%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
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