By Bruce Anderson and David Coletto
Our most recent polls show that the Liberals continue to enjoy a significant lead over the Conservatives with the NDP in third. Among the trends we are watching is the drift downward in expressed support for the BQ. The BQ now is the choice of only 13% of Quebec voters in our latest sample, down sharply from the 28% we saw in March of this year.
We’ve looked back over several months’ data to examine where the 2011 BQ vote is going. The patterns show that the NDP is getting the largest share, but the Liberal Party is also getting a sizeable share. Also, in our latest Quebec results, the Liberals show a 10-point lead over the NDP, suggesting that their success at drawing disaffected BQ voters may be increasing over time.
A majority of Canadians describe the state of the economy in positive terms today (5% very good, 56% good). And only 16% expect the economy to worsen over the next 6 months. Relatively speaking this is a pretty good mood.
Perceptions of the economy are definitely linked to intentions to vote for the incumbent Conservative Party, however, the relationship is not as robust as Conservative election planners might hope. Among those who say the economy is in very good shape, the Conservatives have a 31-point lead, but this is a small slice of the population. Among the much larger segment who characterize the economy as “good” the Liberals (39%) and Conservatives (38%) are essentially tied. Among those who think the economy is in poor health, Conservative support is quite limited.
Across the country, results show the Conservatives continue to trail the Liberals by a significant margin, including in the province of Ontario. The situation in Quebec appears to be in some flux, as the BQ support ebbs, partly to the NDP but also to the benefit of the Liberals.
Feelings about the economy are broadly, if a bit unenthusiastically, positive.
For the Conservatives to count on economic credentials as a winning condition in next year’s election, they would want to see growth in the number of people who see the economy as in “very good” shape, or to convince more of those who say the economy is in “good” shape that the CPC is instrumental to their economic well being.
The NDP is much more competitive among those who see the economy as suffering. They could become more competitive nationally either if the mood about the economy deteriorates or if they can persuade more voters who think the economy is “good” that they would be a good choice to maintain a healthy economy.
Our survey was conducted online with 1,075 respondents, September 12 to 14, 2014. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of Canadians, recruited and managed by Research Now, one of the world’s leading provider of online research samples.
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 +/- 3.1%, 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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