Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Two New Federal Polls May Confirm the "Mulcair Bounce" Is Here

As noted by my co-blogger Teddy, there was a federal poll released by Harris-Decima today which shows a close Con-NDP race with the Liberals far behind. Another poll from Forum Research, who released a poll just a week ago showing a tied race, now shows a very slight advantage for the Conservatives.

Forum Research:
Conservatives: 36% (+1) - 142 seats (-7)
New Dems: 34% (-1) - 122 seats (-2)
Liberals: 19% (=) - 40 seats (+13)
Bloc: 5% (-2) - 3 seats (-5)
Green: 5% (+2) - 1 seat (=)

Now, there's something counter-intuitive here. Why did the Liberals go up in seats, despite not moving up in the popular vote? Mostly because of the Conservative drop in Ontario (from 42% to 39%), and the Liberals inching up a point to 25%. Because of the closeness of the Con-Lib races in Ontario, that shift is enough to boost them up. Funny how it works, eh?

Conservatives: 34% (+3) - 141 seats
New Dems: 32% (+4) - 121 seats
Liberals: 19% (-5) - 39 seats
Bloc: 6% (-2) - 6 seats
Greens: 8% (+1) - 1 seat

This poll shows essentially the same thing as above, except the Bloc are a bit higher. The swings are obvious - HD's last poll was four days before the NDP convention, and a couple of weeks after Mulcair's win, we see the NDP romping to a statistical tie.

However, once again the NDP are falling flat on their faces in Ontario. Only 30% of decided Ontario respondents in Forum's poll and only 26% in Harris-Decima's say they'll vote NDP. In the same polls, the Liberals got 25% and 24% respectively. The Greens managed 5% and 8%.

So here's a fun game: what if we switch enough Liberal support over to the NDP so they reach 35% in Ontario in each poll? (And in HD's case, drop the Greens down to 5%.)

Harris-Decima (w/Ontario Lib/Grn vote modified):
Conservatives: 34% - 140 seats
New Dems: 35% - 132 seats
Liberals: 17.0% - 29 seats

Forum Research (w/Ontario modified):
Conservatives: 36% - 148 seats
New Dems: 36% - 130 seats
Liberals: 17% - 26 seats

It makes the race closer for the NDP - but not by much. The thing is that getting the Conservative vote down is actually more important than stealing Liberal voters. Here's why:

Harris-Decima (w/Ontario Lib/Grn/Con vote modified):
New Dems: 37% - 140 seats
Conservatives: 32% - 132 seats
Liberals: 17% - 29 seats

Forum Research (w/Ont. Lib/Con vote modified):
New Dems: 38% - 144 seats
Conservatives: 34% - 136 seats
Liberals: 17% - 24 seats

Once the Conservatives start dropping towards 35% in Ontario and the New Dems advance to roughly 40%, then you have a good race with an NDP advantage.

So the future "NDP sweep" requires two steps: Liberals below 20%, Cons near 35% in Ontario.

But as a Liberal, I want to ensure at least one part of that doesn't come true.


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