Monday, September 24, 2012

Abacus Poll: 35% Con, 35% NDP, 17% Lib

The most recent Abacus Data poll is out, showing a tied race between the Conservatives and the NDP, with the Liberals far behind, reversing their trend from their last poll which showed the Conservatives retaining their advantage, the NDP falling back some, and the Liberals up a tad.

Abacus Data (Federal - Sept. 14-18, 2012)
Conservative: 35% (-2%) - 157 seats
New Democratic: 35% (+3%) - 140 seats
Liberal Party: 17% (-3%) - 28 seats
Bloc Québécois (QC Only): 30% (+5%) - 13 seats
Green Party: 6% (=) - 1 seat

This isn't a great poll for the Liberals, and that's pretty obvious (that's a funny trait of Abacus, the Liberals are almost always lower with their polls). But the other parties do well enough; the Conservatives retain a healthy advantage in Ontario (41% to the NDP's 30%), meaning that they'll keep more seats so long as the NDP fail to get close to them. The NDP is down slightly in Quebec, with a nine-point advantage over the Bloc.

 I've noticed that the Bloc has actually been bumped up in every poll since Marois' election - maybe signs that if the provincial PQ government does well, the Bloc may start to pick up some support as well? I'm not sure, but its a trend to keep your eyes on.


  1. As I've pointed out with every recent poll, they are meaningless until all three leaders are in place for the next election. The reality of voting in Canada is that the leader is generally the biggest factor in voters' decision. A charismatic leader might be worth 10 or 15 points, and as we've seen, a concentrated attack can work against them by the same amount. The outcome of the next election will depend on:
    1) Who the Libs choose as leader
    2) The strength and effectiveness of the attacks that will immediately try to rip them apart
    3) The strength and effectiveness of the response

    1. And as I'd say to every person who says this, you're crowing over nothing: we all know this is meaningless, and we know its meaningless not just up to the point the Liberals pick a new leader, because at that point we still have a honeymoon effect to take into account, nevermind the fact that an election would still be two years away. Every single poll is meaningless, except for those final polls and the biggest one of all, election day.

      But they still paint an important picture for long-term trends. The way polls shift thoughout the pre-writ period helps create the next narrative. Even the 2008-2011 polls did that: they showed a weak Liberal Opposition that couldn't take down Harper, despite there being plenty of people who wouldn't consider voting for the guy. That was definitely an important narrative for the 2011 election.

      What will 2011-2016 polls show us in the end? The trends are important, which is why in probably every single poll I've ever talked about (I say probably because I've made a lot of posts on the issue, and I can't be 100% sure) I mention the trend. The trend matters, that's the important part. Take heed of the trend.

  2. A dive into the cross-tabs of this poll shows the depth of the challenge facing the Liberals. In the teens across the board and in many of the core Liberal constituencies shows that more than a new Leader is needed. A top to bottom review on policy and priorities may prove to assist in a potential rebirth. The real challenge is whether the voters have the patience to wait for the rebirth or will move to other parties thus making the challenge harder or potentially fatal. Time will tell.

    1. Well said Brian, I couldn't agree more.