Federal Election: Tories lead by 9; Vote Firming Up

A new national survey by Ottawa-based Abacus Data finds that the Conservative Party holds a 9-point lead over the Liberal Party in the early days of the campaign.

Nationally, the Conservative Party was the choice of 36% of decided voters while 27% of Canadians said they would vote Liberal.  The NDP was at 20%, followed by the Bloc Quebecois at 9%, and the Green Party at 8%.  Fourteen percent of respondents were undecided.

“Compared with late February, very little has changed in the national numbers in the first few days of the campaign,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.  “Ontario remains an important battleground, and the federalist vote in Quebec is still fragmented.”

In Ontario, the Conservatives and Liberals are statistically tied.  The Conservatives have the support of 39% of decided Ontario voters while the Liberals have 34% of the vote preference.  The NDP trails both with 18%.

The Conservative Party leads in voting intentions among men and women, and all age groups.  Among Canadians who said they were born outside of Canada, the Liberals and Conservatives are statistically tied.  The Liberals have the support of 38% of decided immigrant Canadians, followed by the Conservatives at 32%, and the NDP at 21%.

The survey also looked at how stable voter preferences are and what voters’ second choice preferences were.

“In January we found that Conservative supporters were rock-solid.  Despite all the attention to scandals and contempt of Parliament, it seems that Conservative supporters have dug in their heals and are sticking with the Tories,” said Coletto.  “But we also found that party preferences are firming up for all the other major parties as well. This suggests the debate about ethics and trust is further polarizing the electorate.”

Among voters who said they are likely to vote, voting preference is quite similar.  The Conservatives received the support of 37% of decided likely voters followed by 29% for the Liberals, 20% for the NDP, 8% for the BQ, and 7% for the Greens.

Download the full report.

Between March 24 and 28, 2011, Abacus Data Inc. conducted an online survey among 1,000 randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 100,000 Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is comparable to +/- 3.2%, 19 times out of 20.

Results of the survey were statistically weighted by gender, age, region, immigrant status, and language using census data from Statistics Canada and by past vote using Elections Canada results from the 2008 General Election. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.