Canadian Politics: Liberals 34%, Conservatives 28%, NDP 24%


According to a new national survey conducted from January 14 to 18, 2014 by public opinion firm Abacus Data, the federal Liberal Party has a six-point lead over the Conservative Party among committed voters.  The federal NDP is in third with 24% support while the Greens and the BQ are at 7% and 5% respectively.

Since our previous survey at the end of October, the Liberal Party is up one point, the Conservative Party is down five while the NDP is up two points.

Among all eligible voters (the full sample), 26% said they would vote for the Liberal Party (up three since October) while 21% would vote Conservative (down two points) and 18% would vote NDP (up three points).

Twenty-five percent of respondents said they were undecided, down six points since October.




Liberals lead in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada; Tories ahead in the West.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives have a 10-point lead over the Liberals and a 12-point lead over the NDP while in Alberta, the Conservatives continue to enjoy a wide lead over its major rivals (CPC 51%, LPC 24%, NDP 18%).

In Ontario, the Liberal Party has taken a seven-point leadover the Tories thanks to a 12-point drop in Conservative support since our last poll in October.  The NDP is third in Ontario with 23% of committed voter support.

In Quebec, the Liberal Party now leads the NDP by seven with 35% of committed voters saying they would vote Liberal compared with 28% for the NDP.  The BQ is at 19% while the Conservative Party is at 13%.

In Atlantic Canada (note smaller sample size), the Liberal Party (53%) has a large lead over the Conservative Party (21%)  and the NDP (21%).



Liberals lead among men, women, all educational groups, and voters under 60.

Among demographic subgroups, the Liberals have an 11-point lead over the NDP among those with a university degree, while the race is closer among those with a college-level education or training (LPC 31%, CPC 29%, NDP 26%).  Among those with high school or less, the Liberals lead by six over the Conservatives (35% to 28%) with the NDP well back at 22%.

The Liberals now lead among men and women.  Among committed male voters, 34% would vote Liberal compared to 29% for the Conservatives and 24% for the NDP.  Among committed female voters, the Liberals lead by eight over the Tories, 35% to 27%, with the NDP at 25%.

Except for voters aged 60 and over, the Liberals lead over either the NDP or Tories among all age groups.  The Liberals have a five point lead over the NDP among 18 to 29 year olds, a six-point lead over the Tories among 30 to 44 year olds, and a seven-point lead over those aged 45 to 59.

Liberals gain about one in five past Conservative and NDP voters

When we look at how past voting behaviour compares with current vote intention, the survey finds that the six-point national Liberal lead is built by pulling in a significant portion of past NDP and Conservative voters.  Among those who voted Tory in 2011, 17% now say they plan to vote Liberal.  Among those who voted NDP, 21% now plan to support the Liberals.  In contrast, the Liberals have maintained 88% of their former vote, losing only a somewhat noticeable 8% of its past support to the NDP.




Insights from Bruce Anderson

The next 18 months promises to be about two separate battlegrounds: the centre-right and the centre left.

The Conservatives have lost 26% of the voters who supported them in 2011 and the NDP have lost 30%.  The Liberals have lost only 12% and have picked up most of what drifted away from the other two parties.

The new bottom line is this:  neither the Conservatives nor the NDP can win unless they reverse those patterns.   The NDP can’t pull many votes from the Conservatives, the Conservatives can’t pull many votes from the NDP, so the Liberal Party and Mr. Trudeau will draw heavy fire from both sides.

For the Liberals, this will turn out to be either a curse or a blessing in disguise.  The pressure will be intense, and the risks heightened.  But on the other hand attacks from both sides can make the Liberals seem even more like pragmatic centrists, and will ensure continued high visibility.

Insights from David Coletto

This is the ninth month in a row that our tracking has the Liberals ahead of the Conservatives, but the first time that the Liberal lead is wider than four points among committed voters.  The Christmas break did little to move Conservative support.  In fact, the Tories are down five points since late October and trail the Liberals in all important Ontario.  The country is now divided again along the Manitoba/Ontario border between a blue western Canada and a red eastern Canada with orange hues concentrated in BC and Quebec.

More striking, the Liberals now lead among men and women, and are either ahead or tied among voters in all age groups.  To put the Liberal rebound in perspective, about a year ago, in February 2013, our tracking had the Liberals at 16% among all voters (including uncommitted).  Today, there support is up 10 percentage points, at the expense of both the Conservatives and New Democrats.

As Bruce said above, the reemergence of a strong centre, pulling from both the left and right, has produced two battlegrounds that the next election will be fought on.  The Liberals are fighting on both fronts making it both a challenge and an opportunity as the party seeks to rebound from its worst showing in 2011.


For the next few weeks we will be releasing new data on the federal political scene in Canada.

Check in regularly at


The survey was conducted online with 1,996 respondents in English and French using an internet survey programmed and collected by Abacus Data. A random sample of panelists was invited to participate in the survey from a representative panel of Canadians.  The survey was completed from January 14 to 18, 2014.

Since the online survey was not a random, probability based sample, a margin of error could not be calculated.   The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association prohibits statements about margins of sampling error or population estimates with regard to most online panels.

The margin of error for a probability-based random sample of 1,996 respondents using a probability sample is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. 

The data was 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.

For more information about the poll’s methodology or the results, please contact David Coletto, CEO at or at 613-232-2806.


Abacus Data is one of North America’s leading public opinion and marketing research firms bringing together the latest technology and industry expertise to help organizations effectively understand and connect with those they serve.

Having conducted research for some of North America’s leading corporations and advocacy groups, we deliver global research capacities with the attention to detail and focus of a boutique firm.

We are at the forefront of the research sector and deliver revolutionary insights and strategy to our clients. Our work is guided by our commitment to five principles:

  1. Objectivity
  2. Flexibility
  3. Independence
  4. Innovation
  5. Transparency

Our team brings together a rare combination of experience and energy in a team of professional researchers. We all value integrity, hard work, and creativity believing good research insights come from an intense focus on our clients, rigourous methods, and occasionally challenging convention. The bottom line is we get things right.

For more information, visit our website at

David Coletto is CEO of Abacus Data and leads its Public Affairs research practice. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University.  He’s an avid road cyclist.

Contact David Coletto:

T: 613-232-2806 x. 248



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