Federal Politics: Tories lead NDP by 5

Abacus Political Update: Federal Tories lead NDP by 5; Liberals hold steady

According to a new national survey from Ottawa-based Abacus Data, if an election were held at the time of the survey, the federal Conservatives would lead the NDP by five points, based on a small decline in NDP vote intentions and a small rise in Tory vote intention.

Nationally, the Conservative Party has the support of 37% of decided voters (up two since June), followed by the NDP at 32% (down three since June), and the Liberal Party at 20% (no change since June).  The BQ is at 6% and the Green Party is at 6% nationally.

Regionally, the Conservatives have strengthened their lead in Alberta (70%) and remain ahead in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (48%). In Ontario the gap between the Tories and the NDP has widened to 11 percentage points with the Tories at 40% and the NDP at 29%.

In British Columbia the NDP has taken a more distinct lead with 40% where the Tories have slipped back three points from June to 35%. Similarly the NDP is in a three way race with the Liberals and Tories in Atlantic Canada.  Due to the over sample in the province we can be more confident about the NDP’s lead in Canada’s western most province.

Although the NDP saw a slight decrease in total vote percentage in Quebec, the NDP continues to maintain a lead over the BQ with the NDP at 41%, the BQ at 25% (up three from June), the Conservatives at 14% and the Liberals at 18%.

In the rest of Canada, measuring respondents residing outside of Quebec, the Conservative Party maintains a strong lead 14 points over the NDP. The Liberal Party remains consistent at 21% of the popular vote heading into the fall.

The Bottom Line

The August 2012 Abacus Political Update finds that the Tory lead has bounced back from the tie with the NDP we measured in June. This bounce was mainly due to a boost in Conservative support in Alberta and slight Conservative uptick in Ontario. Furthermore the BQ made some gains over the NDP in Quebec since June 2012.

Overall vote intentions have changed relatively little since the beginning of the summer which is not too surprising.  With Parliament in recess, all eyes on Quebec, and the Liberal leadership still in limbo, federal vote intentions should not be that fluid.

The Conservatives remain strong in the Prairies and in Ontario while the NDP remains dominant in Quebec.

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The survey was conducted online with 2,099 respondents living outside of Quebec in English using an internet survey platform. A random sample of panelists was invited to participate in the survey from a larger internet representative panel of over 150,000 Canadians.  The survey was completed from August 10-12, 2012.

An over sample of was conducted in British Columbia (n=793) and Ontario (n=502).

The data was statistically weighted by age, gender, region, and education level according to census data.

Since the online survey was not a random, probability based sample, a margin of error could not be calculated. The margin of error for a survey of 2,099 respondents using a probability sample is +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.