Sunday, February 8, 2015

An interesting trend in the EKOS polling numbers from July 23rd to February 3rd


I have my issues with polling in Canada these days, one company I have a lot of time for is Frank Graves' company EKOS.    I believe Frank' numbers do a good job of reflecting the mood of the public as a whole though not of the people who will vote.  

Here is what I find interesting about the trend over the last six months.

In the late summer of 2014 the Liberals had a large lead over both the NDP and Conservatives.  Since then there has been a clear upward trend for Conservatives since the end of October.  What is interesting is where the Conservative support has come from.   The Conservatives rose close to 10 percentage points in the last four months of which the support seems to have come equally from the Liberals and the NDP.  

What this highlights is that politics is not a simple left/right spectrum.   The public is just as willing to move from supporting Mulcair to Harper as from Trudeau to Harper.   The hardcore NDP support would never move to the Conservatives.   The people in question are the less politically active.   A lot more of them are open considering any of the three major political parties.

When we look at the low point of all three major parties in the last six months and this comes up to 74.6% of the vote.   Another 4% seem to fairly securely Bloc and 7% for the Greens.   This leaves about 14% that are very fluid.  

So where could this 14% go?   Any of the three major parties which means any one of them could win the next election.   One wildcard to this is if these people decide that Elizabeth May is a breath of fresh air.   There is a realistic chance the Greens could finish the election with as much as 20% of the vote.

I think the Conservatives have a upper limit of around 40%, the Liberals of around 38% and the NDP at only 32%.

I honestly do not know how the 2015 election will turn out.   I think anyone that projects what the result will be on October 19th is doing little more than make a wishful guess.   I think that close to half the seats in the country will be in play in this election.
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