Saturday, September 20, 2008

How Volatile are the Voters?

Pollser Nanos research asked the question of Canadian voters about how firm they are in their decision of who they are are voting and the results tell us some interesting things.

40% of Canadians are firm in who they are voting for, the highest being in the West and Quebec with 43% and lowest in the Atlantic with 26%.

The West has the least voters that are realistically looking at possibly changing their vote with only one in seven in play. In contrast Ontario it is almost one in four and in Qubec and Atlantic Canada more than a quarter.

What this means is that the West is not useful ground for the parties because they are not going to get the big returns they need.

Of the five major parties, the Liberals have the lowest number of very firm supporters and the Bloc has the highest. The Conservatives are close to the Bloc.

The Greens have the highest level of not firm at all or unsure at 21%. In total the Greens have close to 1/3 of their voters that are wavering and could be poached. This is much higher than the other political parties. What this says to me is that the Greens will poll about 6% to 7% on election day.

The Bloc is effectively hit the bottom and is unlikely to drop below 1/3 of the vote in Quebec. The Bloc numbers also give us a roundabout view of the federalist levels of support in Quebec. 31% of non Bloc supporters in Quebec are open to changing their vote, only marginally less than the number of people that are very firm in their decision. Firm and Very Firm support for federalist parties is weaker in Quebec than any one of the parties are in the nation. Effectively one in five federalist supporters is not set in how they will vote.

Both the NDP and Liberals have weaker solid bases and more supporters open to potentially changing their vote. The Liberals have almost one in ten supporters saying they are not at all firm about their support for the Liberals. This translates into 3 percentage points of voters up for grabs, or a boost of 1.5 percentage points to both the Conservatives and the NDP if it were to split evenly.

Nanos has had the Liberal vote higher then others in the last week be about four percentage points and the NDP lower by about two. If we apply some of these uncertain numbers to the Liberals and NDP, I see the Liberals in the Nanos work at 28% and not 31% and the NDP at 16% and not 14%.

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