Our friends at Abacus Data are out with an interesting poll that takes a look at how Canadians feel about the economy and about the ability of federal political parties to manage current and future economic challenges. Bottom line, as I report in our papers today:
Archive for the ‘Politics/Polls’ Category
Abacus Data is Sun News Network’s polling partner and David Coletto is Abacus’ CEO. Tonight, on Battleground on Sun News Network, Coletto and I take a look at the work the only polling firm active in the recent by-elections did. That firm was Forum, whose polls we’ve reported on from time to time.
While Forum polls seemed to be pretty close to getting the vote right in Bourassa and Toronto Centre, it wildly over-estimated the Liberal vote in Brandon Souris and seriously over-estimated the Conservative vote in Provencher. For serious number crunchers, Eric Grenier goes over this at his site -- but here, Coletto and I wonder – could these polls have had an effect on the results?
The day before Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair all but confirmed that, yes, it was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in that video, pollster Forum Research was in the field polling Torontonians about their choice for mayor. At that time, there were only three declared candidates in the race: the incumbent (who told reporters he thought the race would be a “bloodbath”), Toronto Transit Commission chair Karen Stintz and former city councillor David Soknacki.
Forum found that, at the time the poll was taken, if that was the race, then Stintz is mayor with 37% of the vote compared to Ford at 33% and Soknacki at 9%.
Of course, the actual vote is not for another year and there’s lots of speculation that there will certainly be more than just those three candidates in the race.
Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow, for example, is seen as a likely entrant. Forum threw here name into the mix for its poll and found that if it’s Chow vs Ford vs Stintz vs Soknacki, then it’s a toss-up between Chow and Ford, who each took about 33% in Forum’s poll. Stintz, in this matchup, takes 20% and Soknacki gets 5%.
Now, Ford’s support has apparently risen slightly since the video revelations though, in the wake of revelations of more self-destructive behaviour , even close former associates such as Toronto Sun comment editor Adrienne Batra — she was Ford’s press secretary before joining the Sun – is arguing in the paper today that, for all his accomplishments, “it has become more obvious, day after day, that it’s time for [Ford] to take a break from the madness that now surrounds [him].”
So Forum put a ballot in front of its survey respondents without Ford on it. Results? Chow 38%, Stintz 21%, Soknacki 10% and 31% unsure. Stintz is trying to position herself as the “conservative” (and sober) alternative to Ford but this poll suggests that, if that’s the case, she has some work to do.
What about radio show host John Tory, the former Ontario PC leader? Could he be the “conservative” alternative to Ford? Forum put together a ballot of Chow, Tory, Stintz, and Soknacki. The results? Chow 33%, Tory, 29%, Stintz 12% and Soknacki 6%. So Tory is still not capturing all of Ford Nation’s love but he comes to closer to matching Chow.
And finally, just to get a sense of what a brawl of heavyweights would look like, Forum asked those polled who they liked in a race with Ford, Chow, and Tory as well as Stintz and Soknacki. Answer: Chow 29%, Tory 25%, Ford 24%, Stintz 11% and Soknacki 3%.
If Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois did form a government after Quebec goes to the polls on Sept.4, just what would that mean for the national unity issue? Would Quebecers, in voting in a party dedicated to separation be sending a signal that it approves of the whole sovereignty-association project? What about the rest of the Canada? Would it take a PQ victory as a sign that Quebecers want out of Confederation?
Ok. Lots of questions, there. And pollster Angus Reid today has some answers [pdf].
Bottom line: A PQ victory may mean absolutely nothing for the national unity file. “Few Canadians, and even fewer Quebecers, would interpret a victory by the Parti Quebecois in next month’s provincial election as consent to seek sovereignty,” the pollster says in a release out this morning.
Overall, just 29 per cent of survey respondents agree with this statement: ”A PQ victory would mean that Quebecers want to become a sovereign state.” Just 20% of Quebecers, though, agreed with that statement.
The pollster gave survey respondents a choice of agreeing with the statement above, i.e. PQ victory=desire for sovereignty, or agreeing with the following statement: “A PQ victory would mean that Quebecers want a different provincial government than the one they have now.” Across Canada, 45% chose that statement as closer to their views while 65% of Quebecers said that’s what a PQ victory would mean. 15% of Quebecers were unsure between the two (logically, you could agree with both statements) while 26% of Canadians were unsure.
Angus Reid polled 1,505 Canadians in an online survey Aug. 13-14. The pollster says the sampling variability or margin of error of 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.