Saturday, September 12, 2015

Latest polls conflict but race is close with no one party forging ahead

Two recent polls show Liberals now leading the NDP but the margin is so slim that it is virtually a tie. Another recent poll shows the Liberals and Conservatives tied for the lead with the NDP third. Another recent poll shows the NDP clearly in the lead.
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These polls provide a golden opportunity for each party to choose a poll which favors them enabling them to claim that their campaign is progressing well. The most recent CBC poll tracker averages a number of recent polls up to September 9 but there have been two new polls since then and another is expected today. Two of three recent polls in the poll tracker averages put the Liberals ahead but the averages bring the results to a statistical tie with the NDP.
Averages as of Sept 9 are: Conservatives, 28 percent a gain of a whole percentage point from the last averages; NDP 31.6, a decline of 0.7 percent; the Liberals 31.5 percent, a gain of 0.2 percent. For the first time seat predictions favor the Liberals at 119, versus 113 for the NDP, and 105 for the Conservatives. Obviously the race for seats is also tightening up.
A new Nanos poll with results from Septmber 10 show the Liberals and Conservatives tied at 31 percent with the NDP at 30 percent. Given the margin of error this is no doubt a statistical tie among all three major parties. This poll was not included in the CBC poll-tracker averages. Another poll not included in the average comes from Forum research. This poll headlines the NDP as having a clear lead unlike other recent polls. The NDP garners 36 percent of the vote with the Liberals at 29 percent and Conservatives at 28. The poll was taken September 9 and 10.
Eric Grenier of summed up the situation as he saw it on Friday: A trend away from the Conservatives and towards the Liberals is definitely taking place in this campaign. But it seems that the narrative of the NDP-Liberal switchers does not particularly hold. Since Week 2, the New Democrats have been steady. The gains the Liberals have made seem to have come from the Conservatives.Grenier updates the averages for CBC poll-tracker. Since I started this article there has been an update that incorporates the two recent polls I mentioned.
Updated poll-tracker results are: Conservatives at 29.7 per cent up 1.7 percent from last polls; Liberals at 29.8 percent, down 1.7 per cent from last polls; and NDP back in the lead at 32 percent with a gain of 0.4 percent. The averages do not support Grenier's remarks about the Liberals gaining votes at the expense of the Conservatives rather than the NDP. The polls show that the Conservatives in the latest polls are gaining votes at the expense of the Liberals showing a reversal in the trend Grenier detected. In seat projections, the NDP are first again at 115; and the Conservatives second with 113, with the Liberals at 109. However, the three are all so close anyone could win. There is no sign yet of anyone pulling out from the pack or even approaching the 170 seats needed for a majority government.

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