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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics January 31, 2011
  Jan 31, 2011

Question #1
Which political leader and party from the responses provided would you support in a general federal election if that election were held tomorrow?
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    36.18 %
Michael Ignatieff and Liberal Party of Canada    30.82 %
Jack Layton and New Democratic Party of Canada    17 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois Party    9.5 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada    6.5 %
Undecided    8 %
Question #2
From the following two major federal political parties in Canada, of these two parties offered ONLY, which in your opinion is BEST to guide Canada’s economy over the next 4 years?
Conservative Party of Canada    42 %
Liberal Party of Canada    36 %
Question #3
From the following two major federal political parties in Canada, of these two parties offered ONLY, which in your opinion is BEST suited to manage social concerns such as health, education, the environment and the reduction of poverty among Canadians?
Conservative Party of Canada    32 %
Liberal Party of Canada    46 %
Question #4
From the following two major federal parties in Canada, of these two parties offered ONLY, which in your opinion is BEST suited to manage and promote the reduction of crime in Canada?
Conservative Party of Canada    41 %
Liberal Party of Canada    37 %
Question #5
From the following three response options offered which is the greater priority to you?
The Economy    44.5 %
Health, Education, Environment and reduction of poverty    47 %
Reduction of Crime    15 %
Question #6
If you must select from only one of the following 2 choices which one of the following political leaders from the two major political parties would you choose for Prime Minister if an election were held tomorrow?
Stephen Harper    48 %
Michael Ignatieff    37 %
Question #7
Would you support a federal election in Canada in the late spring 2011?
Yes    52 %
No    44 %
Commentary
Canadians are warming to the idea of an election this spring (2011) with 54% responding “Yes” to the question. Ontario support for a federal election in the spring is highest with (60%), while Quebec and BC are tied for lowest with (41%) each for a federal election. Nevertheless is it more likely support for a federal election will increase than decrease based on this baseline as news surrounding the upcoming budget is released and debate ensues from that.
Currently, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government of Canada is poised to win another federal election based on these numbers. He remains strong in vote rich Ontario with (36%) support similar to what he achieved in the 2008 election, and (again) does well across the Prairie Provinces with average results similar to 2008 totals. The Conservatives have slackened somewhat out west in British Columbia with 34% support, a decline of 23% from 2008 totals. These numbers do not support a majority government for the Conservative Party of Canada.
Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff and his Liberal Party appears ready to compete with Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party. He has crossed the 30% threshold in overall support and is near the 2006 election totals Paul Martin left to the party based on Decided respondent’s outcomes. Ignatieff and the Liberals have increased support in Ontario to (36%) making that battle with Conservatives an even race at the same time Ontario voters beckon for a federal vote on the matter. The Liberal support still languishes in the west although British Columbia is up to 23% not the levels of 28% that former Liberal Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin took them to in previous elections.
Conservatives and Liberals are up slightly in Quebec with (19%) and (23%) respectively, marginal gains but worthy of note.
The Conservative Party of Canada continues to attract more voters than the Liberal Party of Canada on who is best “to guide” the nations economy. Of decided voters between these two parties (55.5%) support Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party, thanks in part to support from New Democratic Party and Bloc supporters from question #1.
Health, Education, Environment and reduction of poverty squeaked past the economy as the number one priority, but anecdote suggests these are both related and competing interests depending on the voter perspective. On social policy such as health, education, the environment and the reduction of poverty the voter support the Conservatives won over on the economy is reversed and The Liberal Party of Canada comes out in front of the Conservative Party based on decided voters as between the two parties 59% to 41%, thanks to support from most other parties particularly the Green Party of Canada supporters.
On the issue of Crime, the Conservative Party attracts more support than the Liberal Party does, but not by the wide margin one might anticipate with (52.5%) of decided voters as between the two parties choosing the government over the Opposition on this issue. New Democrats and Bloc were approximately split on support of either party with this issue -where they did make a choice- Green Party supporters went Liberal. Health, Education, Environment and reduction of poverty squeaked past the economy as the number one priority, but anecdote suggests these are both related and competing interests depending on the voter perspective.
The Response choice “Crime” certainly attracted many voters, particularly from urban areas where despite some data which suggests crime is dropping, some of the voters have another impression altogether. This seems particularly acute in Quebec. The Economy and Crime are issues which buoy support of the Conservative Party from a number of parties in particularly the government, while Liberal, New Democrat, Green and Bloc supporters find themselves in all categories, but clearly dominate the number 1 issue Health, Education, Environment and reduction of poverty with their support.
Stephen Harper remains more popular with voters than Michael Ignatieff with 56.5% of decided supporters as between the two main parties, giving the Prime Minister the nod with both Bloc and New Democrat supporters while Greens and New Democrats favor Michael Ignatieff.
The stage is set here in this ZEUS America - ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) poll of Canadian voters (2008) for an election this “late spring” 2011. Canadians can sense that although the economy is not back all the way - it is making its way back. The evidence of this is the fact that Canadians have chosen by a narrow margin social issues as more important to them than the economy, while at the same time recognizing that crime is also an important issue. All significant demands on government, particularly at a time when it appears Canadians are near ready to make a decision about their next government.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party continue to do direct emphasis on the economy and crime, but do far less well than the Liberal Party of Canada on social issues. The Conservative party’s challenge will be to shore up a greater sense of believability on matters relating to Health, Education, the Environment and other social issues, while asserting a greater dominance they once had over the Liberals on the economy and crime, particularly as voters in Ontario begin to see Michael Ignatieff as more credible on both of these policy matters.
Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party majority hopes depend on him holding the seats he currently has in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, increasing two or three seats in the Atlantic Provinces – taking two or three rural seats from New Democrats and winning a few more close suburban seats from Liberals in Ontario. A difficult task.
Michael Ignatieff is pushing forward attracting greater voter support in the Province of Ontario, and needs the momentum in that province and in the Province of Quebec, holds well in the Atlantic Provinces, but cannot take any of this support for granted. He must also take necessary steps to make his case to Canadian voters across (particularly) the western province to ensure a national perception among Canadians and higher voter support totals which would thus enhance national polling totals, and create a band wagon effect of growing popularity going into a federal spring election.
A total of 1,418 respondents were acquired throughout all Canadian provinces between January 19 and 29th, 2011. No responses were acquired from the eligible voting Territories. The provinces included listed in order of highest population are: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia. The Western Prairie Provinces include: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Eastern Atlantic Canadian Provinces include: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island. All data collection (responses) was collected from outside Canada. The M.O.E. or margin of error based on this sample size would traditionally be determined at 2.6%, plus or minus, @ 95% confidence. Based on our lists we determine that the margin of error for these numbers may be lower, particularly for results in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. All written commentary is by Glen P. Robbins and ROBBINS Sce Research (1998).

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