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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics April 30, 2011
  Apr 30, 2011

Question #1
On Election Day who do you intend to vote for?
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    32.3 %
Jack Layton and New Democratic Party of Canada    30.1 %
Michael Ignatieff and Liberal Party of Canada    24.7 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    6.7 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada    4.9 %
Undecided    7 %
Question #2
In your opinion is voter turnout for this election likely to be?
The same as the last federal election in 2008    34.9 %
Higher than the last federal election in 2008    38.4 %
Lower than the last federal election in 2008    26.5 %
Commentary
Of 2,333 respondents who agreed to take the survey, 1,543 (66.1%) elected to participate by making a selection after hearing the question(s).
In this final ROBBINS poll prior to Election Day, we move from 2008 voters lists to eligible voters. Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada and Jack Layton and New Democratic Party of Canada in terms of popular support are neck and neck--- with Michael Ignatieff and his Liberal Party of Canada slightly below 2008 totals.
In terms of anticipated voter preference this ROBBINS poll contradicts other mainstream pollsters in some regions of the country and agrees with them in others.
For instance ROBBINS has the Conservatives off (22.7%) from 2008 voter totals in British Columbia for total support of (34%), while the New Democrats are up (32%) to (37%). This would suggest a loss of as many as 7 seats for the Conservatives in British Columbia. Mainstream pollsters have the Conservatives in the Province of British Columbia in the area of their 2008 voter totals (44%) with predictions of seat losses in British Columbia from zero to two.
The Prairie Provinces in Canada-- of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba represent (16.5%) of the nation's voters of the total seat allocation in Parliament of 308. The Conservatives virtually all of the Prairie ridings save for a few. This ROBBINS poll contradicts mainstream pollsters most of whom reflect no change in Canadian opinion across the prairies. This ROBBINS poll suggests the New Democrats on a rampage of new support nationally are making a dent in the Conservatives dominance across the Prairie Provinces attracting an average of (30%) with the Conservatives still in the lead but with (48%) average support on the Prairies down (20%-average) from totals offered by Mainstream media pollsters.
The difference between ROBBINS and Mainstream media pollsters in terms of British Columbia and in the Prairie Provinces – where the Conservatives dominated in 2008 – is approximately (2.3%) lower for the Conservatives on a national basis from ROBBINS. This ROBBINS poll reflects similar results as Mainstream pollsters in the Province of Ontario which holds more than one in three of Canada’s total seat count. The Conservatives are holding their 2008 support in Ontario, with the Liberals down slightly and the New Democrats growing slightly from all party’s most particularly the Greens and Liberals.
Quebec is an entire kettle of fish - our April 20, 2011 poll featured the New Democrats at around (19%)--- way up from their traditional (9-12%) in that Province which the separatist federal party-- the Bloc Quebecois have dominated for years. This has all changed - the mainstream pollsters marked the incredible uptick of New Democrat support in Quebec in the days following our results to (30-35%) in Quebec - not just a game changer - potentially a country change in results. This ROBBINS poll affirms the results achieved by a number of Mainstream pollsters in La Belle Province.
This ROBBINS poll extrapolates as between Ontario and Quebec, and New Democrat and Conservatives supporters the New Democrats will attract (50.5%) voter support while the Conservatives will attract (49.5%).
As between the New Democrats, Conservatives, and Liberals (only) in Ontario and Quebec (only) the eligible voter support is (34.6%) New Democrat, (34.1%) Conservative and (31.2%) Liberal Party.
According to this ROBBINS poll - across Canada’s 3 most populated provinces: Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia the New Democrats will achieve (35.7%) of votes, the Conservatives (34.5%), and the Liberals (29.7%) of public support. The Conservatives realized (33.6%) across these three largest provinces in the general federal election in 2008, while the New Democrats realized (19%). New Democrat support across Canada’s 3 largest provinces has nearly doubled from 2008-- (that’s a serious trend) according to this ROBBINS poll – a trend affirmed by Mainstream pollsters – though not equivalent.
Although the New Democrats would appear to be equal to the Conservatives in public support across Canada’s 3 largest provinces - the difference lies in the fact that in Ontario there are 3 political parties competing for the seats while in Quebec there are 4 and Quebec has about 3/4th’s the number of total seats.
Our ROBBINS poll also reflects similar results among the three mains parties in the Atlantic region of Canada including: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador - a dead heat in popular support with a slight tilt toward the Liberal Party of Canada--Liberals averaging (37%), Conservatives (28%) and New Democrats (27.5%).
British Columbians are the most optimistic about voter turnout with (54.6%) suggesting that turnout will be (54.6%) “Higher than 2008”. Ontario was the most pessimistic about higher turnout with only (29.2%) suggesting it will be “higher”.
Alberta was the province most pessimistic about voter turnout with (34%) suggesting it would be lower than 2008 compared to the national average of (26.5%). Quebec was the most optimistic in this response category with only (17%) of eligible voters suggesting it would be lower than 2008, with British Columbia close behind at (19%).
How will anticipated voter turnout of 65% impact at the ballot box on Monday May 2, 2011?
ROBBINS polls of 2008 voters-- throughout this Election period have scored the Conservatives around 35% nationally. Mainstream pollsters have suggested support from (34%) to (39%) for the Conservative Party of Canada throughout the same period. All of our ROBBINS polls have reflected similar support for the Conservatives in the Province of Ontario – or slightly better than they achieved in the federal general election in 2008. Mainstream polls have reflected an initial increase for Conservatives in Ontario with a slight drop to 2008 totals of late.
ROBBINS has reflected lower totals for the Conservatives in Western Canada including the Province of British Columbia while Mainstream pollsters have not.
Although ROBBINS saw an increase for the New Democrats in Quebec in the third week of April, numbers from Mainstream pollsters witnessed the massive increase in support for that party in Quebec in the 10 days afterward. Mainstream pollsters have agreed of late to some tipping for the New Democrats in Ontario, British Columbia, (and slightly on the Prairies), where ROBBINS differs is in British Columbia where he places the New Democrats slightly ahead of the Conservatives and also sees a slight decline for Conservatives across the Prairies (which may not translate to a significant difference in seat totals).
It is doubtful that the Conservatives could win a majority with these numbers – likely 50-1 odds, and 10 to 1 odds that their seat count will be below 125. The key factors are not news: How many seats will the Conservatives gain or lose in Atlantic Canada. They could be up 2 or 3, or be down a similar amount. How many seats will they lose in Quebec – 5? 10? Who can handicap Ontario? It is conceivable that the Conservatives could win as many as 70 seats or as few as 50 seats in that province. There are but a few seats for the Conservatives to win or lose in the Prairie Provinces---and British Columbia will loom large in the outcome.
If Ontario breaks well for the Conservatives – with the rise in New Democrat support –splitting off Liberal support- the absolutely best scenario for the Conservatives in our opinion would be a gain of 11 seats. The most reasonable worst case scenario would be a loss of 28 seats across Canada.
If the Conservatives somehow defied the current trends and snuck into a majority – they would need to accomplish this through the Province of Ontario primarily. Most expect the Conservatives to dominate the Prairie Provinces – so British Columbia-would need to produce – if BC goes in the direction of the New Democrats it is conceivable that even if the Conservatives win a minority government - with few or no seats in Quebec – their national mandate will be dubious at best with BC-- on the way out the door.
A confirmed survey participation of (net) 1,521 eligible voters across the great nation of Canada between April 18 to 22nd, 2011 featuring a margin of error of 2.51%, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence. Province by province numbers adjusted to correspond to 2008 voter turnout numbers and gender.

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