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article imageOp-Ed: Latest two polls on Canadian election show tie or Liberal lead

By Ken Hanly     Oct 18, 2015 in Politics
Ottawa - The latest two polls listed at Eric Grenier's CBC poll tracker show quite different results. An EKOS poll shows the Liberals and Conservatives in a virtual tie while a Nanos/Globe poll shows the Liberals leading by over six percentage points.
Grenier manages to spin the results so that he can predict that after the long campaign Justin Trudeau will likely be the next Canadian Prime Minister: After 78 days, it all comes down to tomorrow. And the polls, at least, suggest that the day will go to the Liberals, installing Justin Trudeau as Canada's next prime minister.​Up to and including those published by early Sunday morning, the Liberals have led in 17 consecutive polls, including surveys conducted by eight different polling firms using an array of methodologies.
While strictly speaking Grenier is correct, the most recent two polls give quite divergent pictures of the situation just before the election.
The most recent poll taken from October 15 to 17 by Nanos/Globe does show a signicant Liberal lead. The Liberal party has 37.3 percent of the vote while the Conservatives have just 30.5, a 6.8 percent lead for the Liberals. The NDP is well behind at 22.1. However, a new EKOS poll taken on October 15 and 16 shows a virtual tie for first with the Liberals at 33.7 percent and the Conservatives at 33.3, a difference of a mere 0.4 percent within the margin of error. While it is true that the vast majority of polls give the Liberals a significant lead, surely the EKOS poll should lead one to be a bit more cautious in claiming the polls predict that Trudeau will be the next prime minister. In contrast to Grenier, the EKOS headline says that we do not know the winner and EKOS claims that the outcome will likely be a nail-biter.
The latest poll tracker averages, however, still do show a significant Liberal lead. Up to October 17th, the Conservatives have 31.2 percent of the vote, down a marginal 0.1 from the last average. The NDP are at 22.3 down o.2 percent, and the Liberals at 36.3 also down marginally 0.1 percent. The Bloc Quebecois is up to 4.9, a gain of 0.2 from the last averages and quite significant since they run only in Quebec. Greens are down marginally at 4.4 a decline of 0.1 and other parties have gained to 0.9 up 0.2 points. Some voters must be opting to some of the smaller parties. Seat projections also favour the Liberals with an average of 137, to 122 for the Conservatives, and just 73 now for the NDP. The Bloc Quebecois has increased their seats to 5, while the Green party remains at just one seat. Perhaps, Grenier will add one or two polls later today but right now, the outlook is not quite as clear for a Liberal victory as Grenier makes out, unless one plays down the significance of the EKOS poll.
The NDP outlook does not look that favourable. The polls all put the NDP far behind as Grenier notes: "... every poll has the New Democrats in third, trailing the Conservatives by between seven and 12 points and the Liberals by between 12 and 17 points." However, neither the Liberals or Conservatives appear headed for a majority. The NDP can still play a significant role in determining the policies of any minority government.
UPDATE: The poll tracker has added two new polls since this article was published both ending on October 17th. The results boost the Liberal average lead slightly. An EKOS poll shows the Conservatives with 32.6 percent of the vote, but the Liberals lead with 34.3. The NDP trails badly at just 21. The Ipsos Reid poll shows a substantial Liberal lead of 7 points. The Liberals are at 38 percent, with the Conservatives at only 31. The NDP manages just 22. The revised poll tracker averages give the Conservatives 31.1, with the Liberals leading at 36.5, while the NDP is at 22.2. EKOS says it will release one more poll. EKOS has interesting charts of support by age, gender, and education.
FINAL UPDATE: CBC poll tracker has been updated this morning. It shows the Liberal lead increasing. The Conservatives are at 30.9 percent down 0.2, with the NDP far behind at 21.7 declining by 0.5 and the Liberals leading at 37.2 a gain of 0.7 percent from the last averages. The seat predictions are up for the Liberals with an average of 146 seats, 24 seats short of a majority. The Conservatives are at 118 and NDP with just 66. The Bloc Quebecois is now projected to win on average 7 seats in Quebec a big gain with the Green Party still at just one seat.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about EKOS, 2015 Federal election, Liberal party canada
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