04.02.2015 02:12 PM

Ekos iPolitics poll: “a strange paradox”

I’ll say.

Canadians think we’re in a recession – but the overall trend favours the Conservatives. Canadians don’t like the direction in which the country is going – but the overall trend does not favour the Liberals or their leader. And so on.

Peer at this chart. What it says to me is (a) NDP up; (b) Liberals down; and (c) Harper, not dramatically up, but super happy because the NDP and the Liberals are splitting the progressive share of the vote again. AGAIN.

Watch, tonight, for more numbers on the leaders. It will shock.



  1. Matt says:

    Given your tease about the leadership numbers, I’ll go out on a limb and predict Mulcair is now ahead of Harper AND Trudeau.

    • Warren says:

      I have the smartest readers.

    • Nicole says:

      I have heard more than once from people not tied to a particular party that if Mulcair was the leader of the Liberal party, it would be an easy decision to make.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Broadbent and Clark (long after he lost) used to regularly win in the personal popularity dept.

      IOW, I’m sure he’s a great guy, I just wouldn’t want him and the rest of his crowd running the country.

      …something perhaps Trudeau should bear in mind.

  2. Matt says:

    And aren’t the NDP are actually down from the last EKOS?

    Thought they were at 23.2%, now at 22.6%.

  3. davie says:

    Bit of a jump in Green prospects! The details say that in my new riding, on Van Isle, that NDP is the best bet; but I think the Greens have a strong candidate here. They are not yet double digits, but if other party MP’s and , especially, government front bench keep on doing what they are doing, and Eliz May keeps doing what she is doing, we will have more than just Libs and NDP splitting the reason based vote.

  4. Bill says:

    I’m watching the UK leaders debate on ITV and I think there are direct parallels between us and the UK.

    So check the results on May 7.

    And fwiw, I think Cameron gets back in with another minority.

    • cgh says:

      Could be. Depends how much UKIP takes out of him. After last year’s byelections, there are no safe Tory seats anywhere in Britain anymore that UKIP can’t contest.

      • Africon says:

        Agreed, except that over here we do have have the Euro issue to deal with.

        It going to be fascinating to watch whoever wins the most seats negotiate with the Scots, Welsh, Irish and UKIP to cobble together a workable government.

      • Africon says:

        Not really a paradox if one considers that fear of potential upheavals (terrorism, financial or otherwise) tend to favor the incumbent unless of course the incumbent is seen as the cause of those fears.
        If Canada was in much worse shape than many or all major mature economies then yes it would be a paradox.
        But ( though voters likely do not know this) our national debt to GDP ratio is far, better than most other western nations.

        The combination of NDP & Green numbers do not appear to have changed by much since 2011.

        That PQ is still hanging on is very surprising.

  5. Dave says:

    In 2011, the Tories finished 21 points ahead of the LPC.

    In 2015, having spent millions in “government” ads to polish their own turds, and millions more in party money to attack the LPC, they are only four points ahead.

    Do you think they are happy with that?

    Because – inside baseball – they are not happy with that.

    • Lance says:

      Do you think they are happy with that?

      After almost TEN years in power? Damn straight they are.

      The split between Orange and Red and Green is the size of the Grand Canyon and Blue is going to ride into another majority.

      • Priyesh says:

        The Conservatives don’t have enough numbers for a majority. They’ve been dragged down to minority territory now.

        • Lance says:

          They supposedly didn’t the last time either. How’d THAT turn out again?

          • Dave says:

            The Kim Campbell Tories surged to a slight lead in the leadup to the 1993 election. How’d that work out again?

        • G. Simpson says:

          If internal Conservative party polling indicates only a minority, you will see Harper making an intense emotionally jingoistic appeal to Canadians to stay with him on the issues of the stability of the economy and the security of the nation. The attack ads will nearly vanish and you will see Harper himself talking directly to Canadians begging for their vote to save the nation from political instability during times of crisis. How will Trudeau and Mulcair respond to such a reversal of campaign strategy by the panicky Cons?

          I suspect ISIS/ISIL will be watching the Canadian election and will participate in some devious manner; even launching another token terrorist attack in Canada to ensure, yes, ensure that their enemy Harper stays in power so they can psychologically rally their jihadi base in Canada ever closer to them in their Middle East aggression. These terrorists don’t want a placid Canada helping displaced refugees, they want an adversary in their perversity. Call it machiavellian….

  6. Al in Cranbrook says:


    I sincerely doubt the NDP are leading in BC.

    Is that as improbable as the CPC now leading the Liberals in Quebec?

    • Matt says:

      I don’t know Al.

      Support for military action against ISIL and support for C-51 is pretty high in Quebec.

  7. MississaugaPeter says:

    No surprise. Ever since reading:


    It is obvious who the real middle class champion will be come an election.

  8. Sean says:

    I can’t believe the Tories did this to us 3 times in a row.

    Almost 7 months remain. Snap leadership convention this summer? Merger? No, I suspect losing on purpose will continue.

    • Matt says:

      The Tories haven’t really done a whole lot.

      I haven’t seen any tv commercials about Trudeau since the ones just after he became leader. And we were told by everyone, except our host here, that those ads weren’t working and wouldn’t work.

      They planted the seed that Trudeau wasn’t ready for prime time. It has been Trudeau himself that has proven it.

  9. !o! says:

    Meh. Harper and the CPC just aren’t as popular as they were– even for EKOS, which is the only poll in nearly two months that has them on top, the trend is that CPC is down from two months ago (as it is with all the other pollsters). With these numbers, they might get a minority, which is not terrible news for the left. The high dissatisfaction with direction of the government / country just says to me that voters are more likely to coalesce to vote *against* the cpc rather than for whatever party they are claiming to park support with right now– this is one element that polls can never capture, especially this far out.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      ! O!,

      Right on target. Mulcair momentum will run only on fumes. If voters want Harper out, there is only one possible bride and she’s called Liberal. NDP prospects of leading in the seat count are practically nil, as before.

      English-speaking voters, and their pocketbooks, continue to gag on the prospect of a social-democratic government. It’s Trudeau, or it’s Harper. That’s it.

      • Dennis W says:

        When you refer to “English-speaking voters”, I assume you mean voters in the ROC and excluding Quebec. You project the choice as Harper or Trudeau and not Mulcair and his leftist NDP. You also assume that voters in the ROC hate Harper and will look to Trudeau as their saviour PM. Perhaps your assumptions are based only on your personal political proclivity.

        You seem to overlook the hatred rising against the Couillard Liberal government imposing austerity on the province, and the spillover against the Trudeau Liberals. Does that mean French-speaking Quebecers will stay with the NPD or even flock to Les Conservateurs and both offering aid to les pauvres quebecois? Have the Couillard Liberals dashed the hopes for the Trudeau Liberals in Quebec? Assumptions or near reality?

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Dennis W,

          Will you agree with me that it’s troublesome if people openly exhibit hate against any politician? These types need to be monitored by police.

          I would also put it to you that English-speaking voters in the ROC get to make the call — some dislike Harper but if Harper falls it will be because of voter fatigue with a longstanding government.

          As an ex-Conservative, I readily concede that Harper could theoretically win again but my sense of it is that is unlikely. Personally, I always separate how I vote. My federal view is not affected by my provincial view and vice versa.

          Strategic voting has not been a force in 2004, 2006, 2008 or 2011. It will have a greater effect in 2015.

          • MississaugaPeter says:

            “Strategic voting has not been a force in 2004, 2006, 2008 or 2011. It will have a greater effect in 2015.”

            Why? People are different in 2015 than the previous 4 elections or because you want them to be?

            Precedent is more likely the result than wishful thinking.

            “Mulcair momentum will run only on fumes.”

            Can you please use your crystal ball to tell me who will win the Stanley Cup so I can make a sure bet?

            Anyone who claims to know the result or way an election campaign will play itself out, at the start, or in this case almost a half year in advance, is either God or quite delusional.

            “My federal view is not affected by my provincial view and vice versa.”

            You may be or may not be the exception. Some folks always vote Liberal, some always NDP, and some always Conservative. But then some will switch federally versus provincially. See Ontario. Only about 10 years in the past 72 years (since 1943) has the governing party in the HOC also been the governing party at Queen’s Park.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Mississauga Peter,

            My opinion is based on a premise that Warren has reminded us of: governments generally defeat themselves. To reach that point takes time and a coalescing behind a single party. We saw that last time in Quebec.

            Voter fatigue is bound to be more evident this time. That’s my supposition after the CPC has been power for a very long nine years.

            My view is quite simply my view — as it was when I made my Ontario and Quebec predictions. I thought I did alright there.

            As for sports predictons, I’m not smart enough to do that. LOL.

          • G. Simpson says:

            I believe that most Canadians vote on the leadership of parties; their authenticity and credibility to lead the country as well as their policies on the economy and security.

            In product marketing you seek “product differentiation” to look more appealing to the consumer. The same applies in politics where the product is the same – sneaky politicians.

            The visage, the appearance of the three leaders is the packaging appeal to voters, and we have seen Canadians flocking to the Trudeau Liberals and away from the Mulcair NDP, while the Harper Cons seem to be in control with their core voters.

            The regional tribalism is another factor that will play in the subconscious minds of Canadians. Harper is from discredited Alberta while Trudeau and Mulcair are from French speaking Quebec.

            As for credibility, Harper will have a speckled governing record while both Trudeau and Mulcair will be viewed as centre-left with it’s split 50 shades of grey. The election campaign will/must/should resolve all these marketing challenges.

          • doconnor says:

            You may liike to look into cloudy future, but the Governer General’s mainly will look at historical precedent. He also won’t be considering the “optics” where the leaders of the parties happen to come from.

  10. Michael says:

    I believe that Mulcair will remain Opposition Leader after the election. Many on the left are very upset that Justin supported C-51. Most of them don’t want the bill improved; they want it abolished. I also think that Mulcair can target some inner-city ridings currently held by the Liberals thanks to his childcare program. Judy Sgro’s York West riding is a perfect example.

    • G. Simpson says:

      And that begs the question, will Liberals replace Justin if the Liberals don’t advance to official opposition at the least? Another third place result even with slight improvement would be disastrous and rebellion within Liberal ranks would be fomented and raging openly.

  11. Torontonian says:

    JT is just not plausible as a prime minister. It boggles the mind that the Liberal “brain trust” can’t see that. Certainly most of the rank and file Liberals I know admit it privately. He would have benefited from a few years playing second fiddle to someone with more gravitas. Maybe he’ll get to do that in a coalition with PM Mulcair.

    Hey, a guy can dream….

    • G. Simpson says:

      It boggles the imagination why the Libs chose space & time cadet Justin over distinguished Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau. Incroyable!

      • eric weiss says:

        If they didn’t they’d still be at 18% and third place in fundraising. Abilities aside, JT’s celebrity is the only reason the LPC are anywhere near 2nd place and have any cash to run a campaign.

  12. DonW says:

    Any bettors out there willing to give us odds on a Lib- NDP-Green Coalition? Anyone? Am not responding to any of the Lib, NDP or Green fundraising notes until they start talking collaboration. Won’t hold my breath. If any of us were betting today, based on our host’s numbers here, would we put our $$ on a Con minority and no red-orange-green coalition? What is the Smart Money saying?

    • Priyesh says:

      I’d put money on them trying. But then I’d put money on Harper trying to thwart it at any cost, including prorogation, and begging the governor general for another election instead.

    • G. Simpson says:

      I’m holding off betting until I know who will be the Coalition leader and putative PM of any Coalition government… and that’s the rub!

      If the Coalition is only revealed after the election, it will fail because it doesn’t have a clear mandate from voting Canadians. Just saying Harper must be removed is not a valid argument, and the GG would certainly not consider that a reason to invite a post-election Coalition with no electoral mandate to govern.

      I also suspect many socialists and liberals would not accept a Coalition unless their leader led the Coalition and that’s where it will fail because Mulcair despises Justin and Justin believes he’s destined by birthright to lead. Neither would the GG, given that the NDP and Liberals were running against each other in the election.

      A post-election NDP-Liberal Coalition is not only a political contradiction, it’s impractical and could not govern effectively. And that’s another reason why the Harper-appointed GG would accede to Harper’s request to drop the writ on a snap election… assuming Harper only has a minority government and was defeated by the majority Opposition.

      Then in a snap election, the NDP and Liberals would be forced to merge prematurely since they embraced a Coalition and could not run again as stand alone parties. Hello Harper majority!

      • DonW says:

        G. Simpson, your analysis makes a lot of sense. In the event of a Conservative minority, might we look forward to collaboration on key votes (environment, security, foreign policy, First Nations issues, etc.) between the Libs, the NDP and the Greens? What sort of seat numbers would make such a situational collaboration possible?

        • G. Simpson says:

          That’s a good thought, DonW, but I see a different political scenarios if the Conservatives only won a minority.

          (a) If it was a small minority like 150 to 160 out o 338 ridings, I can see your scenario applicable because Harper would cling to power at all cost, unless the emboldened Opposition decided to vote no confidence and attempt to cobble some kind of Coalition in the hopes that the GG will accede, and if not, drive the country into another election.

          (b) If it was a slim minority like 160 to 168 seats, I think Harper will invite the Opposition to defeat him on a confidence vote as he tries to implement a controversial agenda and daring the Opposition to push him into another snap election. The Opposition would not be so emboldened to attempt to form a Coalition because it too would be insecure and unstable to maintain, even if the GG accepted it, which I doubt he would do given how evenly the split it.

          (c) A scenario that I could not possibly imagine ……..

          In any case, Harper would dare the Opposition to attempt to form a post-election Coalition which he would denounce as undemocratic because the voters were deceived prior to the election by both Trudeau and Mulcair that they would not run as a Coalition with assigned strategic riding voting between the parties. That would stink to high Heaven!

      • doconnor says:

        “GG would certainly not consider that a reason to invite a post-election Coalition with no electoral mandate to govern.”

        Having the confidence of the majority of the House is the electoral mandate the GG looks for in a Prime Minister. Unlike almost every other Prime Minister a PM with the support of a coalision will have the support from parties that got a majority of votes.

        You’ve been deceived about how out democratic system works by those who seek to undermine it.

        • G. Simpson says:

          The GG would go beyond the technicalities of Parliament on such an important issue to reject a contradictory Coalition, just like the SCOC invokes the “living tree” concept for their surprising ad hominem legal and constitutional decisions.

          How can the GG hand over the government of all of Canada to a couple of party leaders from Quebec who have the deepest roots for the interests of Quebec? That would split Canada!

          Your assumption for a Coalition is obviously based on hatred for Harper and your eyes and mind are filled with blood in your desperation to dislodge the Conservatives. That’s not only dangerous, it’s mentally questionable.

          If the GG did accept a Coalition of parties who attacked each other in the election to govern competently, you can expect a political and physical revolt in Canada, and it won’t be pretty. Besides, a Coalition could not function nor last long due to in-fighting and instability.

          A post-election Coalition between the NDP and Liberals would be the darkest day in the history of Canadian politics and would brutally polarize Canadians and risk destroying the country and democracy.

          • doconnor says:

            I’m not sure the GG would be quite as racist as your are.

          • G. Simpson says:

            ……”racist” you say?

            Why would you accuse me of racism because the Liberals and NDP are not a “race”, unless you now believe we are now a country of political “races”. Is that what you mean?

          • doconnor says:

            You are discriminatory against people from Quebec. They aren’t really a race, but it is no more justified.

            You also made other statements that blatantly inconsistent with historical precedents, notably the 1985 Ontario Liberal-NDP coalition and the 1920 Meighen government.

          • G. Simpson says:

            I don’t think I’m “discriminatory against people from Quebec”.

            I’m just pointing out the obvious optics of Trudeau and Mulcair from Quebec and colluding to create a Coalition Fran├žaise that would be governing through Montreal….. just as Harper is governing through Calgary and a bit from Toronto too. I’m just stating the obvious and your attempt to label me a ‘racist’ suggests you want to avoid the obvious.

            As for my ‘blatant’ inconsistencies with historical precedence (whatever that means), I prefer to look ahead into the cloudy future rather than depend on what happened in 1920 and 1985.

    • GFMD says:

      I can’t speak to the smart money, but my suspicion is that there will be no talk of any sort of co-operation, except for over-the-top fearmongering from the CPC and flat denials from everyone else, until 20 minutes after the election results. After that, all we will be hearing is “we need a government that reflects the will of the majority of people who cast ballots, not the extremist minority who have been gaming the results for the past decade.”

  13. G. Simpson says:

    One thing for certain, the election attack ads from all 3 parties will be vicious doozies. It’s gonna be the greatest election show ever and filled with innuendo and invective. Can’t wait for the show to begin full speed ahead in September.

  14. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Where have I seen these numbers before? Oh yes, her name was Pauline and her incumbent government was narrowly leading in the polls — but her government’s unfavourable numbers neatly did the rest. Harper needs to be concerned.

    • G. Simpson says:

      Your historical example is only wishful thinking; besides ‘historians’ are people who can only think backwards…… but I agree with you that Harper should be concerned because wacky Canadians did elect and reelect him three times and that could either be a strike-out or a fourth time would be base-on-balls.

      The election pitches will be made starting in the September-October campaign and I can see many foul balls……. and the question will be: “Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third…?”

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        G. Simpson,

        You need to go back and examine Pauline’s consistent unfavourables. Maybe had something to do with my prediction that she would lose. Meanwhile, the brain trust in the PMO were predicting and expecting a Marois majority. Shows what they don’t know about Quebec. (And thank God for that.)

  15. Joe says:

    I don’t put much stock in polls but I can say that the election campaign is on in Edmonton Centre. I’ve had the NDP and the Conservative candidates come to my door recently. Both are substantial candidates and are worthy of consideration. Have the Liberals even nominated someone here yet? I haven’t heard. That being said their candidate is going to have to be a lot more substantial than their leader to get my vote as I can not take Justin as being a serious candidate for PM.

  16. eric weiss says:

    Polls are only important when it shows the party you support is ahead. If it’s not, then the methodology is obviously flawed and it will all be alright on election day, because everybody loves your guy, and hates the other guy as much as you do. Everybody knows that.

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