04.23.2015 11:32 AM

Who’s going to win the next federal election?

Here’s what the CBC’s polling aggregator has to say:

With the Liberals and Conservatives currently neck-and-neck in voting intentions, the tendency for polls to accurately predict the winner six months out is nullified. 

But the trend of the Liberals under-performing their pre-election polling at the ballot box tilts the odds in the Conservatives’ favour. The Liberals have averaged a drop of about six points per election since 1979, if we include the more limited polling prior to 1997. Since 1997, that drop has averaged eight points. That is virtually identical to the gains made by the Conservatives and their predecessor parties over that period of time.

I’m not sure I buy this theory: if the past six months have shown us anything, they’ve shown us that events can have a rather dramatic effect on voting intention. 
What do you think, Dear Reader? CPC for the win, as CBC suggests? Or someone else?


  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I’m a big fan of KISS. So I wouldn’t go with Voter: do you want change? Instead, I would opt for a direct question for Voters: more of Stephen Harper, YES OR NO?

    And on that basis, I expect a Liberal led minority.

  2. Priyesh says:

    This is actually the worst kind of polling. It’s blind adherence to numbers. It’s just as dumb to say “the party always drops 6 points” as much as it was to say “Michael Ignatieff would be prime minister if these meaningless polls 6 months out are correct.”

    WHAT’S DRIVING THE POLLS. That’s always the question.

    What worries me is that Mulcair’s leadership numbers are surging. Back in 2011, Jack Layton was seen as the most trustworthy prime minister, even when the NDP was still polling in the teens.

    Look for the leading indicators.

  3. Ann Moore says:

    Anyone but Harper

  4. Michael says:

    I think it depends on what happens with the economy in Q2 and whether or not terrorism reignites, especially in September and October. We also have to see what Justin Trudeau’s full platform is and whether or not people like it. I think it will include tax hikes for people making over $150,000 and corporations. The main highlight of his platform will probably be infrastructure investment. Do you agree, Warren?

    • Matt says:

      Well, seeing as how he’s got American Larry Summers (the guy who led the charge for financial sector deregulation that helped to create the 2008 recession and now advocates for deficit spending for infrastructure) as one of his advisors I’d say massive infrastructure spending promises from Trudeau are a given. Paid for by his carbon tax of course.

  5. GFMD says:

    Forget numbers, heck, even forget general trends. Pretty much all of the polls in the last two years have shown the CPC unable to win a majority. After 10 years of Harper, the majority of Canadians will be tired of him and ready to switch. Unless Harper can bamboozle the GG twice, Prime Minister Trudeau is almost a certainty come October.

    • Cranston Snord says:

      GFMD, have you listened to Justin at all since his coronation? I hate to break your balloon, but he couldn’t represent my street in our community association, let alone lead the country. The LPC has made another disastrous choice for its leader, and this will become oh-so evident once the writ is dropped. If you detest PMSH so much, methinks that Angry Tom is the person for whom you should vote. He, at least, has substance.

      • terence quinn says:

        He has done pretty well with his lemonade stand on your street corner to use your metaphor. Raising money that just about matches the ruling party’s donations is no mean feat considering where the libs were when he was elected. I could go on but I don’t want to overwhelm you with facts since you appear to be a conbot.

  6. Matt says:

    Well, I guess the key words here are “voting intentions”.

    And if the numbers are correct, a lot more people have INTENDED to vote Liberal than have ACTUALLY voted Liberal for whatever reason over the years.

  7. Jnap says:

    Analysts are pointing out several “known unknowns”….the lousy demographic data from the inaccurate National Household Survey is not as valid as the 2011 census…..Elections Canada has new restrictions on its ability to educate and inform voters about the new ID rules, unless indiviuals go the the EC website…..confusion about new riding boundaries, and the new seats (which favour CPC in many areas)…..the effect of very heavy promotion of the CPC through television advertising in the form of informercials….
    Eric Grenier has recently indicated a Harper minority gov in October vote. BUT there is still time to get out the progressive voters to encourage a high voter turnout despite all these roadblocks.

  8. Adam Jackson says:

    CPC minority. Sticking with this prediction.

  9. King Prick says:

    Here’s my prediction:

    Harper gets enough to form a minority. (see me squirm)

    Justin, will blow himself up entirely. I dread seeing him in a televised debate. He’s become a less than compelling choice for PM. Let’s not sugar coat it; he says dumb shit. People that say dumb shit are usually, well… dumb. Case in point, almost all of the Conservative caucus. Do we really need more of the same? Justin is just more of the same. To say otherwise, is just saying more dumb shit.

    Mulcair comes in a decent, but not a strong second. The guy that says dumb shit though, needs to understand something; the NDP is more the party of Pierre and Pearson than what today’s conservative laden Liberal party is. I’m not saying the Liberals need to amalgamate, I’m just saying that Trudeau isn’t ready for breakfast, let alone leadership of a nation. The smart bet for the dumb guy is to fall into a coalition with the former Liberal, Mulcair and allow him to lead. Trudeau should negotiate a cabinet position for himself—say foreign affairs, so he can learn something; and work with the NDP to get the nation on track.

    So, it’s Harper with a minority and Trudeau is left to decide whether or not the country gets flushed further down the toilet. We know Mulcair would do a coalition. If Justin doesn’t; it’s just a further example of more dumb shit. How a great thinker like PET spawned this train wreck, I’ll never understand. It must have been the marijuana Margaret.

  10. gyor says:

    Mulcair, I look at Character over polls that bounce all over the place. Polls change suddenly, character doesn’t.

  11. Liam Young says:

    I hate to say it, but the Harper Cons will manipulate voters again (as they always have) into believing that there are no other options. They will WIN the 2015 election, probably with a majority because unfortunately, they’re right. Trudeau is Harper-Lite, the NDP is stuck in union politics and the Greens don’t have a hope in hell and you’re throwing away your vote if you vote Green.

    Canadians need to get their act together and demand more from the ‘centre-left’ or stop bitching every time Harper and his goons win.

    We can either rip the parties apart from inside or start a new one.

    I prefer the latter and like ‘Citizen’s Party of Canada’.

  12. doris says:

    Lets just form our opinions about modern polling After the AB election.

  13. Jeff says:

    Conservatives are going to win a majority. A campaign was always going to be bad for the Trudeau Liberals, and Trudeau didn’t/won’t create enough of a buffer to accomplish it. Frankly, I don’t see where the even Liberal minority will come from.

    At this point the Liberals have to hope some scandal happens to avoid a conservative government of some kind.

  14. ABlanas says:

    I think the CON war room, with so much good working material served up by ineffective Trudeau, will decimate the LIB war room.

  15. MF says:

    Ah… I see that the expectations for Trudeau have been sufficiently lowered.

    Now, if the Libs can produce some sort of platform that keeps the current taxcuts and does not produce too much of a nanny state, I think they could do OK. I think his debating skills are underestimated.

    • chuckercanuck says:

      Trudeau is a genius! His plan has been to fake being vapid and clueless for a sustained period of time only to reveal his seasoned, accomplished true self weeks before the writ! History in the making.

  16. George says:

    I can’t say who is going to win, but I’m 100% sure who is going to lose…the average Canadian who isn’t connected to whoever wins.

    Three bad choices, one has to win. Sad.

    /rant off

    Back to your question, I think the Cons will squeak by with a majority, I expect JT to get destroyed during the debates and the NDP to gain some ground at the Libs expense.

  17. Matt from Ottawa says:

    Its a tough call, my guess is going to be either strong minority or small majority in favour of the Conservatives. A few reasons why.
    – I think in Ontario, there is alot of ppl who are either a) not happy with Kathleen Wynne – Hydro sell off and a few other reasons. Furthermore, Ontario generally keeps a balance between Fed and Prov, its a trend thats been pretty strong.
    – The new seats – Many of the new seats that are being added are in more suburban areas which generally vote tend to vote more for the Conservatives, so in some regards although some of the new seats / redistributions could go either way, generally, many of the new seats favour the Conservatives.
    – Trudeau himself. Alot of people are starting to pay attention to him more than his youthful style, and people are getting increasingly impatient with his lack of policy, changing his tune / having to explain himself, gaffes, etc
    – Aside from politico junkies who have already staked a claim on what party they support. I dont think the Duffy trial will have much of an affect, things may change, but you can already tell the media are getting bored with it, as with Harb coming in August, the only party who may benefit is the NDP, but like I said, prob a non issue.
    – Theres questions whether because there are alot of Nova Scotians in Alberta that the Libs may gain seats. Although it is possible, many of them are out there bc there was no opportunities there, so they may stick to Conservatives. The lower price of oil could be a factor, but who knows.
    -Mulcair has been rather strong in Quebec to many peoples surprise, and in some areas the Conservatives are gaining traction. The Liberals seem to think (like theyve thought in Ontario) that the voters made a mistake and will def vote for them next time… because, theyre Liberals. Think that way at your own peril.
    – I think the debates are going to be interesting. But if the scrum after the budget is any indication, Trudeau comes off awkward. If he comes off that way during the debates and is thrown off, I think he’s toast.
    -I think there very well may be people voting for the “devil they know”
    – I actually think alot of ppl might protest and go NDP, Many of my friends who vote Conservative have said they are considering the NDP and would not vote in Trudeau

    Just my 2 cents

  18. Sean says:

    CPC Majority with a very tight race for OO

  19. David Bronaugh says:

    Links are broken. Please to be fixing?

  20. Ridiculosity says:

    Liberal minority – possibly majority.

    Canadians have had (more than) enough of Harper.

    End of story.

  21. cgh says:

    Far too soon to tell, Warren. Elections matter, a lot. All we have right now is some trend lines. Plenty of time for the various contenders to pick up their game or well and truly flub it.

  22. Rich says:

    CPC minority or majority …likely possible
    outcomes at this point

  23. MississaugaPeter says:

    The Golden Boy, PC heir to Harper, is in 3rd in Alberta. Who could have imagined it only 2 months ago.

    Canadians for the most part have it pretty good, yes, they are in debt to the tilt, but the value of their homes have been going up at an even greater rate. As long as interest rates stay low, people will be o.k.

    As a result, they feel no matter who they vote for, they will more or less get the same government. Will the average person be affected by Muclair’s business tax increase or Canada’s involvement in Iraq, not really.

    So what am I trying to say … No way in hell to know what will happen two months from now, let alone six months from now. A Hudak-type gaffe that we can’t foresee today will end the career of one of the three contenders. One will come second and run again. And one will win.

  24. chuckercanuck says:

    Its an easy prediction to make. There’s lots of ways to know who will win:

    There is no compelling reason for either opposition leader to unseat the present government. Everyone on this site saying “who can tell” and “no one knows” are saying that because they want to retain a shred of hope that either the Grits or Dips will make it happen. And I know it isn’t kind to remove that shred of hope from you but guess what: Harper and the Tories win a majority.

    This is predicated on the idea that Canadians ain’t dumb. Ergo:

    A) It is insulting to Canadians that Liberals would proffer a Paris Hilton type as a potential Prime Minister. If this were the 70s and it still was common practice, we would want to spank the Liberals for this. The line from Martin to Dion to Iggy to Trudeau is a straight line heading down. Justin Trudeau is no Michael Ignatieff, let alone Jean Chretien.

    B) The Dippers should aim to keep the seats they have. Not to dream of becoming government. The idea they will end the election with the same size of Quebec caucus as they have today is very difficult to fathom. Not impossible but if they understand the dynamic that led them to win last time around, then they know how hard it will be to keep that caucus. So major gains are needed elsewhere.

    The real question is: will Stephen Harper become the longest serving Prime Minister in Canada’s history? (I get all tingly thinking about it).

    • doconnor says:

      “The Dippers should aim to keep the seats they have. Not to dream of becoming government.”

      If the NDP keeps the seats they have, the Conservatives go down 30 seats and the Liberals go up 30 seats (not unreasonable even if the Liberals end up lower then the polls show now) the NDP could lead a coalition government.

      • Mervyn Norton says:

        In an expanded House of 338, Mulcair could lead an informal coaltion if the NDP keep their 95 seats, the Cons keep their 160 seats, and the Liberals pick up 40 seats to give them 76 (with seven held by other parties or independents).

  25. Rich says:

    We may have a game changer here for the Liberal Party…hang on to your hats.

    Any predictions as to its effects?


  26. Anonymous says:

    Harper just doesn’t know how to run the country. Mulcair, on the other hand is very intellectual and calm. Don’t believe me? Watch Macleans’ Election Debate.

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