10.17.2015 07:44 PM

Who wants to watch a Ekos-Nanos cage match?

Who would your money be on – and why?



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    Kevin says:

    Money on Liberals. Main reasons – Trudeau is proving to be an awesome campaigner. He was just shown on CTV holding a rally in Winnipeg and, in spite of the hoarseness, was second to none in that setting.

    Then, the cons are running such an offensive and ham-fisted campaign it almost seems like they want to lose. Harper and banning niqabs? Harper and the Ford brothers? Harper and obvious lies about his opponents? Candidates hiding from debates and refusing interviews?

    Never seen anything like it in my (very long) life.

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      RogerX says:

      Yes, the LPC put Justin out front and centre in the election campaign because he was their best and only weapon against aged leaders Harper and Mulcair…. that was the only “product differentiation” they could produce for the election marketplace.

      Justin was presented visually talking to Canadians in all their election media advertising while Mulcair and Harper were hiding and hoping that Justin would crater…. but he proved to be a superior thespian on the biggest stage of all… the election stage. Only after he kept the Liberal party alive and up in the polls did the opposition go into panic mode and their leaders appeared to talk directly to Canadians.

      Mulcair started to appear in NDP election ads and proved to be a failure because nobody was buying his scary appearance and the NDP started to tank in the polls. Then a few days ago, Harper was featured in CPC ads with the feeble line that “it’s not about me, it’s about you”… which became an admission that the CPC polling indicated a voting wave towards Justin. Justin has acquired an “authenticity” in the eyes of Canadians by standing front and centre in LPC election ads, and now it’s too late for the opposition parties.

      Show your face in the advertising and the consumer will buy your product…. hide and assume the opposite and the consumer will buy what is familiar… plain & simple.

      Justin is obviously the least competent to be PM of Canada, but the polled masses indicated their preference for him soley on the basis that they saw him, heard him and liked him for his spunk… while the others were no where in sight. The LPC were pounding their brand and the brand was Justin… and he hit the political market just in time to steal market from the lagging opposition leaders. Justin was first in the marketplace. That is what is becoming evident now…. and now we will see if Justin’s popularity will become electability with a turnout at the ballot box. He is now urging his supporters to show up to vote, and he’s doing a good job at it too…. shades of Diefenbaker !!!!

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    Geoff V says:

    Money is on Ekos. They called the Alberta election that no one else saw. Nano uses small sample sizes, cant be all that accurate.

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      Bluegreenblogger says:

      well here’s the thing. If the population is undecided in a big way, then Nanos approach of a rolling average of small samples falls by the wayside due to MOE swamping any actual trends. Large sample size polls present a more accurate snapshot, but if there is a boatload of underlying volatility, the data is stale before it even gets published, so will never tell you todays intentions. So the answer for pollsters is, STOP ASKING WHO PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR, and start asking them why instead. Abacus nailed this election from start to finish, because they did not focus on the wrong moving target. They studied the decision making process of the undecided, and the ‘change vote’, and they did it with large sample sizes.

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    Brent Crofts says:

    I have to think both pollsters are doing everything they can to get it right, for the sake of their reputations. Perhaps even doubly so for Graves, who wasn’t close last time.

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Their three day roll up puts the CPC marginally ahead at 33.9% and Libs at 33.5%. Would seem to indicate a ground shift in the making. BC poll certainly looks far more realistic.

    Add in the “shy conservative” factor, along with a “PM Trudeau???” awakening realization…

    Don’t bet the farm yet, kids!

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Extra thoughts…

      Who pays attention to endorsements? Perhaps undecided voters. There were some pretty strong arguments in favor of Harper, but even more so against Trudeau.

      Harper has been staying on message, very effectively, while looking at ease, even enjoying himself. One of two possibilities: a) he knows something the rest of us don’t. Or b) he knows he’s had a good run as PMs go, and he’s accepted whatever the results may bring…because he’s already decided this is his last campaign.

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        RogerX says:

        Al… yer running on fumes of desperation now because the final emotional decision in this election is “change for the sake of change” and the consequences be damned…. because both Justin and Mulcair have been hammering that home. Emotion is stronger than logic and reason in these last short strokes of the election campaign and the final voter ejaculation decision is coming down the tracks now…. and you can’t say ‘no’ now either!

        I’ve voted Con in 2011, but now in my detached serene demeanour I can envisage a Justin minority Liberal government and Harper resigning as Con leader…. unless…. the Mulcair NDP and/or Duceppe BQ pledge Harper their support for his minority government. Mulcair and Duceppe hate hate hate Justin with a passion only exceeded by their hatred of the Liberals in Quebec.

        We shall see soon …..

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      Jim Curran says:

      I’m betting the farm.

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    Stephen G says:

    Conservative – minority. Seniors will vote en masse on Monday and will vote for Harper. They are the major factor. The youth vote will be watching the Jays.

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      sean says:

      Kids outside of TO don’t watch baseball

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Nanos if the supposed stories of dejected CON operatives are correct.

    EKOS if the polling of advance poll voters is correct.

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      Matt says:

      The story is PLANTED. IT’s strategic to scare CPC to get them to the polls.

      In 2011 a “source within the CPC campaign, speaking on the condition of anonymity” told Robert Fife they ran the numbers and couldn’t see any way they’d get a majority. the got a majority.

      In 2004 whe the CPC was leading in the polls, reporter Jane Tabor was “somehow mistakely” included in a Liberal campaign team conference call where the were complaing how bad the campaign was going, and how Harper was going to win. Libs won a minority.

      Speaking of Robert Fife, why the hell is he sitting down for a one on one interview with Trudeau’s wife???

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        MississaugaPeter says:

        Then an EKOS type result is more likely.

        Have always wondered if perceived momentum makes your supporters more complacent or your opponent’s supporters more complacent. Interesting. I wonder what WK thinks applies. If it actually applies at all.

        Looking at previous elections advance poll results, reveals they are usually a good indication of actual result.

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          Matt says:

          Wondering that myself.

          Do Liberal voters look at the polls and say, “We got this. No need for me to stand in line and vote.” or are the MORE motivated to go out and vote to say “I knocked out Stephen Harper”.

          Do CPC supporters look at the polls and say “Screw it, we’re losing. My vote won’t matter.” or “I’m getting to that polling station if I have to crawl to try and stop Trudeau.”

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          Vancouverois says:

          I think it makes your own supporters more complacent. Fear of the other guy winning is the greater motivator.

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            Cath says:


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    There is a dispute whether Nanos or Angus Reid called it in 2011. My money is on Nanos. Hope the rug doesn’t get pulled out from under me.

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      Matt says:

      Angus Reid edged Nanos in 2011

      Angus total % difference prediction to actual results 5.0

      Nanos total % difference prediction to actual results 5.3

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:



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    Harperdude says:

    Im going with EKOS on this…I think their model is adjusting for voter turnout in favor of Cons….also its making the election on Monday even that more exciting!

    Even if you believe the Nanos numbers (36 to 30) lets factor in a guess on voter turn out…i would say Cons turnout will be 90% and Libs at 75%.

    Libs 36*.75= 27
    Cons 30*.90= 27

    This is why you see Cons playing so hard to their base lately (eg Ford Nation etc)…if they can rally all their vote out they can make up for some of these trailing numbers the other polls are showing. I really believe alot of that Lib support is soft and a good number wont bother to come out…alot of them may be NDP that thought about strategic voting.

    If EKOS is correct my seat prediction is NDP 70, Libs 130, CPC 138

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    Jen says:

    I am no pollster but I work in bio stats so here is my best guess.

    I think Nanos uses phone lines and cell phones. This method of sampling better captures actual public opinion as opposed to vote intention. Ekos uses a lot of IVR I believe(?) This method tends to attract those who are most inclined to vote but it can skew results by overemphasizing voter groups and deemphacizing others.

    I hear some pundits place a lot of focus on the sample size of the polling but I think it is better to go with the right sampling method with a smaller sample than the other way around.

    No polling today is scientific but if I had to choose I will go with Nanos. That being said I would take even his results with a grain of salt. The overall national numbers that Nanos is displaying is likely close but once you look at the regional races it is likely less reliable.

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      Matt says:

      EKOS also uses combined land line and cell.

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      Jim Walsh says:

      In my opinion phone polling is becoming increasingly unreliable with each passing year. Most tech-savvy sort of people don’t have landlines. And those will cell-phones increasingly have tools to weed out unwanted phone solicitation. Don’t recognize the number? Then off to voice-mail it goes….etc…

      So who are you really polling? The elderly and the lonely or bored, or some combination of the three. I hardly see how that sample is likely to be necessarily representative of those who actually get off of their asses and vote. There’s no way I’d answer a call with “Ekos” or “Nanos” in the call display. Better things to do with my time.

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    RogerX says:

    It depends…. because in his closing campaign speeches Justin is beseeching the besotted to GOTV to defeat divisive Harper Cons… not mentioning that is exactly what he is doing himself!

    Justin can feel, smell, taste victory and he is begging his supporters to vote… together with Elections Canada and the CBC who are actively pushing the voters to show up, and both playing a dangerous political game which could end one of them …. the CBC as we know it today.

    Personally, I believe that the Mulcair NDP will support a minority Harper government solely on the issue of a balanced budget and an acceptable TPP…. because to let Justin rule would mean the total utter destruction and demise of the NDP and their ex-Liberal leader Mulcair who hates Justin more than he hates Harper…. and assuming Mulcair wins his Outremont riding seat which I understand is in doubt now.

    Gonna be interesting ….

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      Matt says:

      Mulcair was a Liberal cabinet minister in Quebec’s National assembly. He was never leader.

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        RogerX says:

        Sorry for the confusion… I meant that Mulcair was an ex-Liberal and now NDP leader … but Mulcair does despise Justin with a passion, and if re-elected and the NDP in third place he will reject Justin and the Liberals as the minority government of Canada because Liberal corruption is even now rearing it’s ugly head in the Dan Gagner affair. That’s assuming Mulcair wins his Outremont riding, which now appears in doubt!

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      Kelly says:

      I can guarantee if Mulcair supports Harper, the NDP will lose official party status next election. They might even lose it sooner than that if enough of the NDP caucus walks and crosses to the Libs. A very tiny percentage of NDP voters support the cons as second choice.

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        RogerX says:

        That may be so, but imagine what would happen within the ranks of the Dippers if they had to prop up a Justin Liberal minority government? That would destroy them even faster! Hatred of Harper would not be a useful political strategy under those circumstances because the Liberals represent deception and corruption to the socialist and semi-socialist bunch.

        A third place Mulcair NDP would support a Harper minority government on the issues of a balanced budget which both campaigned on, and a satisfactory TPP approved by Mulcair. As for the union vote, that was useless if Justin wins. The union vote went Liberal in Ontario for self-preservation, and may well go to the Justin Liberals with that same feeling just to Stop Harper. Unions will pimp themselves to anybody who protects their narrow greedy interests … and even sacrifice ON and Canada too.

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    buckets says:

    Hi, Warren. It looks to me that the explanation for the discrepancy of Nanos vs. Ekos is to found in the regionals. The two firms are largely in agreement vis-a-vis Atlantic Canada (Ekos – L54, C22; Nanos – L52, C19); Ontario (Ekos – L43, C34; Nanos – L45, C33), and the Prairies. The big discrepancies are BC (Ekos – L24, C37, N30; Nanos – L31, C32, N28) and Quebec (Ekos – L22, C24, N26; Nanos – L31, C18, N29).

    So I read this to mean both pollsters show that the Conservatives will lose most of what they have left in Atlantic and suffer large losses in Ontario. Both pollsters also show that the Cons should be able hold on to most of what they have in the prairie provinces. (The polls numbers are not granular enough to show whether the CPC will lose seats in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Calgary.) If Ekos is correct, the CPC may pick up a handful or two of seats in Quebec; if Nanos is correct they’ll be plus or minus one or two. The big question mark as far as I can see is BC. If Nanos is correct, they’re in for a world of pain in BC; but even if Ekos is right, they will lose some, and (depending on where their vote holds up if it does) they could still suffer significant losses in greater Vancouver and all their seats on the Island.

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      Matt says:

      EKOS on the three biggest provinces:

      Quebec seems to be a pretty tight and newly fluid three- (and maybe four-) way race with the NDP holding a modest advantage. Ontario is leaning Liberal, but there are a plethora of virtually tied contests (particularly in the 905 region) that are uncertain at this stage. British Columbia is once again an uninterpretable mix of three and, in some cases, four parties.

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      Scotian says:

      Thanks buckets, good critical thinking, but then I’ve expected that from you since the first time I encountered you a decade ago now.

      Me, I do not care to guess on which pollster I believe more, I am willing to believe either could be correct, but I do think that the overall mood in this country has been towards wanting a change form the Harper government and especially Harper himself (I recall when Mulroney was the hated man, and PET before him, and I still find the negative reaction Harper generates outside his core supporters to be worse). I think there are a fairly significant percentage of voters waiting until the last days of this campaign to see which party has the better chance to defeat Harper and then will move en mass to that party to do their best to ensure that Harper is gone, and not accidentally given a majority as happened in 2011 and the “Orange Crush/Wave” that instead helped enable the Harper majority (this is NOT to absolve Ignatief of his fair share of that blame since he helped create the conditions for the Harper majority helping create the Orange Wave by being so craptastic a leader and then the fear of the swing centrists of the NDP as government surging to Harper instead of staying with the Libs). I think 2011 horrified a lot of people who aren’t partisans of any party who see themselves as either progressives or centrists in our political terms and find in Harper something alien to their core beliefs, and this time out are going to make sure it is finally removed without any doubt.

      I realize this is not something I can be certain of, but there are many indicators, some from within the polling data, others from within media and campaign reports. There clearly is a strong anti-Harper sentiment across the nation, we have seen Harper unchained in this majority, and it has not sat well for many, nor do I suspect the pandering to xenophobia in this campaign helped either, and I mean not just the Niqab issue but the citizen stripping arguments and the Barbaric Practices Hotline as well. We know that for most of this campaign that half of the “committed” Lib/NDP voters had said they could still switch their votes to another choice, and that their second choice was the other opposition party and not the CPC. That to me is highly atypical, and indicates to me a preference towards parking votes with their heart’s preference at the beginning of the campaign but ready to shift at the end to make sure Harper goes down and down for good with no chance even with a minority after what he pulled in 2008.

      So your examination of the regionals and the importance of them in the difference in those two Provinces I believe strikes to the heart of why there is such a difference, and if I am correct in my belief in the end Nanos will come out looking more correct, but simply because of that last minute wave which no pollster can truly catch, especially those that make final choice on E-day itself, which there clearly may well be a significantly higher than usual percentage of voters doing this year.

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      Terence Quinn says:

      I think that’s a great summary. Two thoughts. in Quebec the NDP vote has been collapsing daily and if that is still happening the polls will be wrong there on EDay. The same maybe going on in BC but I think the polls show the Conservative votes to be softer as well as the NDP votes disappearing.

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    Lance says:

    Hmm, NANOS has more experience, and a better mat game; EKOS’ has better cardio and striking. EKOS has come up a weight class to fight NANOS, but NANOS is used to carrying around that weight. Edge – NAnOS

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    Steven says:

    Simple enough, I’m picking whoever Warren puts his money on, that was easy!

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    Matt says:

    After 2011, you’d think EKOS is being extra careful in their data collection and analysis. Or not.

    If you read the analysis from all the companies, they’ve ALL built in some “cover your ass” conditions to their numbers.

    But to answer the question:

    Nanos if you support the Liberals, EKOS if you support the CPC.

    One things for sure – they can’t both be right.

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    Matt says:

    Pollster Angus Reid on polls done for the media:

    “Thirty years ago, media actually spent money, big money, to do campaign polls,” says Reid. “They would pick a pollster and that pollster would become their analyst, and they would work together in sort of a partnership to try to understand things.”

    Now, with budgets squeezed by the forces that are grinding the media industry every which way, the country’s news organizations can’t begin to compete with the kind of dollars being spent by the political parties.

    “The election pollsters for the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP in this campaign will be billing in the millions of dollars, “Reid guesstimated. “The total media spend on polling in this campaign will be under $200,000. It is shocking the extent to which the media just is no longer in the business of paying for polls.”


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    JamesF says:

    Nanos. Better historical track record plus they’re more in line with the rest of the industry.

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    nez1 says:

    Hmmm…dunno about polls, but even in Edmonton, there seems to be a lot of ABC sentiment. Have friends who have already voted NDP(lawyer and MBA stock market guy) so what does that tell you. In my riding,(Riverbend) the NDP and Con signs are neck-and-neck. I have been impressed by Trudeau during the campaign, less so by SortaAngryMaybeHe’sBeenMedicated Tom, and not at all by Stevie. I’ve voted for every party there is, including Green, and this time I’m voting Liberal. The Tories are gonna cling to power in a photo finish, however.

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    Westcoastjim says:

    You are smoking crack in the toilet with Rob Ford if you think this is close. The last week of the Tory campaign has been desperate and embarrassing. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass Stephen. Don’t believe me? Even Canada’s Conservative newspaper The National Post thinks Little Stevie and the wannabes to be pathetic.


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    Terence Quinn says:

    Nanos polled 1600 in the last three days and came up with more or less the same results as he had with his 1200 3 night samples. I thin he has caught the mood dead on. His further polling shows that 71% of Canadians want change which is also consistent with his previous pols and what others are seeing as well.
    Nanos gets my vote for accuracy. I believe he is more scientific in his poll modelling.

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      Matt says:

      Small correction, don’t know if it really matters:

      He polled 1600 over 3 days (Oct 14 – 16), only 1472 were included in the survey

      Ekos included 1537 over 2 days (Oct 15 – 16)

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    Will B says:

    Unless things drastically change today, my money is on the Nanos poll because their results are consistent with most other polls.

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    Terence Quinn says:

    The fact Nanos has now polled 2000 over 3 nights with the same consistency should tell the story of accuracy. One more poll to come from him this evening.

    Liberal seven point advantage continues over closing weekend

    National Ballot – Tracking over the closing weekend has the Liberals with a seven point advantage over the Conservatives. The Liberals have 37.3% support, the Conservatives 30.5%, the NDP 22.1%, and the Greens are at 4.7% nationally.

    One Month Change – Compared to a month ago, the Liberals are up six points, the NDP are down nine points, and the Conservatives are up two points. The Liberals have been the primary beneficiaries of the decline in NDP support over the course of the campaign and over the past month the Liberal –

    NDP trend lines have been mirror images of themselves.
    Larger Sample – Please note that today’s three day rolling average is based on 2,000 interviews (800 interviews Saturday, 800 interviews Friday and 400 interviews Thursday).

    Last Report – Nanos will continue to do tracking today (Sunday) and will release its last election survey this evening ahead of the Elections Canada deadline. No new polling can be released on Election Day but polls released prior to Election Day can be reported on Election Day (Section 328 of The Canada Elections Act).

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    RogerX says:

    Sell the “sizzle” and not the steak …. and Justin is sizzling on all burners now while Harper and Mulcair are done for… and just stick the fork in to put them out of their misery.

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    Vancouverois says:

    Wait — are you asking which pollster, or which party?

    For pollster I have no idea. Probably none of them.

    For the election outcome, I’ll say a Liberal minority. Harper and Mulcair will both resign, and the Conservatives and NDP will get new leaders. They will vote down the Liberals after a few scandals take the shine off the Trudeau mystique, and KCCCC will be back within two years when we plunge into the next election.

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    Bill From Leslieville says:

    The older I get, the more tiresome I find politics. Voting NDP for the first time. (Wow, never thought I`d say that.)

    I am putting my money on a Liberal minority. I`ll be happy with anything other than a Conservative majority.

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    Cath says:

    My money’s on Ekos.

    Nanos? Two words – Confirmation Bias – they and their media which hired them have been directing the narrative of this “horse race” campaign from the beginning. Nanos has every reason to keep their narrative in play, as do the media.

    I think your summary from earlier today is sound WK. I agree with you there.

    I am so hoping that voters and not the pollsters or media prevail.

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    MCHammer says:

    Here’s Nanos’ numbers the day before E-Day in 2011:


    The top line numbers are not far off but go look at the regionals. Ontario he had CPC 39 NDP 29 LPC 28. It ended up CPC 44 NDP 25 LPC 25. BC he overshot Libs by 10pct and again lowballed CPC. And so on.

    My money is on Ekos.

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      Matt says:

      Think he also underestimated CPC support in Ontario by 8% in 2008

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    Matt says:

    Carful with the Mainstreet Research numbers.

    Looking at their Alberta election poll, while they were right in in showing an NDP wictory, they were 13% off in their total predicted to actual results.

    The NDP were overestimated by 4%, the PC’s were overestimated by 7%, and Wild Rose was underestimated by 2%.

    Also be careful poo-pooing the Angus results. After they blew the BC provincial election prediction, they did a massive overhaul of their methodology. They’ve been pretty much bang on in the last 5 they’ve done since.

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    The Observer says:

    Ekos is better, but will be seen to still undercount the CPC vote. As I have stated previously, with no likely voter model the youth/left are being oversampled. Moreover I am not aware of a single staunch conservative who’s opinion of the media/pollsters is anything other than “unreceptive” to say the least. These polls are of independents and left leaners. A skew that will be apparent on Monday.

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    The Stig says:

    My money is a split between the two. As much as I don’t want to believe it, I think there is going to be some level of Shy Tory bump tomorrow. If the Liberals do pull of a minority win, it won’t be with a huge margin. Ditto for the Conservatives.

    The real question is, if the Cons do edge out the Liberals in seat count, will their minority hold or will we have a coalition or new elections? Neither Trudeau or Mulcair will support Harper, or so they claim.

    Interesting times.

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    Use the Net says:

    I think it will be closer to Nanos then EKOS. But that does seem at odds with was is being reported on the advance polls. I figured a higher turnout favoured the ABC crowd.

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    Dick Richards says:

    My thinking is to take a look at where the leaders have been recently and what state their campaign is in. Public polling is pretty shabby but internal polling (where much more money spent) is actually quite good. Justin has been going into opponents riding, believing he can steal them — Where as Harper has seemed fixated on protecting conservative ridings. Also, his game show gimmicks and rally with the Fords wreaked of desperation. I’m going to guess that the internal polls for both parties are closer to Nanos than to Ekos

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      Matt says:

      Justin was in Markham, Ont on Thursday or Friday.

      It’s been Liberal red since 1993.

      Does it show the Liberals are in danger there?

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        Matt says:

        Oops should have said 2004.

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      MF says:

      The Liberals only won 34 seats last time. There aren’t really any Liberal ridings to protect. Pretty much any riding Justin visited through the entire campaign was an opponents’ riding.

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    Jeff says:

    And there it is from Ekos. “Deadlock broken. Liberals surging”. http://www.ekospolitics.com/index.php/2015/10/deadlock-broken-liberals-surging/ “SENIORS MOVE BACK TO LIBERALS IN A BIG WAY”. “Late, but clear”. Uh huh.

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    Bill Templeman says:

    Warren, How do you square your Ekos/Nanos Cage Match with Grenier’s Poll Tracker?
    Libs: 36.5
    Cons: 31.1
    NDP: 22.2

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      Matt says:

      Ekos and Nanos are stand alone polls.

      Poll tracker is an average of ALL available polls.

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    Phill St Louis says:

    It is true that the final EKOS poll did show a small gap. However the final FORUM poll came in very late today with the Liberals at 40 percent and the CPC at 30%. The FORUM commented on the possibility of a small majority.

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