More numbers

So, Abacus Data has added to the polling data. Their report says that a “plurality of Canadians continue to feel the country is headed off on the wrong track (43%)” …

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 08.12.53

… and they say that “Today 35% approve of the performance of the Trudeau government, while 47% disapprove. In April approval stood at 32%” the report could have said that only 35% approve while 47%, nearly half of Canadians, disapprove of the Trudeau regime and they might also have noted that approval has been falling since the summer of 2016 and disapproval began to rise sharply at about the end of winter and beginning of spring of 2019 …

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 08.15.43

… now, at first glance, one would say that is good news for Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives, but then the polling firm asked: “If a federal election were held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you vote for in your constituency?” The answer suggests that even though half of Canadians disapprove of the Trudeau regime almost ⅓ of them plan to vote Liberal anyway …

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 08.22.13

… the others (15% of voters) who disapprove of the Trudeau regime but will not vote Conservative appear to do so because Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are not progressive enough on some issues, especially, I suspect, climate change and pipelines.

What we can see, I think, is that each of the CPC and the LPC has an absolutely secure core vote of, say 20% (perhaps more for the Conservatives than the Liberals) ~ based on their worst showings since 1993 ~ and the NDP probably have a 10% core vote and I’m guessing the Greens have 5% as do the Québec nationalists. Those are the people who would vote for the party of their choice no matter what. The other 40% of Canadians, enough to form a secure majority government if they all voted for, say, Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada, just as an example, can be persuaded to vote for other parties and Abacus Data tells us this about their 2nd and 3rd choices:

  • First, something between 40% and 75% of voters might change their vote (Conservatives are least likely to change their preference, Greens are the most likely) –Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 09.04.05
  • Second, here is how they might “switch” –Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 09.05.45









These findings are NOT good news for the CPC.  While about ⅓ of Conservatives might change their vote to, say the People’s Party or the Liberals, the Conservatives are never anyone’s second choice. The Conservative Party must, therefore, always, secure its base because it is unlikely to persuade much more than 10% of the electorate to switch to their candidate … but a secure 30% base + a 10% switch is enough, it was in 2011 and 2015, anyway, to form a comfortable majority government in our multi-party, first-past-the-post system.

Abacus Data says that Canadians, broadly, have a poor opinion of Justin Trudeau …

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 09.13.54

… about the same number who disapprove of his government (47%) and a few more than those who think the country is headed in the wrong direction (43%) have a negative opinion of Justin Trudeau (46%). But that isn’t a “win” for Andrew Scheer because, Abacus Data says, his “positives” and “negatives” are in a statistical dead heat at about 32% each. Again I think Prime Minister’s Trudeau’s negatives are split between those, mainly conservatives, who think he is a weak-minded, ethically challenged, trust-fund-kid and those, on the left, who think he is too pragmatic and too moderate on too many issues.

As I will explain, tomorrow, aided by some insights from the Globe and Mail‘s John Ibbitson, that the near tie in voter support coupled with the CPC’s weakness as a “second choice” party means that a Liberal minority, which might be quite stable if it can secure enough support on enough issues from the Greens, NDP and Québec nationalists, is very possible in October … unless the CPC can improve its support.


Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

4 thoughts on “More numbers

  1. What did any of this article have to do with our military? But if you wish to make your articles purely political commentary now, I will say that thankfully, many people see that Mr. Scheer is not of prime ministerial material and that the Conservative Party’s ethos – as it stands today – is repugnant to some of us. For that matter, Mr. Trudeau isn’t of PM material either :)). I find it disappointing that some people, yourself included sir, proudly claim themselves to be lifelong Conservatives or Liberals, rather than voting on the issues as the stand at that time. Non-partisan is always the way to go, to my mind . .. ..

    1. I have never said this blog was “military,” Mr Parker.

      In fact, it reflects my views on a range of issues … the fact that I spent most of my adult life as a soldier makes me interested in some strategic, operational and military administrative matters, but I think I am allowed to be interested in elections, too.

      I have said, several times, for those who bother to read what I say, that I didn’t become a Conservative supporter until about 1968. I voted for Mike Pearson and against John Diefenbaker on policy grounds, when I was young, in the 1960s, and I still believe that the Liberal Louis St Laurent was one of Canada’s (few) GREAT prime ministers … not because he was a Liberal but because he gave Canada excellent political leadership in troubled and extraordinarily dangerous times.

      I am, I think, similar to you, Mr Parker, but perhaps I’m the other side of the same coin: I believe, firmly, that Justin Trudeau is a weak person, unqualified for and unable to do the job of PM, who leads a bad government that is doing real, measurable harm to Canada. I wish someone other than Andrew Scheer was leading the CPC ~ I made that quite clear in past years ~ but he is an honest, decent man at the head of a good team. It is a two horse race: neither the NDP (Singh) nor the Greens (May) matters except as potential ‘spoilers.’ I am backing the better horse: Scheer.

      I understand you don’t like him, that’s fine, too, many people don’t. You have alternatives: May’s Greens and Singh’s NDP and, perhaps in your riding, an Independent. I have a decent CPC candidate in my riding ~ ~ who, unless she makes a tragic blunder before October, will get my vote. But thank you for your interest; comments are always welcome.

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