By Aaron Wherry - Friday, May 10, 2013 - 0 Comments
If the Liberals continue on the trend line of the last few months, they should be at 100% by the fall.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 1:55 PM - 0 Comments
Glen McGregor publishes the latest attempt to quantify the partisanship that has come to dominate that time. Eric Grenier published a similar analysis last September. Three years ago, Evan Sotiropoulos studied the 38th and 39th parliaments to chart the rise in attacks.
There are, in my mind, if it is agreed that this is a problem, two possible solutions: move the time for statements by members to a less conspicuous time in the schedule or, as I wrote yesterday, remove the parties’ power over who gets to speak during that time.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 2:58 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier runs the numbers on aboriginal turnout.
According to a study by Elections Canada published in August 2012, turnout on first nations reserves was just under 45 per cent in the 2011 federal election, compared to 61 per cent among the general population. The limitations of the study related to voter registration, but also the unavoidable inclusion of non-reserve votes into the calculations, mean that turnout on first nations reserves was likely even lower than 45 per cent. (Read the infographic)
That should be of great concern to aboriginal leaders, as a higher turnout in the last election could have prevented some of the recent changes the Conservative majority government has made to legislation relating to their way of life.
It’s obviously simplistic to suggest that the answer to all concerns is to “go vote,” but it’s also a possible solution that can’t be entirely discounted until it’s tried: Do we really know what would happen if aboriginals voted at a higher rate? Do we know what would happen if young people voted at a higher rate? Shouldn’t such groups endeavour to find out, if even just once to see if it would make a difference?
One of the long-term goals of #IdleNoMore (and #TellVicEverything and every other protest movement, large or small, that has risen up over the last few years) should be to make sure that every single person who gets involved, everyone who so much as tweets as a message of support, ends up voting in 2015. It’d be all the better if they donated their money or time to a political party of their choice, but a marked increase in the number of people voting would amount to something that politicians and parties would have reason to take into account.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
The NDP has some general idea that it would like to win some seats on the Prairies somehow.
The party’s lack of seats in Saskatchewan was a point of focus for Thomas Mulcair during the party’s leadership race and the home of Tommy Douglas probably isn’t just of symbolic value to the New Democrats: gains in Ontario and British Columbia are going to be necessary, but the path to 170 seats probably has to include some gains in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Here the redistribution of ridings might help. By the latest proposals and Mitch Wexler’s math, the NDP gains one seat in Manitoba if the 2011 election results are applied to the proposed new boundaries: Winnipeg North going from a narrow loss to a seven-point win. Meanwhile, the party still wins Churchill and Winnipeg Centre and remains competitive in Elmwood-Transcona.
In Saskatchewan, the impact of redistribution could be more dramatic. In 2011, New Democrats finished within five points in three ridings. Under the new boundaries, the NDP wins two seats narrowly and is within five points in two ridings and within 10 points in one riding.
In theory, that’s five wins and another four ridings in which the party has some reason for hope—nine ridings out of a total of 28.
(Note: In the 2011 election, the NDP won 29% of the popular vote in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In the Eric Grenier’s poll of polls, they drew 33% of the vote in December and spent most of 2012 in the mid-30s. It is probably also worth considering what impact an angry Brad Wall could have over the next few years and during an election campaign.)
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2:52 PM - 0 Comments
The year-end polling averages for 2012 and what three years of polling looks like.
Separately, Eric Grenier looks at some of the NDP’s numbers in the latest Ipsos survey.
Canadians gave Mulcair a 44 per cent approval rating, with 56 per cent disapproving of his performance as leader of the opposition. That compares favourably with Harper, who managed a 45 per cent approval rating in the same poll. Yet, just 14 per cent of Canadians “strongly” disapprove of Mulcair’s performance, roughly half the number the prime minister registered. Not surprisingly, Mulcair’s best and worst scores were in Quebec and Alberta, with a 64 per cent approval rating in the former and a 69 per cent disapproval in the latter. But Mulcair also scored 68 per cent disapproval in British Columbia, a province in which the New Democrats need to make gains if they are to challenge the Conservatives for government in 2015.
A large proportion of Canadians think the NDP is up to the job. While a majority (55 per cent) disagreed that “the NDP is ready to be Canada’s next government,” the 45 per cent who did agree are more than enough to give the New Democrats a huge majority government.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier attempts to quantify the increasingly partisan nature of members’ statements.
An analysis of almost 1,000 speeches made during the Statements by Members period between 1994 and 2012 over the first three normal sitting days after the summer indicates that the number of partisan statements have almost doubled since the Conservatives were first elected. Statements were deemed partisan in this analysis if their primary purpose was to attack another party or praise the speaker’s own party, particularly if the statement was overly generalized. Statements that criticized a government’s policy but on a substantive issue were generally deemed non-partisan, depending on the tone. There is a degree of subjectivity in the analysis, but the trends are quite clear.
About 24 per cent of Statements by Members on the sampled days since 2006 were of a partisan nature, compared to 14 per cent in the period between 1994 and 2005 when the Liberals were in power. Four of the five years where more than 1 in 5 statements were partisan took place under the Conservatives. The lone exception is 1995, when the debate over the then-upcoming Quebec referendum was especially nasty.
Evan Sotiropoulos compiled a similar tally a few years ago.
I would suggest two potential solutions: either abolish members’ statements entirely or move those 15 minutes to another part of the day. I suspect the parties would be less eager to use that time for free political advertising if those 15 minutes were at a point in the parliamentary day when fewer people were watching.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 3:14 PM - 0 Comments
Only two national polls in August, but the Conservatives gain a slight advantage.
A year ago, the Conservatives went into the fall with a five-point advantage. Two years ago, the Liberals were at 29% and the NDP was at 16%. The New Demorats have now led the Liberals for 16 months.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier has updated his monthly polling averages for June at threehundredeight.com.
The New Democrats are first in British Columbia (+6), Quebec (+19) and Atlantic Canada (+10). The Conservatives are first in Alberta (+41), the Prairies (+7) and Ontario (+4).
(Editor’s note: For basically as long as this blog has existed, I’ve more or less imposed a ban on “horse-race” polling; my view being that the fussing over every new poll was generally unnecessary and often unhelpful. Especially during the minority parliament years, I attempted to maintain some kind of high-minded approach, avoiding the clamour over every little twitch and hiccup in the party numbers. I think I also once tried to avoid providing free time to the latest party adverts.
I’ve slowly come to abandon those principles.I’ve long since abandoned that ban on ads. And while I still don’t think polls should generally dominate the discussion, I’ve realized it’s also silly to ignore them. I also think Eric’s monthly numbers and historical charts provide important perspective. So from here on, I’ll be checking in once per month with Eric’s latest averages.)
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 23, 2012 at 11:52 AM - 0 Comments
In light of the NDP’s recent bump in opinion polling, Eric Grenier looks at how the Liberals fared immediately after the arrivals of their two previous leaders.
When Stéphane Dion became Liberal chief in December 2006, he pushed his party ahead of the Conservatives. Though the Tories hardly budged, the Liberals saw their support increase to 34.2 per cent from 30.5 per cent in polls taken before and after the Liberal leadership convention by the same firms. The bump of 3.7 points came primarily at the expense of the NDP, who dropped 4.8 points overnight.
Michael Ignatieff became interim leader in December 2008 and also increased his party’s support, to 30.5 per cent from 23.8 per cent, a jump of 6.7 points. This was in the highly charged days of the coalition and prorogation, however, so the impact of Mr. Ignatieff’s arrival is somewhat blurred. But in this case, it was the Conservatives who took the hit.
By one poll, the New Democrats actually went into their leadership convention last month tied with the Conservatives, though that had more to do with a drop for the governing party. Similar findings of equality have held over the last few weeks.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, March 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier considers Thomas Mulcair’s mandate. Joanna Smith looks at the potential personnel changes. Mark Kennedy lists ten challenges. The Globe profiles a hard-hitting pragmatist. And Postmedia and the Canadian Press considers the prospects for a bearded politician.
Not since Mackenzie Bowell in 1894 have Canadians had a bearded prime minister, and Bowell managed the feat without actually running for the office. The Conservative senator got the nod when then-prime minister John Thompson suddenly died.
Bowell may not be an inspirational figure for Mulcair. Apart from his dramatic, spadelike facial hair, Bowell’s two-year reign was notable for him being the only prime minister to be forced to resign by members of his own cabinet, which he labelled “a nest of traitors.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier tries to put the Liberal party’s current standing in perspective.
When Canada last had a change of government, the Conservatives under Mr. Harper had turned a vote-share deficit of 7.1 percentage points in 2004 into a 6.1-point lead. But overcoming that 7.1-point margin in 2006 paled in comparison to the two previous changes in government. The Liberals had placed 11.1 points behind the Progressive Conservatives in 1988 before winning in 1993, while under Brian Mulroney the Tories had overcome an 11.9-point margin between the 1980 and 1984 elections.
But with 18.9 per cent support in the last election, Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals finished 20.7 points behind the victorious Conservatives. If the Liberals overcame such a margin in 2015, it would be the greatest comeback in a federal election in Canada’s history.
The numbers underneath are maybe even less encouraging. The Liberals finished first, second or a strong third in just 114 ridings in the last election. By comparison, the NDP managed to finish first, second or a strong third in 232 ridings, the Conservatives did so in 240.
Or consider the splits on ridings in which the party’s vote increased in 2011 versus ridings in which the party’s vote decreased. The Liberals went up in 20 and down in 287 last May. (The NDP, by comparison, went up in 289, down in 19. The Conservatives improved in 208, fell in 99.) And the Liberals finished on the negative side of this split in each of the three previous elections, mirroring a steady decline in the popular vote that has seen the party go from 40.9% to 36.7% to 30.2% to 26.3% to 18.9%.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier notes an interesting distinction made in the latest polling data from Ekos.
This is the first publicly released report of federal vote intentions from EKOS since the May 2011 election, and the poll shows a much closer race between the Conservatives and the New Democrats than we’ve seen elsewhere. The Conservatives finished with 31.4% support in this survey, compared to 29.5% for the New Democrats and 24.8% for the Liberals … But EKOS also filtered these numbers out according to who voted in the May 2011 election, weighing them accordingly. With those weightings, EKOS pegs Conservative support at 36.7%, with the NDP at 27.8% and the Liberals at 21.9%.
That is quite a big difference between the voting intentions of the general population and the voting population. It does not surprise me that there would be a disparity, though this is larger than I would have expected.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 12:29 PM - 20 Comments
Eric Grenier points to the vote splits.
Of course, votes are not easily transferred from one party to the other. In many cases, the Liberals may have lost as many votes to the Tories as they did to the New Democrats. But many of the seat swings from the Liberals to the Conservatives featured large gains for the third-place NDP
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 3:58 PM - 126 Comments
Eric Grenier explains where his system failed.
ThreeHundredEight.com projected two things: the popular vote and how that would transform into seats. It failed at the first, which means it failed at the second.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9:18 AM - 51 Comments
Pollsters continue to debate the meaning and prominence of their work.
Gregg said the proliferation of sometimes conflicting polls and the hypeventilating analysis that frequently accompanies them does not strengthen democracy. On the contrary, he said: “Rather than have a public that’s informed, you have a public that’s misinformed.” He said he’s not arguing that polls should be ignored; only that their import needs to be interpreted much more cautiously. Rather than pontificate on weekly fluctuations in individual polls, he said it makes more sense to average the results of various surveys and look at the trends over longer periods of time.
It is probably important to consider, as Eric Grenier did this week, how much and how often polling responses change when an election campaign is conducted. Consider, for instance, that the last three changes in government were not obviously foretold by publicly available polling data released immediately before the election was called. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM - 13 Comments
Eric Grenier finds that cabinet ministers have faired better, both financially and electorally, in recent federal campaigns.
It was a similar situation in the 2008 campaign, when the entire Conservative cabinet presented themselves to their constituents as ministers for the first time in an election. While the party increased its support by 1.4 points nationally, ministers saw their support grow by an average of 2.8 points. Regionally, they out-performed their parties by a modest 2 per cent.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, December 17, 2010 at 2:44 PM - 66 Comments
Eric Grenier considers Stephen Harper’s hopes for a majority.
The Conservatives may have hit their ceiling under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Targeting specific groups with individual pieces of legislation and policy may net the party a few more seats here and there, but it will take a flawless campaign for the Tories to keep the seats they currently have and turn those piecemeal gains into a slim majority.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 15, 2010 at 12:25 PM - 59 Comments
Eric Grenier tabulates the Starbucks vote.
With an average of 5.4 locations per riding, the New Democrats have the highest Starbucks density of the four major parties. The Conservatives have the next highest density, with an average of 3.9 locations in each of their ridings. That’s only fractionally more than the Liberals, with an average density of 3.8 Starbucks coffee shops per riding…
Among the four party leaders, and with five locations in his riding of Calgary Southwest, it is Stephen Harper who can boast of having the most ready access to a double caramel macchiato.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 8, 2010 at 1:37 PM - 20 Comments
As he did with young and old voters, Eric Grenier compares how Parliament would respectively look if only women or men voted.
Bloc Quebecois 53
Bloc Quebecois 52
As John Geddes and I wrote during the last federal campaign, the gender gap can be pivotal.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 8, 2010 at 1:18 PM - 0 Comments
Eric Grenier from threehundredeight.com compares how young and old voters would divvy up the House of Commons and gets the following standings.
Bloc Quebecois 60
Bloc Quebecois 9