Polls and elections

25 September 2021


The most striking aspect of the Canadian election, held last Monday, is that nothing was striking. Each of the main parties, Trudeau’s Liberals and O’Toole’s Conservatives, had about a third of the vote, down by less than one per cent on 2019. The only party to lose badly was the Greens, whose support fell from 6.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent. The Liberals will form government with the help of the left-leaning New Democrats. The Liberals won half their seats in Ontario while the Conservatives dominated in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the farming and oil states. The New Democrats did particularly well in British Columbia. The Guardian has an informative seat count and a province-by-province report, while Wikipedia has details on voting percentages and swings.

Kimberly Speers of the University of Victoria (British Columbia) has a short political analysis of the election outcome in The Conversation. While the left will be relieved to see the return of the Liberals and the New Democrats, it is disappointing that the Conservative Party, which had shifted to the centre under Erin O’Toole’s influence, did not gain ground. Having made this shift and failed, it may now swing back to the right. And in a comment familiar to Australians she attributes the Greens’ poor showing to infighting in the party.

Newspoll has Labor in front, Resolve Strategic has the Coalition in front

William Bowe’s Poll Bludger reports on a Newspoll, indicating that Labor and the Coalition are running close to equal on primary vote, which, by the Newspoll estimate, would give Labor a two-party lead of 6 per cent over the Coalition. The downward trend in the Coalition’s primary vote is shown below.


Bowe reports on a Morgan poll that gives Labor a two-party lead of 5 per cent, but some of its results are contradictory, as Bowe explains.

He also reports on a Resolve Strategic poll that indicates almost the opposite to the Newspoll: Labor’s support has been sliding over the last year, while the Coalition’s is solidifying. Labor’s primary vote is 31 per cent (lower than in the 2019 election), and the Coalition’s vote is 39 per cent. Bowe translates these primary figures into a 52:48 two-party lead for the Coalition.

Bowe points out that, unlike other pollsters, Resolve does not allw respondents “uncommitted” as an option: people have to choose a party or “other”. The combined support for One Nation, Independent and Other is 20 per cent. One Nation’s support is particularly high in Queensland.