NDP at 31 per cent, Tories 30 per cent, Liberals 28 per cent

Abacus poll: Election race tightens as NDP support slips

New data finds the race is the closest it’s been between the three federal parties since May



After a spate of recent polls suggesting the NDP had grabbed a clear early lead in the federal election campaign, Abacus Data released its latest snapshot of voter support this morning, showing that Thomas Mulcair’s party lost a little ground in late August and the close three-way race has tightened.

According to the firm’s online survey, conducted Aug. 26-28, the NDP’s national support stood at 31 per cent, down from 35 per cent just two weeks earlier. The Conservatives were up over the same period by a single point to 30 per cent, virtually tied with the NDP, with the Liberals breathing down their necks, up two points to 28 per cent.

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This is the closest Abacus has pegged support for the three main parties in its polling since May, when a breakthrough win by their provincial cousins in Alberta’s election gave the federal NDP a powerful boost. Beneath the almost even national standings in overall support, however, Abacus found other telling signs of voter opinion that point to quite different strategic challenges facing the three parties.

RELATED: Paul Wells: What you should know about the Trudeau poll numbers

For Mulcair, the most worrying number has to be a six-point drop in NDP support over two weeks in Ontario—that unignorable battleground, accounting as it does for for 121 ridings out of the 338 seats in the House of Commons. The NDP stood at 26 per cent in Ontario, where Mulcair campaigned prominently last week, trailing the Liberals at 34 per cent and the Conservatives at 33 per cent.

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Although the NDP continues to enjoy a big lead in Mulcair’s home turf of Quebec, and is pretty much tied with the Tories for first in B.C., its support has softened in both those populous provinces, too. Combine those slight declines with the more worrying drop in Ontario, and it adds up to the first national slippage for the NDP after seven straight months of steady climbing.

“If you look at our own trend lines, it’s the first time since February, when the NDP was at 21 per cent, that the NDP number is down,” Abacus CEO David Coletto said in an interview. “Every month since then in our tracking they’ve gone up, and they reached a peak of 35 per cent about two weeks ago.”

Coletto added: “Perhaps the momentum the NDP was carrying is starting to dissipate. That’s troubling, if you’re a New Democrat, since we’re entering into the stage of the campaign when people are going to be paying more attention to it, after Labour Day.”

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Conservatives might be buoyed by the Abacus poll’s finding that they didn’t lose much declared voter support as a result of unflattering headlines, through much of August, about the way Harper’s top aides handled the Mike Duffy affair. (Duffy’s trial shut down last week for a long break that will last until after the Oct. 19 election.) Still, Coletto cautioned against the Tories breathing too easily on the impact of the courtroom revelations: He noted that three in 10 voters say the trial will affect their vote, with 85 per cent of those saying, not surprisingly, the story makes them less likely to vote Conservative.

Drilling even deeper into the data, Coletto noted that among “soft” Tory supporters—those inclined to want Harper to remain Prime Minister, but not necessarily sure yet of how they will vote—15 per cent said the Duffy trial makes them more likely to vote for one of the other parties. “It’s not a huge number of people who say they are less likely to vote Conservative because of the Duffy trial, but [it’s] an important [group of voters] for them,” Coletto said.

Part of the reason Harper can’t afford to lose the potential support of any Canadians still theoretically open to him is that the pool of potential Conservative voters is relatively small. Just 42 per cent of voters say they would consider casting a ballot for the Conservatives, far behind the NDP’s leading 62 per cent, and well back, too, of the Liberals’ 55 per cent.

Indeed, that big lead in the share of the electorate that remains open to Mulcair’s campaign is a major reason for New Democrats to remain upbeat, despite the Abacus poll showing the NDP with less momentum. “The potential is still there for them,” Coletto said.

Their recent rise has resulted in 26 per cent of Canadians surveyed saying they expect the NDP to win on Oct. 19, more than the 23 per cent who expect the Conservatives to come out on top, and 21 per cent who say the Liberals. Coletto noted this was the first time an Abacus poll has found the NDP ranked as the party most expected to win.


Abacus poll: Election race tightens as NDP support slips

  1. It would be helpful to include the “undecided” numbers in this report.

    • I really think Mulcair stepped too far outside the box, and now he can’t get back in, in order to try and show his base of supporters he could run a center left party, but he just happened to take a too hard right and has now lost control of the wheel, now he going to get a speeding ticket from the red NDPers. My new name for the leader of the NDP, is as it stands, Thom(ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT)Mulcair. If I was a member of union, especially in the construction and manufacturing industry, I would hitching my Lariat to the Trudeau Team.

      • What really bugs me, is the MSM still giving Harper credibility after the corrupt antic just took place in the office of the PMO, the highest office in the country, and the MSM still think he has political skills, it’s more like political corrupt skills. It also tells a little about how the MSM like to let corruption in the highest office in the country be swept under a rug, in fear of reprisals from the government.

        • The MSM turned a totally blind eye to the massive corruption of the Ontario Liberals. They have squandered $8 billion of Ontario tax payer money. The big deal in Ottawa is that someone gave $90,000 of HIS OWN money to a spoiled, dumb senator.

  2. If people bothered to actually listen to what the NDP (or other parties’ ) are offering, they may have second thoughts. For example, look at the main promise that Mulcair keeps spouting each time he gives a speech. He doesn’t say how much it will actually cost people. He simply says it will be $15 dollar per day daycare; which of course is impossible. Here’s a quick breakdown.

    Childcare provided ONLY during MON-Friday
    Provinces in Mulcairs plan are to pay 40% of the costs, with the Feds paying the remaining 60%.

    Now, $15 per day per child X 1,000,000 spaces = $15,000,000 per DAY. X by 260 days per year, and the total becomes $3,900,000,000. (Three BILLION NINE HUNDRED MILLION per year)
    Provinces are to cover 40% of these costs, or $1,560,000,000 per year. Of course, the provinces didn’t agree to budget for this amount, and Provinces like Ontario are already poorly managed, so who will pay?

    Now, that is Mulcair’s PROMISED PROPOSAL. Consider the Actual Costs.

    Assumptions remain the same, however, this time the ACTUAL costs for childcare are actually closer to $65 per child per day (more in some areas).

    Now we get:

    1,000,000 X $65 = $65,000,000 per day, and 16,900,000,000 per year. (SIXTEEN BILLION NINE HUNDRED MILLION)

    This means the provinces would pay 40% of these costs which total 6,760,000,000 per year. Of course, the feds will cover the rest at 10,140,000,000 per year.

    As the NDP has only budgeted $3,900,000,000 for their program, where is the remaining going to come from? Well…it’s going to come from the taxpayers of course.

    Let’s take the Actual Costs of $16,900,000 and divide it by the number of people who actually pay taxes in Canada (assume 16,000,000 taxpayers) and you get an average cost of $1,056.25 per taxpayer. Of course, some taxpayers will pay much more and some will pay much less.

    Remember, this program is premised on the idea that the provinces will cover almost half of the costs; and the provinces haven’t agreed to this. Mulcair is just assuming they will play along. In fact Mulcair knows exactly what he is doing, and that this most likley won’t be a program that sees the light of day; but hey, it sounds all progressive and such.

    Now aside from the costs above, we also need to consider the costs of administering the program, the thousands of people who would have to be hired (all paid by Government). And your taxes will go up even more to pay for it.

    this is just ONE NDP program….add in all the rest, and what do you think your tax bill under the NDP will be? Even better…couple of other points.

    Once today’s babysitters become “early childhood educators” you can bet that they will be unionized in short order and demanding even more pay. They are no longer babysitters…and will demand a wage on par with that of other (alreay overpaid) “educators”.

    Add this ONE program together with the other foggy brained policies provided by socialists, and you will have a combination of HIGH TAXES, with job-killing policies that will soon result in structural deficits and increased debt for the foreseeable future. In fact, we will indeed follow Greece down the drain.

    Socialism – Abject failure wherever it has been tried…and it alwasy will be. Productive, creative, and skilled people will not work as hard if their efforts are punished by stealing their wealth and giving it away to those who are a drain on the rest of us.

    • And don’t forget that the libs passed money to Quebec for a pilot project on daycare which ran out of money and now Quebecrs have to pay more. Two sessions of NDP in BC were enough to even put up with Christy Clark again.

      It takes a long time to learn that socialists in general and the NDP in particular have no idea how wealth is created, only how to tax those who do and spend it on non-returnable “investments”. Wealth is created by entrepreneurial hard work and investment in the private sector, not by hiring more drones for the civil service.

    • I ran out of space in first post and didn’t actually finish.

      Look at my numbers again, and you will see that the $15 per day is what the PARENTS would pay. I meant to point out that the remainder of the costs would be borne by taxpayers.

      “Free” Daycare, is very expensive. And given the propensity for beaurocracy to grow, the costs to adminster the program would soon outstrip the actual costs of looking after the kiddies.

    • Your numbers are garbage.
      The childcare program in Quebec costs nothing like your estimate.

      • that is because my numbers apply to all of Canada; as proposed by thomas Mulcair. Those numbers will be his…..he’s just not telling you that part.

        as for the Quebec plan….it’s an abject failure and the waiting lists are huge, and the costs are much higher than you know of. the problem of course, is that it is ENGLISH Canada that is footing the bill for much of Quebec’s daycare program (one among many). What do you think will happen to Quebec’s program when we have to start paying for our own program nationally?

        (hint: Look at the numbers above for an idea)

        • “that is because my numbers apply to all of Canada”

          Uh, no.
          Your numbers are garbage because the Quebec per childcare space numbers cost nothing like your estimate.

          • True…in Quebec, the costs are much higher.

            You are only considering what the PARENTS of the kids in daycare pay. You fail to grasp the meaning of “subsidized”

            hint: It means someone else has to pay the difference.

          • Oh wow.
            Let me try again.
            Your numbers are garbage because the Quebec per childcare space cost to the government are nothing like your estimate.

  3. Skewing polls for the con artists to capture undecided voters ? Shame!

    • Lots of varied polling results out there. You seem to only like those that appeal to your preferences.

      But if you step back and look at all the polling it sure looks like that this is still a three way race with the NDP having work to do to come out ahead on election day.

  4. Tried to allegedly bribe a standing MP who was dying (Chuck Cadman) with a million dollar life insurance policy (Harper classified this as “replacing financial considerations lost during a possible election”) to try to get Cadman to vote with the Conservatives (after they had turfed him out of the party previously, and Cadman was re-elected as an independent, by the way). Harper was cleared by the RCMP, but as this is noted on his Wikipedia page, it is noted here.

    – Prorogued Parliament to avoid a no-confidence vote from other MP’s, twice (2008 and 2010), with many saying that he did it to avoid democracy and the Afghan detainee inquiry.

    – Appointed a number of sitting Senators who are now at the heart of the Senate spending scandal (Boisvenu, Duffy, Wallin, among others)

    – Was found to be in contempt of Parliament in 2011

    – Scrapped the long-gun Registry in its entirety, despite pleas for law enforcement for the data contained therein.

    – Scrapped the long-form census in 2011, citing privacy reasons.

    – The Robocall scandal that kept people in rural areas from exercising their right to vote.

    – Gutted research funding and has silenced Canadian researchers about their research entirely (including to other media, other researchers, and to the public) by having them followed and threatened.

    – Gutted environmental laws and policies and cut the budget at Environment Canada, especially being very vicious towards anything relating to climate change.

    – Exercises a iron-fist like grip over the media and the existing Freedom of Information Act.

    – Helped create, support, and enact numerous bills in parliament that have created not only a second-class citizenship (Bill C-24), but destroyed the very fabric of what makes Canada great (Bill C-51).

    – Has not instructed the CBSA to stand down in the case of Jose Figueroa and countless other refugees who fled war-torn countries for a better life in Canada only to be denied and called terrorists when there is nothing in their history to indicate that they participated in activities of terrorism at all.

    – In 2006, Harper violated the spending limit during the election.

    – Turned a $16 billion surplus into a $56 billion dollar deficit under his leadership.

    – Has cut funding for women’s and minority groups by 40%, effectively keeping them from having a legal voice and also causing them to shut down 12 out of 16 offices.

    – His Economic Action Plan has benefitted only the richest 1% in Canada.

    – Weakened food regulations so that more residue from harmful chemicals can be left on your food.

    – Fires whistleblowers for alerting the public about regulation changes or unsafe nuclear reactors.

    – Lied about the actual cost of purchasing 65 stealth fighter jets in Parliament.

    – Refused to sign the UN declaration of clean water as a Human Right.

    – Did not cut $1.4 billion in tax breaks that he gave to oil companies, yet cut $1.2 billion from the establishment of National Childcare.

    – Cancelled the Kelowna accord, meant to help First Nations peoples and improve their health and education with almost $5 billion in funding.

    – Destroyed Canada’s international reputation as peacekeepers, when it was made public that Afghan detainees were handed over most likely to be tortured.

    – Wants to enact mass scale internet surveillance and has tried to do so (and been defeated) 4 times.

    – Increases spending on prisons, and decreases funding for rehab programs.

    – Renamed the Government of Canada to the Harper Government in 2010.
    There are many more, but I think this is enough to show our soon to be former Prime Minister to the door.

    • Loco is right.

      The Harper Derangement syndrome is strong in this one…lol

      I bet you think George Bush was responsible for 911 too eh?

      (you know….like the Green party, and many members of the NDP believe.)

      • You’re correct James. Such selective, biased, liberal garbage is enough to gag a maggot!!

      • Seriously? You’re quoting Kelly McParland? The biggest sycophant on NP (and that is saying a lot)?

        Right wingers are like dogs. Limited intelligence but fiercely loyal. They don’t ask questions of their master and are completely obedient. That is why Harper can do no wrong in their eyes. Feed them a little red meat and they’re good to go.

  5. There were two issues in the 2006 election…the sponsorship scandal and the taxing of the income trusts. Harper can be seen on Youtube (search Harper income trust promise) repeatedly saying the Cons would “never tax the trusts” and would not let anyone who did “get away with it”. Some nine months later, on October 31, 2006, a date that should live in infamy, that was called the Halloween Massacre, he imposed the SIFT tax on the trusts. Seniors and everyone’s pensions took a 35 BILLION dollar hit over the next few days! This was his biggest lie, executed at the behest of his corporate backers. Do the Youtube search if you want to see video evidence of his lying. Watch closely, because when he lies, his lips move!

  6. Justin Trudeau’s deficit binge is going to lead to an economic bust because it is going to drive interest rates higher, causing great pain to provincial budgets (particularly Ontario), and the homeowners who will need to re-finance their mortgates.

    Permanent federal deficits, as Trudeau is proposing, will lead to a made in Canada depression from a Trudeau-induced housing bust.

    • 8 straight deficits. 3.1 billion missing. Time to move on buddy

      • Those deficits were a result of the greatest GLOBAL economic crisis since the great depression.

        And look at how difficult it was to eliminate them.

        Canada is in a technical recession because of a global oil shock. It is no reason to embark on a federal government spending binge which will imperil the ability of people to re-finance their mortgages, and heavily indebted provinces (like Ontario) to sell bonds.

        Trudeau is treating a minor economic headache like pneumonia. He is going to kill the patient with his medicine.

        Interest rates in Canada have been low because the federal government has been committed to balanced budgets. Blowing the budget because of a technical recession induced by a global oil shock is stupid. It will start a negative economic feedback cycle in Canada, as interest rates will slowly ramp higher.

        • And Trudeau is proposing a deficit to fight the made in Canada recession we have now.

          whyshouldIsellyourwheat wrote: “Those deficits were a result of the greatest GLOBAL economic crisis…Canada is in a technical recession because of a global oil shock.”

          So, entirely different things then. Before it was do to global conditions but now it is due to global conditions. Yeah, completely different.

          As for Harper’s deficit being hard to eliminate, that was due to his bad fiscal management and continual handing out goodies to buy votes.

          And as to interest rates, they didn’t rise because of Harper’s deficit so why do you think they would because of Trudeau’s deficit? Just something you decided to say?

          And as for your name, whyshouldIsellyourwheat, you know PET after asking that questions went on to explain why he thought the Wheat Board should be involved in selling your wheat while people like you think it was some sort of statement abandoning wheat farmers.

        • According to the PBO, we would have been in deficit in 2008 even if the recession hadn’t hit. And that last recession ended years ago – but the deficits carried on. Nice spin job.

          Trudeau has promised three years of deficit spending. How do you spin that into “permanent deficits”? Were you declaring the same of Harper last election when he promised us four more before balancing the books (and then fudged the numbers and swiped EI funds to get this year’s “balance” so he could keep his income splitting promise)?

          • Keith,

            I wouldn’t pay much attention to the PBO (Kevin Page). He’s just ticked and embarrassed that all of his predictions have consistently been far less accurate than harper’s.

            His feelings are hurt.

          • As usual, Tresus displays his inability to argue the actual topic at hand and instead plops down a link to a different story.

            And….just to help you out.

            The costs of the F35 are not up-front costs. They are costs over 45 years; and they are calculated using a “Cost Factors manual” which as I am about to show is NOT the best way to show the actual costs.

            For example, what “costs” need to be included? I’ll show you some of them.

            Aircraft – initial purchase price of the jets
            All the fuel that is estimated to be burned over the 45 years
            all of the salaries of the pilots and maintainers over the 45 years
            the area of hangar space where the aircraft will be sitting over 45 years
            all of the spare parts estimated to be used over 45 years
            all of the maintenance (paint, washing, lubrication, etc) required over 45 years…..

            Well, there is a lot more, but you get the gist.

            and for you specifically Tresus, since I know you have trouble grasping basic concepts, I’ll use an analogy more at your level.

            Assume you want a new car, and you have to calculate the costs of using that car for the next 45 years. by applying the Government of Canada costing Manual, here’s what you may see.

            Initial price of car $35,000
            Salary for the driver (assume minimum wage at 8 hrs per day for 45 years = $1,576,800
            Gas ($55 per day X 45 years) = $903,375
            Maintenance (assume $1500 per year X 45 years, but growing as car gets older and requires more work) = $98,000
            parking space = ($800 per year X 45 years)

            Ok, there will be more, but I think you get the idea. Now, what do you think the reaction will be when you ask your dad to buy you a new car, and that it will cost $2,618,675?

            sound outrageous?

            Well…..using the GOC guidelines, this is what it will cost for the car you intend to use for the next 45 years.

            Hope this helps.

          • While you may be stupid enough to buy a car without considering what it’s going to cost to maintain and operate, obviously neither the PBO, the Auditor General nor the average person is.

          • Tresus,

            your deflection isn’t working. I just explained to you how the COSTS are calculated for the life of the asset being purchased. I never said they wouldn’t be the costs after 45 years, I was just pointing out that people don’t think (sort of like you) about what you are being told, and what it actually means.

            frankly, the costs for our F-18’s would be quite similar, as would the costs for any replacement when you consider the other costs involved. Your inability to grasp it is not my failing, it is yours.

      • Ummm…..locococococoococo

        There is no 3.1 billion “missing”

        you need to stop taking your talking points from the opposition parties.

    • A $10B deficit is nothing. The interest rate is not going to move, or not much anyway, on that basis. And the deficits are not permanent. If the economy starts growing at a 3-3.5% clip, this deficit will be gone in no time. As specialists say, it’s a good time for governments to get in when private sector demand is sluggish as it is now (the government then does not exert any pressure on wages or interest rates because the resources are available) and interest rates are very low. Very good fiscal policy I would say with one caveat: most of the projects should have a medium to long term impact on the economy, not just a short term one. For example, moving people and goods in a more efficient manner or reducing costs in the long run are an example of longer term impact.

  7. If you’re going to be bought out by the con party macleans someone has to push back.

  8. well, getting ahead in ontario is certainly necessary for the liberals if they want…if they want to avoid being obliterated, really. but, you’d be wise to maybe pull those results back a little to the margins, given that they’re non-standard. just let me check what that is….

    oh. right. there is no margin of error. because online panels are not polls.