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Seat group poll: Liberals consolidate their lead

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Innovative Research Group analysis shows key regional advantages for liberals. They could explain why Trudeau thinks he can win the majority.

Why is Justin Trudeau preparing to call an election when most pollsters say he is not in majority territory?

Perhaps it is madness that will lead to the ruin of the Liberals. Perhaps the liberal leader is betting that, volatile as his chances are, they won’t improve if he delays.

Or maybe you see regional advantages for liberals missing from many polls. That latter possibility is a theory shared by pollster Greg Lyle of Innovative research, whose latest large-sample poll suggests that liberals continue to make gains at the expense of conservatives.

To produce this analysis for Maclean’s, Lyle combined the monthly national poll samples in June, July and August to produce a weighted sample of 6,200 voters. The result is not a snapshot of the national sentiment of voters at a precise moment. The perceptions of many voters certainly changed during those three months. But such a large sample offers a compensating advantage: much greater precision in identifying trends at a smaller geographic and demographic scale. Using this technique near the end of the 2015 campaign, Innovative Research was able to detect stronger liberal performance than had been predicted in most seat screenings up to that point.

Lyle provided Maclean’s with a similar analysis in June that suggested Liberals were competitive with Conservatives in off-the-prairie districts that Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer had been able to count on in elections of the past decade. Today’s analysis suggests that Liberals continue to increase their advantage in such constituencies, while maintaining longstanding areas of Liberal advantage.

Even though the NDP is stronger in this poll than it was in June, and the Bloc Québécois is essentially fighting the Liberals in Quebec, the combination of these regional effects suggests that the Liberals would start this campaign strongly ahead of any level competitor. national.

Lyle divided his large national sample into 12 groups of seats with comparable electoral dynamics, based on which parties have been most competitive in those groups in the last three federal elections, and also incorporating regional dynamics in some cases.

Much of the national map is settled and it won’t be of much interest to campaign strategists because one party dominates: Liberals in Toronto, Conservatives on the prairies.

But in the collection of walks that Lyle calls CPC Strong (not grasslands)—37 seats that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won in 2015 and Andrew Scheer held in 2019, including Durham and Sarnia – Lambton in Ontario and North Okanagan – Shuswap in British Columbia – Liberals continue to build an advantage. In 2019, the Conservatives held a 19-point lead in these districts (see chart below). In June, Lyle found the Liberals one point ahead. Now that the swing has increased, and the Liberals are nine points ahead of the Conservatives, 39 percent to 30. The NDP is far behind in these constituencies, but is still up five points to 20 percent since June.

It’s a similar story on the walks Lyle calls Swing CPC-LPC (Ontario)—Routes like Burlington, Kenora and Whitby that have been close between the two biggest parties for the last decade. Harper won all of these 29 districts in 2011, but the Liberals took 25 in 2015 and had 23 in 2019. Innovative found that the Liberals had a seven-point advantage in these districts in June. That lead has now increased to 20 points, from 48 to 26 percent.

Where liberals face new competition, it is generally not from conservatives. In the NDP oscillation districts (districts such as Davenport, Surrey Center and Port Moody-Coquitlam, where Jack Layton’s NDP performed well in 2011 but has been moving away from the NDP ever since) Lyle found that Liberals rose 16 points above their NDP. second place in June. But much of that lead has now faded: NDP support has risen seven points to 32 percent in these districts since June, while Liberal support has dropped five points here to 36 percent. Voting patterns in 2019 suggest that with this four-point lead, the Liberals should take the majority of these constituencies, but now there would be closer fights than before.

In most of Quebec, Lyle has found business advantages for the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals in a series of close regional battles over the past three months. The only good news for conservatives in this survey is in the 13 constituencies around Quebec City. There, the decline in support for the Bloc and Liberals since June has established the Conservatives as clear leaders, with 31% for the CCP, 25% for the Liberals and 21% for the BQ. But even at those levels, conservative and bloc support is lower, and liberal support slightly higher than in the 2019 elections.

As we continue to write about the Innovative Research polls and conduct survey analysis of Philippe J. Fournier of 338canada.com, I must admit that Fournier has been skeptical of Innovative’s results. In a recent column on “internal effects” from top pollsters, Fournier wrote that “IRG polls often appear to be favorable to liberals, and that impression would be supported by the data … do not it means that the IRG surveys are incorrect or unusable, but we must be careful and interpret them in context. “

I invited Lyle to address Fournier’s analysis. “There are campaigns like 2015 at the federal level and the first election of Wynne [the 2014 Ontario election] where we were atypical in the liberal vote and we were right, “he said. “Regional aggregator seat projections assume that voting patterns remain the same. As we saw in 2015, those patterns can change, and when they do, that means the actual seating results may surprise us. Right now, using the same approach we used in 2015, we see a change in the pattern. “

Lyle says one little piece of evidence he’s onto something is the impending call for the ballot itself. “The aggregators say that the liberals do not have a majority. We believe that they are comfortably in majority territory. Liberals can spend a lot more on polls than we can. If your polls say that you do not reach a majority, why would you call an election? ”.

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