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Environics Poll shows Liberals in national lead

I saw the folks over at CAITI Online post about an Environics poll:

Our Environics poll taken Feb 4 – 9 that was based on 1,000 random telephone calls indicates .. Canadians .. if an election were held today would vote:

Libs 28%
Cons 25%
NDP 10%
Green 7%
BQ 6%
Abstain 5%
Don’t know 17%

Accurate to within +/- 3.1%, 19 out of 20 times

I contacted the folks over at CAITI Online asking for a link to this poll’s raw data, since I didn’t see it at the Environics website. The CAITI folks have been kind enough to send me a table and more information on this poll, which they commissioned Environics to do on their behalf, primarily to find out Canadians reaction to The Marshall Plan, which they believe is a solution to Jim Flaherty’s “income trust policy fiasco”, to quote them.

At the same time, Environics did ask about federal voting intentions. The full poll and raw data I am told will be posted at the Marshall Plan’s website sometime this evening, but here’s a preview of the provincial/regional breakdown of the polling:

Atlantic Canada: Liberals 33%, Conservatives 24%, NDP 16%, Greens 2%
Quebec: Liberals 27%, BQ 27%, Conservatives 11%, NDP 6%, Green 4%
Ontario: Liberals 33%, Conservatives 26%, NDP 9%, Green 7%
Manitoba/Sask: Conservatives 36%, Liberals 22%, NDP 17%, Greens 7%
Alberta: Conservatives 49%, Liberals 22%, Greens 8%, NDP 5%
BC: Conservatives 25%, Liberals 22%, NDP 16%, Greens 14%

I’ll leave other folks better then I at polling analysis to decipher this poll, comparison to other polls, and so on when they take a look at the raw data. If you’d like a look at Environics raw data chart, it can be looked at by clicking on the below link (you’ll need to click the link once, which takes you to a new page, and then once more to either open it with a word processor or to download it).

Income Trusts Voter Intention Study Tables v1

NOTE: In the poll data, there appears to be some weighted/unweighted results, as well as factoring in leaning undecideds. You’ll note in a different data chart these results nationally on federal voting intentions:

Liberals 37%
Cons 33%
NDP 13%
Greens 9%
BQ 8% (36% in Quebec)

Those results are for what Environics is describing as “Combined Decided Eligible Voters” as opposed to “Combined Eligible Voters” (which are the numbers being quoted at CAITI’s website). Again, I’ll leave it to the polling experts to decipher the difference.. as I’m a bit confused myself and wouldn’t mind knowing either 🙂 .

UPDATE @ 12:55 pm: Eric from over at offers an explanation for the differing numbers and data.

UPDATE 2: I’ve edited the blogpost to include the 2nd subset of provincial breakdowns for Combined Decided Eligible Voters, as my colleague Eric from his comments seems to think that data (the CDEV dataset) is more useful to look at.

                                 ATL      QC      ON      MB/SK       AB        BC
Liberals                         44%      35%     44%      27%       26%       28%
Cons                             32%      14%     35%      44%       58%       33%
NDP                              21%       8%     12%      21%        6%       21%
Greens                            3%       6%     10%       8%        9%       18%
BQ                                        36%

UPDATE 3 @ 2:46 pm: Eric projects what this poll would result in for seat tallies in the House of Commons:

This poll would give the following seat totals:

Liberals – 130
Conservatives – 112
Bloc Quebecois – 48
New Democrats – 17
Greens – 1

So, a minority government for the Liberals, a strong opposition for the Conservatives, and disastrous showing for the NDP.

UPDATE 4 @ 4:05 pm – If you’re a government/Conservative supporter, I have no issue with you disputing the poll results. I do have an issue though – as should all Canadians – when the IP addresses I can trace show that you’re posting anonymous comments on my site from Government of Canada servers. (It even tells me what Ministry/Dept you’re posting from – at the moment I’ve had 2 commentators from Canadian Heritage and Health Canada, respectively). Are you doing that on your own dime, or the taxpayers, and/or are you doing it with or without your employer’s knowledge?

UPDATE 5 @ 6:39 pm: Environics officially posts their poll at their own website (and note they’re using the 2nd set of data, the Combined Decided Eligible Voters numbers).


36 comments to Environics Poll shows Liberals in national lead

  • Miss Boop

    Happy days are here again! The skies above are clear again. Let us sing a song of cheer again. Happy days are here again!

  • Hunter Mars

    Oh,yea.I am currently supporting three Nigerian princes .

  • Hunter Mars

    Nice job Scott .Ignore the unwashed rabble who accuse you of doctoring the data .
    That is ,simply,ludicrous .

  • leeky

    Hmm, the Conservatives under 50% in Alberta? Me wonders about this…

    • Jon Pertwee

      @leeky, dont worry. Im sure your talking points are just delayed by the Olympics. Your overlords will comfort you.

  • Big Winnie

    I agree with Muskoka Liblog…Let’s see what the other polls indicate over the next while.

    I am, however, dismayed by the posters who were unwilling to at least debate the poll #s in an “adult” manner.

  • I don’t know if these were the turkeys who phoned me in the middle of dinner last week, but whoever it was, I lied my @$$ off. Which I do for all surveys as a matter of principle. In the latter case I steadfastly declared my support for the Libs and their “just visiting” leader. Hey, you interrupt my day and offer me nothing for my time, you get what you pay for in terms of data quality.

    Keep people like me in mind the next time you get excited over poll results.

    • @Sean, Ah yes.. all the folks in their polling lied. That’s a brilliant answer Sean.. how long did it take you to come up with that one? Did the same people lie to Environics when they polled the Cons. with a 12 point lead on the Liberals the last time they polled in October?

      Seriously, come up with a better rebuttal then “people lie to pollsters” on the phone to explain away a result you don’t like. The poll may or may not not be accurate.. but your silly reason isn’t the reason why.

      • SteveV

        I smell fear.

      • @Scott Tribe,

        I never said that everyone lied, I just said that I do. It’s almost as much fun as stringing along Nigerian e-mail scammers. We’re in a recession and what-not, so a body has to keep an eye out for affordable entertainment.

        In regard to the current choices on Canada’s political landscape, I’m fervently hoping they ALL lose the next election. My ideal scenario involves despotic rule by Nick (The Flea) Packwood who has declared himself monarch of Canada. There could be trouble if he tries to put Kathy Shaidle and Belinda Stronach in his hareem at the same time, however. Of course, his rule would be shortlived as the C02 emissions from the Fleamobile would trigger a global warming apocalypse within a fortnight.

        Not that you wanted to know all this, but it’s what you’d wind up with for a government if a genie appeared and granted me three wishes.

        • I think the comparison of ‘Nigerian e-mail scammers’ and the CONbot nation is too rich on the money. Thanks for that ~ rotten apples to rotten oranges, at least!

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Sean, You know Sean I say Im voting for Big Daddy in all the polls I answer. Keep that in mind genius, that you arent the only one out there doing that.

      Geez, I didnt think I was brilliant doing that. Why do you?

    • @Sean, I also have to ask, how many political surveys do you typically respond to in, say, a month? You make it sound like they’re constantly interrupting your supper.

      Meanwhile, in the almost twenty years that I have been eligible to vote, I have not received a single phone call from one of these pollsters, reputable or otherwise. I’ve participated in a number of market research workshops, and there was one political focus group back in 1999, and there’s been a number of consumer phone surveys, but nobody from Nanos, Nikos, Enviros or whomever has darkened my phone.

      So, how do you do it? How do you get so many calls? Is there a number I can call to be put on their call list? Or, conversely, if surveys are so annoying to you, is there a number you can call to be taken off it?

  • I would also point out that making unproven accusations about a pollster’s methodology can be, if one is not careful, considered libellous. Certainly, the methodology can come under criticism, but suggesting that they would bias their sample to the extent of, as one here claims, supplying specific phone numbers to call, is both easily disproven and potentially actionable.

  • Mike Stokes

    CAITI lol
    did anyone bother to check their website?


    no personal financial biasis on their part.

    They probably supplied Environics the phone numbers of the people they wanted them to poll.

    • @Mike Stokes If you don’t like the poll results or don’t believe them, thats up to you.. But they’re a credible polling firm, and to suggest otherwise without proof is to be blunt, potentially libellous.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @Mike Stokes, Can’t wait to hear those words typed by you when the Tories issue a questionable poll. Oh wait? That hypocrisy thing again….

      • Mike Stokes

        @Jon Pertwee,

        Since when do the Tories issue polls?
        The firm is credible but the questions provided by CAITI are a joke.
        Asking them what they think about a financial plan trying to qualify them for the rest of the questions are a joke.

        958 people? what the hell kind of poll asks 958 people?

  • Henderson

    Bogus. Garbage methodology that no other pollster uses. That’s why Environics is never trusted or quoted anywhere

    • @Henderson, Care to expand on that a bit? What exactly is wrong with their methodology?

    • @Henderson, as an aside, do your employers (namely the Govt of Canada) know you’re posting here, or are you doing it on their behalf? Has Canadian Heritage prorogued too?

      You forget that some of us websites can trace IP addresses from the comments that are left.

    • Guest

      The Environics polls results are within the MoE of other polls, including the regionals which have higher MoEs.

      Nanos is a bit off because his Quebec polling shows the Conservatives much higher than everybody else. We’ll have to wait for the much larger CROP survey to see exactly what’s going on in Quebec.

  • Michael

    This looks like a bit of a push poll to me. Your asking about a progressive economic policy which is critical of the Government’s approach and then you inquire about voting intention hmmmm…

    This is especially weird given that there was an EKOS poll the other day which had the Tories up by almost 2 points. A 9% swing seems a little too dramatic (especially given that there was some overlap in the polling days). Also there has not been any major media event to cause this further drop – after the 5% attributed to the prorogation.

    I’ll wait for another poll before trust these numbers

    • @Michael, Environics was asking the questions, not CAITI. Plus, you can’t compare poll#’s to different polling companies #’s. Apples to oranges as they say.

      I hear Environics will be posting the polling results at their own website in the next few days, as an aside.

    • @Michael, As well, the polling drop for prorogation anger was 15% in some polling outfits results.. some in 15 days, as Rick Mercer famously said.. some over the past 2 months.

    • @Michael, Same question goes to you as to the other fella.. are you leaving this comment on your own time, or the taxpayers? Is Health Canada having a day off today?

      • Guest

        There may be some confusion as to sponsoring & such. CAITI does not appear to be anything more than a one-person home-office shop, with perhaps a mailing list. They may have sponsored just one or two of the questions relating to the MSP. Environics is a reputable polling firm.

        With regards to Ekos, just remember that they’re a robo-dialling shop i.e. they have a machine tallying touch-tone responses. Environics & Decima use traditional polling, as does Nanos and S/Counsel. Angus-Reid uses online and Ipsos Reid uses both telephone and online polling.

  • Muskoka Liblog

    I’ll believe the results of this poll when I see more of them saying the same thing.
    I’m not saying this poll is wrong, but it’s a big shift out of nowhere.

  • Guest

    Looks like Harper will have two new friends — the socialists and the separatists. The Tory vote east of Saskatchewan appears to have disappeared.

  • The inclusion of the undecideds and the abstains in this poll throws things off. I was about to comment on the combined vote of Liberal and Conservative being at an unprecedented low (closing in on 50%). Mind you, the most recent Ekos poll is close to that (around 60%). If that isn’t a statement of a pox on both your houses, I don’t know what is.

    Anybody keep tabs on which election featured the lowest combined vote total for the Liberals and the Conservatives (or, in the case of the 1990s, the Liberals and the PCs/Reformers/Alliance)?

  • I’ll use the CDEV. Undecideds who are completely undecided are toss-ups. Undecideds that are leaners are likely to vote the way they are leaning. Plus, I prefer to let Environics do the calculations then for me to do them. If I used the CEV, I’d have to portion out the undecideds and abstainers, since I don’t include them in my projection.

  • Seems fine. The CDEV leaves out the “abstain” or “don’t know” answers, which is what we get when other pollsters release their info. The CEV gives us those results, which aren’t useful since there is a large “undecided” group.

    The CDEV also includes those undecideds who then gave their “leaning” answers. Only those undecideds who still responded “don’t know” when they were asked who they were leaning towards were left out of the CDEV.

    In short, the CDEV includes decideds and leaners and leaves everyone else out. The CEV includes decideds, leaners, and undecideds. The “Those who are eligible to vote” gives us decideds and undecideds only.

    • @Éric, So when you’re quoting polling #’s for your site, as an example, would you use the first set of data (Combined Eligible) or the Combined Decided Eligible data set to calculate totals?

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