Majority of Quebecers Turn Their Backs on Sovereignty

Almost half of the province’s residents consider themselves Quebecers first and Canadians second.

Vancouver, BC [October 26, 2018] – Most residents of Quebec appear content with their province’s current status within Canada, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 34% of Quebecers agree with the statement “Quebec would be better off as its own country”, while a majority (53%) disagree.

The level of agreement with the statement on Quebec sovereignty is highest among voters who cast a ballot for the Parti Québécois (PQ) in the last provincial election (81%), but drops drastically among those who supported the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) (38%), Québec solidaire (31%) and the Liberal Party of Quebec (19%).

Almost half of residents (48%) say they consider themselves “Quebecers first, and Canadians second” while just over two-in-five (43%) say they are “Canadians first, and Quebecers second.”

Men (54%) and residents aged 55 and over (52%) are more likely to consider themselves Quebecers first.

Only 18% of Liberal voters in this year’s provincial election consider themselves Quebecers first, compared to majorities of voters who supported the CAQ (57%), Québec solidaire (74%) and the PQ (89%).

“On a regional basis, residents of Montreal are more likely to refer to themselves as Canadians first,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “But most of those who live in Quebec City and other areas of the province refer to themselves as Quebecers first.”

Two thirds of Quebecers (68%) think their views are different from the rest of Canada, but 51% disagree with the notion that Quebecers have more in common with the people of France than with those in other parts of Canada.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 20 to October 22, 2018, among 602 Quebec adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Quebec. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: Zorion

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Ontario: Who Won and Why?

Originally published in National Observer on June 8, 2018.

The 2018 Ontario provincial election has delivered a majority government for the Progressive Conservative Party, gave the New Democrats official Opposition status and raised questions about the viability of the Liberal Party, which was reduced to single digits in seats.

A Research Co. exit poll, comprising the views of 503 Ontarians who cast a ballot in this electoral process, shows the different motivations of voters, as well as the effect of the events of the final week of campaigning, which included Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Saturday concession and the $16.5-million lawsuit filed by Rob Ford’s widow.

One of the traits that made this provincial election so compelling was the answer to the “time for change” question, especially when compared to other recent ballots. In Alberta and Manitoba, we saw many voters (82 per cent and 67 per cent respectively) embrace opposition leaders and abandon sitting governments. In Saskatchewan, the incumbent premier had little trouble holding on to a massive majority. In British Columbia, three-in-five voters wanted change in an election that resulted in a tie on the popular vote.

Ontario was decidedly different. More than three-in-five voters (77 per cent) said it was time for a change in government (five points lower than the 82 per cent observed in Alberta in 2015, and eight points higher than Manitoba in 2016). The sentiment for change was astonishingly high for both PC and NDP voters (94 per cent and 92 per cent respectively). However, one third of Liberal voters (33 per cent) also thought it was time for new leadership in the province, a sign of a base that perhaps grew unenthusiastic after the sitting premier acknowledged she would lose the election in the final weekend of the campaign.

Wynne’s plea for Liberal votes without a Liberal government seemed to split the public on the concept of “strategic voting”. Across the province, 45 per cent of Ontarians said they voted for the candidate in their riding who had the best chance of defeating a party they disliked, even if the candidate they voted for was not their first preference.

The proportion of “strategic voters” was highest among NDP supporters (55 per cent), who ended up becoming the official opposition. Andrea Horwath held a higher approval rating than the other three leaders in the last two weeks of the campaign, much in the same way Jack Layton posted impressive numbers on this question before the 2011 federal election. Both ended up taking their parties from third place to second place.

When it comes to the lawsuit against PC leader Doug Ford, the effect was negligible. Perceptions about the party’s leader were positive enough to facilitate a victory. When asked about six possible motivators for their vote, one-in-four PC voters (25 per cent) said the most important factor was “the party’s leader.” Among both Liberal and NDP voters, this factor was ranked lower, at 22 per cent.

Liberal voters were more likely to say the most important factor was “the party’s candidate in the riding” (20 per cent, compared to a paltry 10 per cent and seven per cent among NDP and PC voters respectively). Incumbent ministers and long-time serving legislators sought to establish a powerful connection with some of the Liberal base, especially after Wynne appealed for a balance of power.

“The party’s ideas and policies” is, by far, the most important factor for supporters of the three main parties (44 per cent for Liberals, 39 per cent for NDP and 34 per cent for PC). “Desire for change” moved 19 per cent of PC voters and 13 per cent of NDP voters, but the New Democrats also benefitted—although not enough to score an upset win—from the 15 per cent of voters who said “disgust with other contending candidates” was their main motivating factor—a far higher proportion than the PCs (10 per cent) and the Liberals (five per cent).

Finally, we look at the situation that led to Doug Ford becoming leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Among all voters in the election, 37 per cent said they would have voted for the Progressive Conservatives if Patrick Brown was still their leader. This includes 59 per cent of those who ended up casting a ballot for the Ford-led party, but also a sizeable proportion of Ontarians who ended up voting for the NDP (32 per cent) and the Liberals (27 per cent). This would suggest that Brown, even after the allegations that forced him to quit as leader, would have had a similar result as Ford.

Polling methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on June 6 and June 7, 2018 among 503 Ontario adults who voted in the 2018 provincial election. The margin of error — which measures sample variability — is +/- 4.4 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Credit: DrRandomFactor

Progressive Conservatives Hold Edge in Ontario Ballot

Women and voters aged 18-to-34 prefer the New Democrats, while the PC Party leads with men and voters aged 35 and over.

Vancouver, BC [June 6, 2018] – The Progressive Conservative party heads to tomorrow’s provincial ballot in Ontario with a slight lead, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Ontarians, 39% of decided voters (+1 since a late May Research Co. survey) will cast a ballot for the PC candidate in their riding.

The Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) is second with 37% (-2), followed by the governing Ontario Liberal Party with 20% (+2), and the Ontario Green Party with 4% (=).

In the 416 region, the Progressive Conservatives have a two-point edge over the NDP (39% to 37%). In the 905 region, the PCs are clearly ahead of the New Democrats (43% to 32%).

The NDP is the first choice for decided voters aged 18-to-34 (39%, compared to the Progressive Conservatives at 31%). The PCs are ahead of the New Democrats among decided voters aged 35-to-54 (40% to 36%) and voters aged 55 and over (41% to 37%).

There is a palpable gender gap in this election. Among men, the Progressive Conservatives are the first choice (42%, with the NDP a distant second at 31%). Among women, the New Democrats are ahead (36%, with the PCs at 29%).

NDP leader Andrea Horwath continues to hold the highest approval rating in the province (54%, +2), followed by Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford (36%, +3), Liberal Party leader Kathleen Wynne (29%, +2) and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner (22%, +2).

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from June 4 to June 6, 2018 among 661 Ontario adults, including 608 decided voters in the 2018 provincial election. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.8 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 3.9 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

 

Photo Credit: K.lee.

No Clear Frontrunner as Ontario Campaign Enters Final Week

Andrea Horwath has a higher approval rating and momentum score, but Doug Ford is seen as a superior economic manager.

Vancouver, BC [June 1, 2018] – Voters in Ontario are almost evenly divided between two options to change their government, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Ontarians, 39% of decided voters say they will cast a ballot for the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in their constituency in this month’s provincial election, while 38% will support the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.

The governing Ontario Liberal Party is a distant third with 18%, followed by the Ontario Green Party with 4%.

Only 30% of Ontarians who voted for the Liberals in the 2014 provincial election are sticking with the party this year. The Liberals are losing more than a third of last election’s voters (37%) to the New Democrats and one-in-five (20%) to the Progressive Conservatives.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath has the highest approval rating of all contending leaders (52%), followed by PC leader Doug Ford (33%), incumbent Premier and Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne (27%) and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner (20%).

Horwath also has the highest momentum score of all leaders at +9 (27% of Ontarians say their opinion of the provincial NDP leader has improved since the start of the campaign, while 18% say it has worsened). On this indicator, Ford is at -35 and Wynne at -27.

When asked who would make the best premier for the province, 28% of Ontarians select Horwath, while 23% choose Ford. Wynne is once again third with 15%, followed by Schreiner with 3%.

Ontarians regard Ford as the best person to handle the economy (32%), provincial finances (30%), hydro (also 30%), jobs (29%), crime and public safety (27%), transportation projects (25%), and energy and pipelines (also 25%), while Horwath is ahead on dealing with housing, homelessness and poverty (36%), seniors care (35%), health care (33%), child care (30%) and education (28%).

Horwath and Ford are almost even on accountability (26% and 25% respectively), while Horwath and Schreiner are practically tied on the environment (22% and 21% respectively).

The most important issue facing Ontario is heath care (24%), followed by the economy and jobs (21%), housing, poverty and homelessness (18%) and government accountability (14%).

“This election is particularly close because of the performance the two main opposition parties,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “Doug Ford has retained a sizeable proportion of voters who backed his party four years ago, while more than half of Liberal voters from 2014 currently approve of Horwath’s performance as leader of the NDP.”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 29 to May 31, 2018, among 701 Ontario adults, including 603 decided voters in the 2018 provincial election. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.7 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 4.0 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

 

Photo Credit: Andrijko Z.