Nanos survey: Liberals maintain lead in Quebec and Ontario battlegrounds

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TORONTO -- The latest polling in Ontario and Quebec shows the Liberals have maintained a strong lead in both provinces, and the NDP have made strides in Quebec while the Bloc remains steady and Conservatives find themselves on a downward trend.

Nanos Research asked more than 700 respondents in each province: “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?” and found the Liberals maintained a strong lead in both Quebec and Ontario, and in each province’s biggest city.

The surveys for both provinces were conducted from the period the election campaign began on Sept. 11, up to Oct. 13.

In Quebec, the Liberals maintained their lead through the third wave, which concluded on Thanksgiving Sunday.

“The Liberals still have an advantage in the province of Quebec,” Nanos told CTV’s Trend Line podcast on Wednesday morning. “But the Bloc is still doing quite well.”

Overall in the province, the Liberals have 34.7 per cent support with a sizeable lead over the Bloc Quebecois at 24.5 per cent.

Notably, the NDP has picked up steam in Quebec, climbing from 11.2 per cent in the first week of the campaign to 15.5 per cent, and are now neck-and-neck with the Conservatives who are at 15.5 per cent. The Conservatives have in fact fallen 4.8 percentage points in the province since the start of the campaign.

However, Nanos said the NDP isn’t doing quite as well as in 2015 and they could lose seats in Quebec this time around.

“The question is, right now, how many seats will [NDP Leader] Jagmeet Singh lose and who will he lose those to?” he said. “The polling suggests that the parties that are the greatest candidates to pick up NDP seats specifically are the Bloc and the Liberals primarily.”

The NDP’s biggest strides appear to be in the Montreal region. The party gained 7.2 percentage points since the campaign began. The Liberals, however, still maintain a sizeable lead in the city with 39.5 per cent support.

“Not a big surprise,” Nanos said. “Montreal is a lock for the Liberals. They’re way ahead.”

Nanos Montreal ballot comparison - Oct 16

The Conservatives, who once sat third in Montreal, have fallen 6.2 percentage points and are in fifth place behind the Liberals, Bloc Quebecois, NDP and Green party.

Excluding Montreal, Nanos said the rest of the Quebec is essentially a “three-way race” between the Liberals, the Bloc, and the Conservatives.

“This is where votes split,” he said. “Watch out for those ridings outside of the island of Montreal because it’s a horse race.”

Ontario

Nanos Ontario ballot - Oct 16

Meanwhile, in Ontario, the Conservatives have fallen 6 percentage points since the campaign began, and now sit at 28.4 per cent support, giving the Liberals a sizable lead of 13 percentage points in the province.

In the 905 area code surrounding Toronto, the Liberals and Conservatives were deadlocked in a tie less than a month ago, but the Conservatives have since fallen 8.8 percentage points to 30.2 – giving the Liberals a sizeable lead with 42.9 per cent support.

Nanos Ontario 905 ballot - Oct 16

“We have the Liberals pulling out a little bit of an advantage right now in the 905,” Nanos said. “That’s good news for Justin Trudeau.”

Nanos said he suspects Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will return to the 905 region at the close of the campaign in a final attempt to woo more voters there.

“The reality is for the Conservatives, for them to try to win the election and form a government, they need to do well in those ridings,” he said. “I think a little bit of a visit from their leader could potentially be helpful to the Conservatives in the 905.”

The Liberals’ lead is most prominent in Toronto, where they now hold 57.8 per cent support and a lead of 38.5 percentage points over the Conservatives.

Outside the Greater Toronto Area, the results are much closer. The Liberals and Conservatives are separated by just 0.1 percentage points, while the NDP is in third place at 21 per cent.

Overall, Nanos said the election is still a “coin toss” and he can’t predict what party will be victorious based on the polling data.

“It’s basically a tie on the ballot, tie on the preferred prime minister,” he said. “It’s too close to call in terms of who might win based on the distribution of support.”

With files from Jackie Dunham

METHODOLOGY

QUEBEC: This report is comprised of a comparison of days 1-10 and 11-20 of the campaign and the 10 days ending October 13th of the campaign for voters in the province of Quebec. The margin of error for a survey of 782/828/855 respondents is ±3.5/±3.4 /±3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error for smaller samples will be wider. The geographic sub samples within Quebec were geographically weighted to their true population proportion.

ONTARIO: This report is comprised of a comparison of week 1 and week 2 of the campaign compared to the week ending October 13th for voters in the province of Ontario for the period ending September 24th, 2019. The margin of error for a survey of 758/747/764 respondents is ±3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error for smaller samples will be wider. The geographic sub samples within Ontario were geographically weighted to their true population proportion.