Dozens of ridings 'too close to call' heading into Thanksgiving weekend: Nanos
TORONTO -- While Canadians may be preoccupied with thoughts of turkey dinner and holiday traffic at the start of the long weekend, it appears that quite a few of them have yet to make up their minds about who they will vote for on Oct. 21.
According to polling data from Nanos Research, there are still dozens of ridings that are neck-and-neck.
Speaking to CTV’s Trend Line podcast on Friday morning, pollster Nik Nanos said they have been crunching the numbers for 73,000 neighbourhoods to project which way they’re leaning ahead of the vote. He said of the 338 federal ridings, an estimated 37 ridings have a margin of less than two per cent and another 54 ridings have margins that are between two and seven per cent.
“There are a number of ridings on the Nanos watch list that might be too close to call, subject to the voter turnout and get-out-the-vote strength of local campaigns," Nanos told CTVNews.ca. He said these include ridings such as:
- Winnipeg Centre (Man.)
- Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam (B.C.)
- Fredericton (N.B.)
- Ottawa Centre (Ont.)
- Davenport (Ont.)
- Beauce (Que.)
- Hochelaga (Que.)
The nightly tracking data from Nanos Research, commissioned by CTV News and The Globe and Mail, reflects this indecision with the Liberals and the Conservatives continuing to battle it out for the lead.
The Liberals have 35 per cent support while the Conservatives are nipping at their heels with 33 per cent. The NDP still sit at 15 per cent, the Greens have 9 per cent, and the Bloc Quebecois have 5 per cent. The People’s Party of Canada remain in last place with 1 per cent support.
Nanos said this is the longest period in a federal election that he can recall where the parties have been tied.
“I'm calling it ‘Indecision 2019,’” he said with a laugh. “Canadians are sleepwalking to the ballot booth.”
As for the party leaders themselves, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stills ranks first in a survey asking participants who would be their preferred prime minister. The Liberal leader enjoys 33 per cent of support followed by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer with 27 per cent.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has seen a boost in personal support thanks to strong performances in the recent debates. He has 14 per cent support while Green Party Leader Elizabeth May sits at 8 per cent. Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet has 2 per cent while PPC Leader Maxime Bernier has 1.5 per cent support.
As for what’s behind the apparent indecision, Nanos said Canadians don’t seem to be particularly enthusiastic about any candidate.
“They’re unsure about Andrew Scheer and then for Justin Trudeau, there are things that they’ve seen that they don’t like and there’s disappointment,” he said. “No one’s really been able to break that deadlock.”
Nanos said the lack of enthusiasm for one leader or party this election could result in two casualties. The first being low voter turnout because Canadians haven’t been inspired by what they’ve heard during the campaign.
“For example, some groups like Millennials have been very disappointed in what they've seen in the election and it's unsure whether they'll come out and vote in the same way that they did in 2015,” he said.
The second casualty could be democracy itself, according to Nanos. He said it’s possible that one party could win the popular vote and lose the election because another party attained more seats in the House of Commons. This could lead to resentment among residents in some parts of the country, such as those in Western Canada, who have largely felt ignored by the federal government, Nanos said.
As for breaking the tie, Nanos said that will have less to do with the party leaders doing well in the final week before the election and more to do with their rivals faltering.
“Right now, we're basically in the zone where any kind of major gaffe could be a killer for a particular campaign or federal party leader,” he explained. “It’s more likely to change as a result of a controversy or a mistake in the campaign as opposed to somebody doing something right.”
The Nightly Nanos Election Tracking is produced by Nanos Research, CTV News and the Globe and Mail. The data is based on dual frame (land + cell-lines) random telephone interviews using live agents of 1,200 Canadians using a three night rolling average of 400 respondents each evening, 18 years of age and over.
The random sample of 1,200 respondents may be weighted by age and gender using the latest census information for Canada. The interviews are compiled into a three night rolling average of 1,200 interviews, where each evening the oldest group of 400 interviews is dropped and a new group of 400 interviews is added.
A random telephone survey of 1,200 Canadians is accurate ±2.8 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.