Early days of the election suggest race could be tight: Abacus Data

Photo: Elections Canada, 2015.

Just days since parliament was dissolved and the federal election called, it’s prudent to find out what issues citizens are concerned about, and what party leaders plan to do to address these issues.

To provide insight, RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney was recently joined by David Coletto, founding partner and CEO of Abacus Data.

New data from Coletto’s organization shows the Liberal party leading by 5 per cent in the approval polls, and the NDP party on the rise to 22 per cent.

Coletto says the Liberal lead is actually shrinking, down from 9 per cent last week, which shows the election may be closer than anyone previously thought. Further to that, recent events will complicate Justin Trudeau’s path to winning a majority, says Coletto, including the outcome of Nova Scotia’s election on Tuesday.

Coletto points out that people will be drawn to the leader who has a seemingly credible and actionable plan, particularly when it comes to climate change and the cost of living.

For a leader who has released a good platform, it’s important for that leader to get out there, to show people they understand what they’re going through, and understand what they’re worried about — to show them “I’ve got a plan,” says Coletto.

“As someone who’s studied public opinion, we have our partisan bias, but it doesn’t mean those are solid, and [that] we won’t deviate from our normal voting pattern, to vote for somebody that we like, who we think’s on our side, and is telling us the truth and is going to do what we need them to do,” says Coletto.

As for recent events outside Canada’s borders, Abacus Data’s new preliminary survey results show that foreign affairs won’t have much of an effect over people’s voting decision, but might add a lens as to which party leader will ensure Canada’s role in foreign policy and relationships.

As for the undecided pool of voters, Coletto says that at this stage in the campaign, it’s not larger than normal. “Many of those folks aren’t likely going to vote, but what we do see is that about a third of people who say they have a choice right now are open to changing their minds, which signals to me that this election is far from locked in.”

Mail-in voting and advanced polls mean that every single day of the campaign will matter, not just the usual last week leading up to election day.

Listen to the full conversation below, or download for later:

Categories: Ag Policy / Podcasts / Politics