[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> That is more seat projections. To [measure]them effectively in my honest opinion, you need a much larger sample with clusters of ridings. For me, I like to stick to my knitting and focus on getting the percentage support correct. However, the national percentages may in this election belie the actual seat outcome - because of vote splitting specifically in BC, Ontario and perhaps Montreal.
[Comment From nafio]Nik, do you think that there is any evidence to indicate that Conservative support could increase leading up to election day? Or does it seem to be stagnant, regardless of events, announcements, etc.
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> Anything is possible but the Conservative support this election has been reasonably consistent. I think for many Canadians they have formed opinions of Harper because he is a known commodity. The numbers if they moved would not be "for Harper" or "for the Conservatives" but more likely for a majority to end the minority environment. Think of it in terms of Canadians being fed up with minority parliaments as opposed to a Conservative wave. Of course, if Harper made a significant mistake, it would swing against him.
[Comment From Southie]/b> The Green Party seems well down in the polls compared to last election. Have Canadians looked at Elizabeth May and said, "Nope, not for me?"
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> I think May has been squeezed out on the policy front. In the last election Stephane Dion and his Green Shift championed the environment, the NDP was more focussed on the environment and that situation elevated May and the Greens. In this election there has been a greater focus on healthcare and jobs - so the environment has been squeezed as an issue, with a collateral negative impact on the Greens. If she manages to win her seat - that would be a big breakthrough, even if the Green popular support went down.
[Comment From JIG]With the rising support for Jack Layton and the NDP, do you expect to see the Liberals to switch focus and start hammering away at the NDP?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]Yep. The other thing the Liberals have to do is motivate their core.
[Comment From Mike]How do think the Liberals can motivate their core?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> It might sound simplistic but ... for any party to motivate its core it needs to act in a manner that people expect. The Liberals need to act like Liberals. The Tories are acting like Conservatives and the NDP like New Democrats. People have a vision of the Liberals as a strong national federalist party that is compassionate but fiscally responsible.
[Comment From jbean]/b> It looks like advertising by all parties is increasingly focused on attack ads. Do you see these having a significant impact on the polls?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> For the attack ads to work they need to be:
2. Validated by the target or a third party. For example, in 2006 the Tory ADSCAM ads ran for weeks with no impact until the RCMP launched a criminal investigation.
[Comment From Ian in NS]/b> Nik, just how much polling do the political parties do themselves? Are they relying on your numbers (and those of other polling firms?) on a national basis or are they polling nationally themselves? Alternatively, how much do they rely on riding-by-riding polls?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]In my experience, the major parties do polling and then would use the numbers from independent pollsters like Nanos to validate or check the trends. Riding surveys are usually done by local riding campaigns except if the riding is a high priority - in that case I believe the national folks can be involved. That's my understanding.
[Comment From Eli Katz]/b> I don't see reports on undecided voters. What are the numbers? Are they evenly distributed throughout the country? Who are the undecideds, generally? Are they strategic voters, low-information voters, new voters? What role are they going to play in this election?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]Here you go: http://www.nanosresearch.com/election2011/20110414-BallotE.pdf - check the row under the MoE.