Monthly Archives : February 2016

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Saskatchewan-360

NDP Continues Upward Trend, SK Party Still Leads

February 25, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll find the Saskatchewan Party continues to lead in Saskatchewan but the NDP have continued to trend upward another 2%. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.45%, 19 times out of 20.

Among all voters he Saskatchewan Party is down to 46% (-2) while the NDP is now at 30% (+2).

“The Saskatchewan party still holds a big 16 point lead among all voters” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “Their lead has narrowed to just 8 percentage points in Regina and 3 percentage points in Saskatoon but they lead handily outside urban centres.”

“The Saskatchewan party is on solid footing on the economy however which bodes well for their general election prospects, 51% of Saskatchewanians believe they are the best party for the economy.”

“The Saskatchewan NDP continues to trend upwards and we have seen a modest bounce for the provincial Liberals here as well. This is to be expected as the election draws nearer and voters begin to look at all options. However the economic situation and Wall’s profile on western economic issues on a national level will be in the way of significant gains for the opposition parties. 53% of Saskatchewan residents are optimistic about their own personal finances – these are solid numbers considering the pressures the province is currently undergoing.”

“It will take a lot to take down Brad Wall, even with this recent tightening there is a long way to go. As the election campaign approaches, he remains in the driver’s seat,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – SK Feb 25

MB360

Manitoba Stable As Election Approaches

February 23, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the PC Party continuing to lead in Manitoba with the Liberals and NDP tied for second. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.31%, 19 times out of 20.

“As the Election Campaign draws nearer and nearer the Liberals are trending upwards slightly but essentially the race is much the same as we’ve found it earlier this month,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “Undecided voters are now leaning almost evenly between the Liberals and PCs but this may be a temporary blip. As a result among decided and leaning voters the Liberals are now in second place.”

Among Decided and Leaning Voters: PCs 50% (-1%), NDP 21% (-), Liberals 23% (+3%), Greens 6% (-1%)

“We polled a number of issues and found some interesting results. Most Manitobans strongly support a secret ballot for unionization (66%) but they are split on other issues such as special tax powers for Winnipeg. 34% are in favour with 27% opposed but 39% aren’t sure – this means there is an opportunity for both those opposed and in favour of new tax powers to make their case.”

“When it comes to funding rapid bus transit almost half are in favour (48%) and more are opposed than in favour of continuing to fund a Helicopter for the Winnipeg police (42% disapprove, 38% approve),” he finished.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – Manitoba February 22

Ontario-Flag-360

PCs Lead Ontario, Horwath Most Popular Leader

February 22, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the PC Party continuing to lead in Ontario – albeit by a narrow margin with the Liberals and NDP separated by just 3 percentage points. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.91%, 19 times out of 20.

“For the Ontario Liberals this is some good news on the heels of losing the Whitby-Oshawa by-election,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “But at the same time Kathleen Wynne is the least popular leader in Ontario which limits their room for growth.”

Among Decided and Leaning Voters: PCs 36% (-4%), Ontario Liberals 33% (+5%), NDP 26% (+1%), Greens 5% (-2%) – compared to the results from November 1st.

“Some of this is likely a bounce from the Trudeau government and the positive press that surrounds it – but this could also be other issues playing out including beer sales in supermarkets and the Premier’s positions on Energy East and transit infrastructure. For the PCs these numbers show that while Patrick Brown has had a successful tenure so far, Ontarians still don’t know who he is. This will be an ongoing liability, if the PC Party doesn’t introduce Brown to Ontarians the other two parties certainly will. While Brown has notched two by-elections wins and now has a seat in the legislature, the two wins came from solid PC ridings. ”

“For the NDP these numbers signal strong room for growth. Andrea Horwath is the most popular leader in the province. However, the NDP is third not only among all voters but also among undecided voters who lean in a certain direction. They are faring best in Northern and Southwestern Ontario but their Toronto number is low – though if it is concentrated in the downtown core it could translate into new seats. ”

Patrick Brown: 32% Approve, 26% Disapprove, 42% Not Sure. Approval – Disapproval: +6
Andrea Horwath: 43% Approve, 26% Disapprove, 31% Not Sure. Approval – Disapproval: +17
Kathleen Wynne: 29% Approve, 60% Disapprove, 11% Not Sure. Approval – Disapproval: -31

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Available for Interview from Toronto: Quito Maggi, quito@mainstreetresearch.ca
For more information: David Valentin, (613) 698-5524 – david@mainstreetresearch.ca

Mainstreet – Ontario Feb 16, 2016

Lightbulb

The Return of Greg Selinger

I watched the new Manitoba NDP ad this morning with some interest and after a few seconds I realized I have seen this ad before.

Back in 2011, then Premier Dalton McGuinty looked like he was about to lose a looming election, the polls were bad, his approval numbers were terrible, sound familiar? The ads that ran, called simply “Leadership”, worked well. The humble Dalton stood alone against a white background and talked about what his government had accomplished and red lettered references appear on the bottom right of the screen.

Say what you will about Dalton McGuinty, but his self-deprecating humour and endearing speaking style played very well, the Ontario Liberals won another near majority in 2011 after what looked like a certain loss to the PCs.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery they say, and the Manitoba NDP leader should be expecting a nice note from Mr. McGuinty after airing this commercial. A carbon copy, right down to the fonts, the positioning of the hands, and nearly identical ties.

It worked for Dalton McGuinty in 2011, but will it work for Premier Selinger in 2016? Its too early to tell yet, but there is one key difference is these ads that tells me it’s less likely to have any impact.

Both ads are visually clean, the narrative very similar, humble leaders who tell the viewer about making tough decisions. It’s a heart to heart, one on one, honest conversation with voters, no distractions.

The difference I notice right away is that Dalton McGuinty uses the word “I” when talking about the challenges he faces politically, he says “I accept that”, then goes on to say “Ontario has done x”. He takes direct and personal ownership and responsibility for the mistakes that have been made, and then credits “Ontario” with the list of accomplishments that splash across the screen.

Premier Selinger says “we haven’t always gotten it right” in this ad. Why “we” instead of “I”? Maybe he means the NDP government? his cabinet? perhaps the political advisors? Or the thousands of public servants who work for the Manitoba government? In an ad that features just a single person, the Premier, he says “we haven’t always gotten it right”, then says “I make decisions with your best interest in mind” and lists accomplishments and commitments crediting “we”, this “we” I believe means the NDP government, at least that’s how it comes across to me. So “I” make the decisions, but “we” haven’t always gotten it right, it’s inconsistent with the narrative of the ad.

It might seem like such a small thing to point out, such subtle differences in essentially the same ad. But make no mistake that words matter.

“I” am willing to bet that this ad won’t have the desired effect. If I am wrong, I guess “we” will have to eat a little crow on April 19th. Yup, that makes perfect sense.

Quito Maggi is President of Mainstreet Research

Click here to see the latest Manitoba polls.

Saskatchewan-360

SK Party Still Dominating As NDP Edges Upwards

February 16, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll find the Saskatchewan Party continues to lead while the NDP have edged up slightly. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.55%, 19 times out of 20.

The Saskatchewan Party is down to 49% (-2) while the NDP is now at 28% (+4).

“The change for the Saskatchewan Party is within the margin of error while the NDP seem to have gained a little” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “We’ll be watching to see if these trends continue moving forward.”

“The election is an opportunity for the NDP and opposition parties to be on equal footing.”

The strength of support for both the Saskatchewan party and NDP is roughly the same 69% of Saskatchewan Party voters say they have made up their minds while 70% of NDP supporters say the same. Only 42% of Liberal party supporters are strong supporters.

“These are solid numbers for both the NDP and SK Party. They both have strong bases, though of course the Saskatchewan Party base is larger,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – SK Feb 16

MB360

Manitoba PCs Continue to Dominate

February 16, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the PC Party continuing to lead in Manitoba with the Liberals and NDP tied for second. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.29%, 19 times out of 20.

“The NDP and Liberals remain in a tie for second – within the margin of error” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “The number of undecided voters fell this week so the parties each made small gains.”

“One important change from our last poll is that Liberal voters are now as solid as NDP voters” continued Maggi. “In our last poll 55% of Liberal voters said they were certain of their decision, that’s now 64% up 9 percentage points. We will be watching to see if this continues.”

“The race for second continues to be tight. In Winnipeg it’s the NDP who are in second, outside of it it’s the Liberals. More or less we’ve seen no significant movement despite a number of announcements.”

“If these vote splits hold it will be to the PCs advantage. With these kind of vote splits across the province the PCs would be guaranteed a large majority government,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – Manitoba February 16

Lightbulb

What Kind of Candidate Will Wab Kinew Be?

Imagine bright lights. The premier of the province is announcing a new star candidate. This guy is the real deal. Beloved by the community – everybody knows him. There is talk instantly that he could be a future leader of the party.

I’m talking, of course, about former Calgary police chief Rick Hanson. Back in March of 2015, shortly before the provincial election was called in Alberta, it was Premier Jim Prentice at the microphone announcing his new star.

We all know what happened to him.

Which leads us to another province, another premier, another star. The announcement that Wab Kinew would seek the NDP nomination in Fort Rouge came as a huge get for Manitoba’s NDP.

Make no mistake, Wab Kinew is a very impressive candidate – a star in every sense of the word. And yet, it may not be enough.

For the NDP this is a win no matter what. If Wab Kinew wins they will have denied Liberal leader Rana Bokhari a seat in the legislature. If Kinew loses he will have tied up precious Liberal resources. Bokhari will have to spend extra time and money to battle Kinew. That will keep her away from other seats.

If Kinew wins he will be set up to run for the leadership of the Manitoba NDP, if he wants it.

But he might not win.

Star candidates are a curious thing in Canadian politics. For every shining star there are duds. In the last federal election sitting cabinet ministers lost their seats. Former superstar MPs like Olivia Chow couldn’t make it back. Local NDP heroes in Atlantic Canada were unceremoniously turfed.

Perhaps a better story is that of Winnipeg’s own Kevin Lameroux. A long-time and well known MLA for the Manitoba liberals he made the leap to federal politics and surprised everyone by winning a by-election in Winnipeg North. He won by 813 votes. Then in the Liberal killing fields of 2011 he somehow managed to hang on, this time by just 44 votes. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff lost his seat in the election – it wasn’t close. Kevin Lamoureux hung on.

But back to Wab Kinew – will he be a Kevin Lamoureux or will he be a Rick Hanson?

There’s nothing wrong with Rick Hanson, by the way, he did everything he was supposed to do.

I wasn’t there but I’m sure he campaigned hard, put in signs, knocked on doors, shook hands, and so on. I’m sure he had many, many volunteers, endorsements and a talented campaign staff.

Mr. Hanson spent $87,461 on his campaign in Calgary Cross. The NDP candidate, Ricardo Miranda, spent $6,134.

Mr. Miranda won by 100 votes.

Sometimes you just can’t overcome the desire for change. In 2015, PC candidates, no matter how wonderful or hardworking or accomplished, became an endangered species in Alberta.

Perhaps Bokhari summed it up best in the terse one line statement she released: “…A vote for Wab (Kinew) is a vote for Greg Selinger.”

And so this the challenge for Kinew. It looks like, the data tells us, the Selinger NDP are in a tough election to say the least. They are polling in second or third but are essentially tied with the Liberals. They stand to lose seats all over the province but especially outside Winnipeg.

I have no doubt Kinew will work hard. He will be given the very best campaign staff, his office will be full of volunteers, there will be lots of signs, they will spend every penny – I get it. While that happens Bokhari will be on TV every day. It will be her debating Palister and Selinger. I wouldn’t count her out.

Both Bokhari and Kinew have challenges they will need to overcome to be successful. Only one of them can win. This election we’ll see what kind of candidate each of them can be.

Ontario-Flag-360

Mainstreet Accurately Predicts Whitby-Oshawa Winner

February 11, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – Mainstreet Research’s final Whitby-Oshawa poll was proven an accurate representation tonight – demonstrating again the capability and accuracy of Mainstreet’s public polling.

By elections are notoriously hard to predict and Mainstreet was the only pollster to publish polling in Whitby-Oshawa.

Update: ThreeHundredEight had this to say about our Whitby-Oshawa polling: “Considering the low turnout and the difficulty in polling both by-elections and individual ridings, I’d consider this a very respectable showing.”

The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll, conducted February 8th, correctly showed the PC party leading with the Liberals in second and NDP in third.

Turnout was low for the riding at 28.89%. Turnout for last year’s by-election in Sudbury – where Mainstreet was the most accurate of 3 polling firms, was 39.9%.

Among decided voters ‘certain to vote or who had already voted’, Mainstreet noted 49% for the PC party, 30% for the Ontario Liberals and 11% for Ontario’s NDP. The poll’s margin of error was +/- 4.34%.

Both the PC and Liberal numbers came in within the margin of error, while the NDP was slightly outside, by 0.71%.

“As we made sure to note in our release the Green Party and Independent candidates often under-perform in by-elections because they don’t have the resources of the major parties,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research.

“We forecasted a comfortable win for Lorne Coe and that was the end result. Numbers for the Liberals and PCs were within the margin of error and the NDP were just outside.”

“Despite the low turnout and sudden cold snap in the GTA on election day our numbers held up. We released three polls for Whitby-Oshawa and as undecided voters continued to trend towards the PC party a win became entirely out of reach for the Liberals,” continued Maggi.

“Whitby-Oshawa has been held by the Progressive Conservatives since 1995, holding this seat was no surprise, it is a relief for the PCs and their leader Patrick Brown. By contrast, the Ontario Liberals last held the predecessor riding 26 years ago and only between 1988 and 1990. This riding is not a bellwether, it is one of a handful of must wins for Progressive Conservatives that remained blue even after the disastrous 2014 Tim Hudak election.”

“We look forward to continuing to poll Ontarians,” he finished.

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Ontario-Flag-360

PCs Set to Win Whitby-Oshawa

February 10th 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds PC candidate Lorne Coe leading in the race to replace former MPP Christine Elliott in Whitby-Oshawa. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.34%, 19 times out of 20.

“We’ve seen a steep drop in the number of undecided voters and PC candidate Lorne Coe now has a comfortable lead” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research.

Among all voters the PCs lead by 15%, with 40% (+7%) compared to the Liberals 25% (-2%). The NDP are at 10% (+1%) and the Greens are at 6% (+4%).

When factoring in undecided voters leaning towards a certain party the PCs hold a commanding 17 point lead (46% to 29%).

“We expect the Liberals and NDP will outperform their polling numbers” continued Maggi. “By elections are notoriously hard to predict, but with limited infrastructure we usually see the Green Party and Independent candidates perform below their polling numbers. The get out the vote (GOTV) operations of the three main parties are likely to be formidable on Election Day. As a result we expect the margin of victory to be less than 17%, but we are predicting a PC victory in Whitby-Oshawa come Thursday night,” he finished.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – Whitby-Oshawa Feb 10

Alberta-Flag-360

Albertans Want Federal Help

February 8th, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the vast majority of the province supports financial assistance from the federal government. And more Albertans now than before agree the provincial government should not rush to balance the books. The Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.76%, 19 times out of 20.

“In our October budget poll we asked Albertans if they supported a quick return to balanced budgets if it mean raising taxes or cutting services, back then 52% were against such a plan” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research. “That number has now jumped to 62% (+10%) with 23% not sure. We’ve seen a gradual increase in the debt tolerance of Albertans, only 15% (-12%) would want the province to aggressively return to balance budgets right now.”

Albertans were asked to rate the provincial and federal government’s economic plans. 25% rate the provincial plan as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ – while only 18% would say the same about the federal plan.

“A lot of people are out of work and Albertans aren‘t seeing tangible action just yet. The upcoming federal budget will be an opportunity for the Federal government to highlight any actions it takes to boost the Alberta economy,” continued Maggi.

Not surprisingly 69% of Albertans support federal financial assistance.

“It’s a difficult economic climate right now, there’s not a lot of optimism so I’m not surprised Albertans support more financial assistance for the province,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs.

Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet Alberta Feb 2016 C