Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Green Party at 13% - ahead of NDP in polls

December 27, 2007

Green Party at 13% - ahead of NDP in polls

From the new Strategic Council poll, the GPC is at third place with 13%. This is is the first time ever that the Green Party has polled ahead of the NDP.

The GPC is trending upwards, with many recent polls putting the Greens in the double digits. See this new Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey that has the Green Party at 12%.

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UPDATE: (Feb 16th, 2008) For 1st time Greens within 3% of NDP according to Feb 16 Ipsos Reid Poll

"...A long list of polling companies over the last few months have put the Green Party ahead of, tied with or on a 'virtual tie' with the NDP -- Ipsos Reid, Strategic Counsel and Harris Decima among others -- so the Green Party's rise compared to the NDP can no longer be said to be a once-off occurance it's now a clearly emerging trend..."

More here: In Quebec, Green party at 11 per cent and the NDP with 10

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UPDATE: (Apr 4th, 2008) Grits Tories Remain Deadlocked

The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey suggests the Tories have 32 per cent support, with the Liberals at 30 per cent, which is within the survey’s margin of error.

The NDP have 13 per cent, the Greens 12 per cent and the Bloc is at nine per cent...

...In Quebec, the latest poll suggested 37 per cent support for the Bloc, 21 per cent each for the Conservatives and Liberals, 10 per cent for the Greens and nine per cent for the NDP.

In Ontario, the survey suggested the Liberals are at 38 per cent with the Tories at 33 per cent. The Green party has 15 per cent, leading the NDP at 10 per cent...


Saskboy said...

If this doesn't scare the poop out of Jack Layton to the point where he will at least start talking to May, then nothing will I guess. We'll have to avoid swelled heads, and look at ways to get as many NDP AND Green MPs elected as possible, to combat Harper's majority wish and his anti-environment/Canada agenda.

Cameron W said...

Hi Saskboy,

Good points. You're right about the importance of avoiding the swelling of heads.

If the Greens continue to remain focussed and considerate, people will start to wonder (if they aren't already) why Layton continues to avoid the very strong and respected voice that is the Green Party of Canada.

Oops - almost let my head swell a bit there.


Anonymous said...

SES (Nick Nanos) was the most accurate polling firm in the last general election.

Here is a summary of their latest poll, reported today:

As always, the real story is not in the overall standings that show the Conservatives with 35% of the decided vote; Liberals 34%; NDP 17%; Bloc 9%; and Greens 6%.

Back to the spin cycle...

Cameron W said...

Hi anonymous,

Thanks for the link to the news story!

I do suppose the media and the old-line political parties will try to spin the results.

For the Greens, this poll shows that we can indeed still poll at under 10%. That's a lot less than the 13% and 12% in the other recent polls.

This SES poll percentage should serve as a reminder to the Green Party that while our national support is trending upwards since the last federal election, there's still plenty of ways that the GPC can fail to translate voter support into actual votes.

For example, with about 10% of the election budget that the NDP has, the Green Party might have a more difficult time getting the message out via media channels, and the GPC will certainly not be able to run competitive campaigns (as defined by financially able to do the things the other parties do) across the country in all ridings.

As the GPC improves communication efforts with Canadians, the party will likely see better polling results.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the spin I was referring to was more along these lines:

9% does seem to be the average.. for now...

Submitted by Cameron Wigmore on 16 November 2007 - 4:05pm.

I've seen other numbers showing that the GPC is averaging about 9% in the polls right now. It might go up or down a percentage point, but overall it is certainly higher than it was prior to the last federal election.

I hope it continues to rise.

- - -
The blog section of the GPC website is a place for GPC members to share their personal opinions and views. The views I express here are my own and are not the official position of the Green Party of Canada.

Why no mention of the SES poll? As I mentioned, it was the most accurate polling firm last general election. You could have provided the link to the story I provided there.

I don't recall them ever polling the GPC at 9%. Do you?

Anonymous said...

And btw, even if you were to average the SES poll (6%) and SC (8%) you still end up at 7%, roughly half of the 13% that so many quickly blogged about.

(Maybe it's time to disable the anonymous comment feature again). :)

Cameron W said...

Hi anonymous,

Thank you for following my comments at the GPC blog site. I'm glad you read all of the info here as well as at the GPC blog site. Do you have a blog as well?

FYI, I have no intention of disabling the anonymous comment feature on my blog. I know you're the same person who's popped in from time to time and I'd rather have you here commenting and sharing your opinion than having a stifled discussion.

As for my comments that you quoted, they are straightforward and factual. Polls are difficult to value, and I don't put much stock in them. If you average out all of the recent polls, the Green Party sits at about 9%. That's what I said, and it's true.

For a good summary of recent polls see this blog:

I do hope in the next SES poll the Greens achieve a higher percentage, since I do respect their polls, perhaps more than others.

Do not fear my anonymous friend. You may comment here as much as you wish.


Anonymous said...

OK, good link, thanks. A stronger case for the 9% number, though the five poll moving average is not current (including the latest two and you're back to GPC @ 8%).

No, I don't have a blog.

In this context, the GPC @ 13%, NDP @12% does look like a rogue poll, and should be treated as such.

Anonymous said...

Here's the SES poll of Nov 14th, since you "do respect their polls, perhaps more than others."

Note the flatline for the GPC since the last election.

Cameron W said...

Polling firm methodology and differences in reported support:
see Jim Harris' blog post entitled Ipsos-Reid Inflates
Conservative's Support 5%+; Under-estimates Green Support by 2%

Anonymous said...

Yes, I previously noted Jim's post. I tried to email him, but he doesn't have a greenparty email account, it appears.

He, like others in the GPC, conveniently and continuously leaves off SES poll results.

Is this bias, or spin, on his part?

The better lesson on cherrypicking polls, in my opinion, comes from former GPC Deputy Leader, Andrew Lewis who wrote:

I see no trend up for the Greens in the last year...

Our performance has been remarkably flat actually compared to the others, but then the others have more room to "play" in.

I would rather the Green Party focus on building an organisation that can meet or exceed expectations.

My sentiments as well.

Cameron W said...

Hi anonymous,

Jim Harris did blog on SES and Nik Nanos in a recent post. Before you accuse him of either bias or spin please check yourself for the same.

As for you your quote from Mr Lewis ("...I would rather the Green Party focus on building an organisation that can meet or exceed expectations...") I can speak from personal experience that this is happening right now. I am witnessing the GPC building itself into a well organized political party. This has been happening (on a shoestring budget no less) for quite some time now.

Let's just hope that when the polls go up for the GPC during the next election, the support translates into votes, as it did in the Ontario provincial election recently.

Anonymous said...

Jim Harris did blog on SES and Nik Nanos in a recent post. Before you accuse him of either bias or spin please check yourself for the same.

You're right. I stand corrected. Have a look at the most recent SES poll I provided a couple of posts earlier. Notice any anomoly? See that one data point that goes from 6% up to 10%, and now is back to 6%? Q2 2007? Harris did blog about the SES Ontario results then.

In that blog, he stated: "SES, which was the most accurate polling firm in Canada in the 2006 federal election..."

If he truly believes this to be the case, where is reference to the latest SES poll showing GPC at 6%? You can't just extol the polls that are favourable, and ignore the ones that aren't.

Anyway, enough about polls. Carry on with the party building.

Cameron W said...

Here's a great blog on this subject...

Jim Johnston's blog post on polls with a clear graph showing rising support for the Green Party.

From the blog post at the link above: "...I have read a number of posts that suggest that the growth in support for the Green Party is somehow soft. The following graph shows the average of all the public polls I can get my hands on, averaged by quarter, showing the change in popular support versus the 2006 election. Most of these points have 10,000 or more respondents in them, and have a number of different polling companies represented. Margin of error is about 1% to 1.5% 19 times out of 20.

I don't think the graph could be clearer. It shows steady and consistent growth in support for the Green Party at the expense of all the others. Two years worth of consistent growth..."

Anonymous said...

Your willingness to jump on any bandwagon on the GPC site, or missives coming from the head office, is demonstrable.

Can you describe, in your own words, what the values on the y-axis represent? They're not labelled. And how were they derived?

Isn't Jim Johnston the same individual who posted a GPC blog (conveniently since deleted) where he predicted a MAJORITY government for the GPC in the next election?

How can anyone take anything he subsequently produces seriously? Apparently you and others can.


Cameron W said...

The y axis in Jim's graph represent percentages. It's all explained in the text of his post.

This poll where the GPC placed ahead of the NDP with 13% is very big news. This is the first time ever that the GPC polled in third place nationally. I hope you understand that people who support the Green Party are going to want to spread the good news. I understand that partisan critics will want to attack and dismiss the Greens.

The saying goes:
first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you... and then you win.

Anonymous said...


You may not have formal training in statistics. I doubt Jim does either.

Let me point out why again the GPC should quit spending so much time on delusional spin, and focus on more important issues.

I honestly did not know what the y-axis meant - but I believe it is percentage above the last election - so Jim is saying the GPC is now at 4.6% plus it looks like 6.5% - 7% meaning he puts the current support at 11-11.5%, no?

He also pools different polling companies, suggesting this improves the result's accuracy. Jim Harris also buys into this in a manic way.

Here is an example of Jim's methodology.

OK, let's take your poll, GPC @13 % +/- 3.1%. My poll GPC @ 6% +/- 3.3%.

Using JJ's methodology, according to him, the more accurate number is 9.5% +/- 2% or whatever. The result is OUTSIDE of either of the extreme outer limits of both polls. The methodology is BS.

This just reinforces the GPC's lack of credibility. It suggests to outsiders who look at these things objectively that you guys don't know what you are talking about (and this is not the only example - many GPC policies are based upon ignorance).


First they spin. Then they deny. Then they bury their heads like ostriches. Then they are ignored.

Cameron W said...

Hi again anonymous,

Thank you for taking the time to post so much on my blog.

I agree with your current GPC polling average of about 9.5%. I don't think you're interpreting Jim's graph correctly, and I think your hostility is misdirected. Polls are only polls, and they are never 100% accurate. Have another look at Jim's comments, and the following discussion at his GPC blog, and you might better understand his work here. He does know what he's talking about.

Besides, the point is that for the first time ever, the GPC placed third, ahead of the NDP, in a major national poll. It happened just this month. You're not disputing this, are you?

What's your take on the current polling average of about 9.5% for the GPC? We are the only major national party that has gone up in the polls since the last federal election, while the others yo-yo and go down on average.

Anonymous said...

My view: I'm quite comfortable with Nik Nanos, his methodology, and expertise. I'm also comfortable with his trend lines for all parties, which shows the GPC flatlined at 6%. So, no, I think the 9.5% number may be on the high end. And based upon his polling trends, there doesn't appear to be as much "yo-yo" movement as you suggest.

Wasn't he an invited speaker to the last GPC national conference? You were there weren't you?

Funny how one firm appears to have gone from favourite son to pariah. Perhaps if he polled higher...

Actually, I wouldn't have returned here had I not seen your more recent posting on the GPC site on this topic. So, yes, I have read all of the entries attached to JJ's blog, yours included.

Do I dispute the one poll? No. Is it a rogue poll? Likely. Is it worth all of the attention you and others are heaping upon it? No. But perhaps this is an indication of a collective political immaturity more than anything else.

Anyway, I've moved into phase four of my earlier version of the continuum, so I shall not cause you any more grief. I shall leave you the subsequent last word.

Cameron W said...

Rolling 5 poll average for the GPC as of Nov 23 is 10%.

Anonymous said...

Paul, for those who don't know, appears to be an undergraduate student in some university somewhere with no discernible work experience.

Cameron W said...

Hi anonymous,

Thanks again for your contributions here. You're here so often I hope that one day you'll reveal to us who you are.

As for Paul's work, I think it's safe to say that crunching the numbers on a 5 poll average is something he can do.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. Can he?

Here's an example you can relate to. Your relatives are coming over for dinner on the weekend, and your wife wants to prepare a fruit salad. So, she gives you a list of ingredients: orange, apple, bananas, grapes, pineapple, grapefruit, all required in equal proportions.

You go to the market. There are lots of sour apples and bitter grapes, and one bunch of bananas. So, you double up on the first two, and buy a single portion of the last.

How do you think the fruit salad will turn out? Pretty sour and unrepresentative of your wife's talents don't you think?

This is what Paul does - his latest 5 poll moving average has two Decima (11,12), two Strategic (8,13), and one SES (6).This wide variation occured over 10 days of polling. What has happened politically to cause such volatility to make any sense of this? Nothing.

Yes, his methodology is mechanically correct, statistically wrong.

Tip: Stick with the bananas. Don't mix in the apples and grapes.

As for me, I'm Dot. Here is a recent entry on a topic you support:

Cameron W said...

Hi Dot,

That's what a rolling average is.

In the end, not even our electoral system gives us a good representation of what voters want, and while polls are a shot in the dark at best, they do give us a rough idea of what's going on in voters minds.

Keep coming back!

Anonymous said...

Note the last link on this blog:

Cameron W said...

Text to be displayed

Jim Harris: GPC's Relentless Rise: Ipsos-Reid Under-estimates Green Support by 2%: Inflates Conservative's Support 5%+ - One of these things is not like the others

Saskboy: Polling firm threatens blogger and Jim Harris with lawsuit

John W (Ipsos guy) said, “…if you believe that the Green Party is at 14% nationally–ahead of the NDP–then please tell your friend the tooth fairy to drop by…”

Well, one might say that it’s fairly clear that John & Ipsos is not biased in support of the Green Party. One might come to the conclusion that this guy does NOT support the Greens, but one might hesitate to say so online, unless one isn’t afraid of libel chill.

The one polling company that is out to lunch here either has a bias and not-so-secretly supports a certain political party, or they’re consistently inaccurate.

Which is it?


Anonymous said...

“…if you believe that the Green Party is at 14% nationally–ahead of the NDP–then please tell your friend the tooth fairy to drop by…”

Hey, I've been saying the exact same thing for weeks - including that Jim Harris doesn't know what he is talking about outlined in the blog link provided..

I think your comments were gratuitous and petty, and look like someone just piling on. A strength in numbers thing - my opinion.

Cameron W said...

My comments are those of an offended Green Party member. I'm sick of being bullied and dismissed.

From this blog:

It’s also kind of humourous and ironic to me that while he’s charging that these nasty bloggers are impugning his firms reputation and integrity over questioning his firm’s rather large Conservative lead on everyone else when no one else shows that, he then goes on in that comment section to malign another pollster’s showing of solid Green Party support as being akin to believing in the tooth fairy.

Anonymous said...

It's called hypocrisy, Cameron.

You are accusing him of being partisan, whereas, from monitoring your blog for quite sometime, I came to the conclusion quite sometime ago that you are, in fact, quite partisan, and not nearly as objective as you might like to be.

That's why, in my opinion, you take criticism personally or as a attack on the party and try to defend it, rather than trying to learn and move forward.

Case in point: I'm dead against the GPC supporting a hunger strike, and have argued with a supporter on a separate site. Nevertheless, still made an effort to have their case reported in the media. I thought the independent columnist did a good job of identifying the issues without taking sides. The partisan supporter claims otherwise, trying to discredit th columnist because he doesn't take her side, I gather , and he lives in the affected area.(I think she is just being too emotional or irrational).

Have a look for yourself:

Anonymous said...

Another example.

Remember how I have been constantly harping about credibility, and suggesting you and other Green Party members have been defending the leader, it appears, without question?

A year end summary of "Best and Worst P.R. in 2007".

1) Worst: Conrad Black (lifetime achievement)
2) Best: United Church
3) Worst: John Tory, PC Leader Ont.
4) Worst: Elizabeth May, GPC Leader
5) Best: Shane Doan, NHL player

and this list was presented by Geoff Rowan, Managing Director, Ketchum Public Relations Canada, an admitted Green Party supporter! How many thousands of politicians do you think there are in Canada?

The segment starts at 29:15

Elizabeth May negative rating: "Too much hyperbole" @ 35:00.

The knee jerk reaction would be to defend.

The proper reaction should be to circulate to other GPC members as a learning exercise, and discuss.

Cameron W said...

Green Party has boost in support, poll finds

When respondents were asked who they would vote for, the results showed little difference from a few weeks ago (percentage-point change from a Nov. 12-13 poll in brackets):

* Conservatives: 32 % (-2)
* Liberals: 29 % (-2)
* NDP: 16 per cent (same)
* Green Party: 13 % (+5)
* Bloc Quebecois: 10 % (-1)

Cameron W said...

This is fantastic! More polls showing that the Green Party is gaining support.

Green Party support at record levels, voter poll finds

A new poll conducted by the Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail and CTV places support for the Greens at a record high of 13 per cent. And rather than a one-time blip, the party has for several months regularly scored at or near that mark - about twice the level of its support in the first half of 2006...

...Younger, well-educated Canadians, meanwhile, have pushed up support for the Greens. The Strategic Counsel's data show that those who support the party now tend to be university educated or better, and are disproportionately drawn from the 18-to-34 age group... October's Ontario elections, the Greens held much of their support on polling day, and that might herald a new solidity of their support.

Cameron W said...

Voters impression of Elizabeth May is more favourable than Stephane
Dion and Jack Layton and only 2% behind Harper in Canada. Ontario rates her higher than everyone else at 60% of respondents being favourable.

Cameron W said...

Jan 28th, '08 - Environics Poll

In BC:
"...The Green Party remains in third spot, but its support has been showing an increasing trend since June 2007. It now has the support of 21 percent of decided voters; this figure is up four points from October 2007 (to its highest level since June 2003) and is up six from June 2007. Support for the Green Party is 12 points higher than its popular vote in the 2005 election..."