New Forum poll shows Liberals ahead in the GTA

One day after the debate, we have (finally) a new poll from Forum. Although this one was only conducted in the GTA. Still, given this is one of the most important regions in term of seats (be honest, how many times have you heard this election will be decided in the GTA?), it is actually quite useful. And the sample size is perfectly decent at 1016 respondents. However, as it was the case with the previous poll from Forum, this one was conducted between 10am and 3PM today! It's obviously a serious limitation as it means that "normal" people who go to work from 9 to 5 were harder to reach.

You can find all the details of this poll at the bottom of this post, complying with Election Canada's guidelines.

With this limitation behind us, let's take a look at the poll. The Liberals are first in the GTA with 37% of the vote. The Conservatives are second at 31% and the NDP is third with 28%. How does this compare to 2011 and the recent polls?

Compared to the last general election, this is a drop of around 10 points for the Tories (who, if you remember, probably created the biggest surprise by winning some seats not only in the suburb of Toronto, but also in the city itself). The Liberals are up about 5 points, so is the NDP.

Is this poll different from other recent ones? Well, most polls don't include a breakdown for the GTA only since the sample size isn't big enough for it. However, if I look at the projections based on the recent polls, I had the Liberals at 34% in the GTA, the CPC at 32% and the NDP at 31%. This is well within the margins of error then. It does seem though that I was slightly overestimating the NDP but it's most likely due to the previous Forum poll that had this party really high. Overall, I'd say this new poll is in line with what we would expect to see in the GTA.

How bad would it hurt Stephen Harper in term of seats? My model doesn't specifically use the number for the GTA. Instead, it uses provincial ones and adjust them using regional coefficients. As mentioned above, the percentages in the GTA by doing that are quite close to what Forum is showing in this poll. Looking at the projections, we see that Prime Minister could see his 40 seats from 2011 cut by half, while the Liberals would move from 10 to 26 and the NDP would gain 4 seats. If we remember this party was slightly too high in my projections, it means the gain in this region for Thomas Mulcair could be very limited. I mentioned before how Ontario isn't the best potential source of seats for this party.

In conclusion, this poll in the GTA shows results that are to be expected. The Liberals are slightly higher (and NDP slightly lower) but it remains to be seen if this is indicative of a bigger trend (are the Grits up in Ontario?) or if it was just this poll. What it also shows is that the GTA is indeed a battleground with all three parties being competitive, although the NDP would have a hard time winning the most seats there. For Justin Trudeau, it must be nice to finally have one poll showing some good news.

By the way, this poll also included a question regarding the debate of last night. I'm covering this in my other post.

Details about the poll mentioned in this article:

Firm: Forum Research
Data collected on: August 7th, between 10am and 4pm.
Method: IVR.
Question asked: "A federal election has been called for October 19. Which party are you most likely to vote for in this election?" followed by "Even though you may not have made up your mind, which party are you leaning towards at this time?"
Population sampled: citizen aged 18+ in the GTA.
Sample size: 1019.
Margins of error: + or - 2.97% for the Liberals, less for the other parties, 19 times out of 20.