Federal Elections 2015 : We Often Talk About the Voting Base, but What About the Potential for Growth?

Last Saturday, we published our first major survey of the Canadian election campaign in Le Devoir, Le Journal de Québec and Le Journal de Montréal. At the beginning of this campaign, voting intentions in Canada were as follows: the New Democratic Party at 33%, the Liberal Party of Canada at 28%, and the Conservative Party at 27%. In Ontario the poll shows the parties in a three-way tie, while in Québec, the New Democrats have taken the lead with 40% of voting intentions, followed by the Liberal Party and the Bloc Québécois tied at 21% and the Conservative Party at 17%. In British Columbia, the NDP ranks first with 36% of voting intentions compared to 26% for the Liberals and 23% for the Conservatives. And while the Conservatives have taken the lead in Alberta and in the Prairies, it’s becoming a tight race.

In addition to traditional questions on their voting intentions, we asked Canadians about their second choice if they could not vote for their favourite party. This allowed us to assess each party’s growth potential.


Accordingly, we find that the NDP and the LPC have the greatest growth potential, and are well ahead of the Conservatives in this regard. Both parties obtained 24% and 22% respectively as the voters’ second choice. The Green Party obtains 16% of second choices, while the Conservative Party only obtains 7%. In fact, the Conservative Party is last in all regions of the country.

The parties of Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair therefore have a growth potential that is much higher than Stephen Harper’s party in all key provinces of this three-way race. Will they be able to transform this theoretical advantage into a reality over the coming weeks?


Christian Bourque, Executive Vice-President and Partner at Leger, has over 20 years of experience in market and public opinion research. Christian also sits on the national board of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada (MRIA), where he also acts as a lecturer for some of the association’s training courses. Christian has also frequently served as an expert witness in Court where survey evidence was presented.

Sébastien Dallaire

Sébastien Dallaire is Vice President, Public Affairs, at Léger. Sébastien possesses more than 15 years of experience in public opinion research and is a highly-respected public opinion analyst with provincial and national media outlets. Sébastien also has many years of university teaching experience in research methods and is a key methodologist for Léger’s major clients. He has won numerous distinguished research awards and distinctions and has published academic research articles in both official languages.