April 28, 2011
Members prefer the NDP (and Liberal) party platforms on important issues, but prefer the Conservatives overall. Scores for the Consrervatives and the NDP have increased on a number of key measures since the leaders’ debate.
Three quarters of members watched the federal leaders’ debate in English and the plurality think Stephen Harper won.
The debate had the effect of improving Stephen Harper’s scores on almost all measures tested, while Jack Layton’s scores improved as well. Michael Ignatieff saw his scores go down on most measures post-debate.
The Conservative Party’s scores for having the best platform for older Canadians and for having run the best campaign have also increased post-debate, and they are seen to lead on both measures.
Despite this, when members compare party platforms, the NDP are preferred for health care, eliminating poverty and support for caregivers, while the Liberals are preferred for pension reform. The Conservatives are not preferred on any of these dimensions.
Members do not believe campaign promises made to be fulfilled in 2015 will ever come about, and this tactic does nothing to make them more likely to vote for the Conservatives.
The Conservatives have climbed in electoral preference since their tie of last week, and the Liberals have declined, and the two parties are now separated by 10 points. Our poll does not reflect the surge seen for the NDP in the national polls. Members are equally likely to prefer an electoral outcome of either a Conservative-led government OR a Liberal-led government, including some kind of coalition with the NDP.