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Laurier Toronto

New polls project Harper majority, research institute finds

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Mar 25/11| For Immediate Release


Barry Kay, Department of Political Science
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-886-5668 or 416-324-8432 or


Andrea Perrella, Director
Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy
519-884-0710 ext. 2719 or

WATERLOO – For the first time since the 2008 election, an analysis of new polls projects a majority for the Conservative Party, according to The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP). 

A LISPOP analysis of recent polls projects a seat distribution of 157 seats for the Harper Conservatives. Today’s projection is based on an aggregation of polls conducted by Ipsos Reid, Nanos Research and Harris-Decima from March 10 to 23, 2011, with a blended sample of about 5,000 individuals. The regional swing model also projects 68 seats for the Liberals, 32 seats for the NDP and 51 seats for the Bloc Québécois. 

“Stephen Harper's Conservatives have apparently edged into majority territory,” said Barry Kay, an associate of LISPOP. “The seat projection suggests that the stable pattern of party preference over the past six weeks might have been broken with the most recent Ipsos poll that gives the Conservatives 43 per cent of the decided vote.” 

Much of the shift took place in seat-rich Ontario.

“As things stand, it is likely to be in Ontario, particularly in the bedroom suburbs surrounding Toronto, that the prospects for a Conservative majority in the forthcoming election will be determined,” said Kay.

The Conservative Party’s strength endures amid several controversies related to ethics that have surfaced on Parliament Hill with the potential to embarrass the government. 

“At the moment, the controversies do not yet seem to have had much impact,” said Kay

The seat projection is one of several features on LISPOP’s election tracker coverage of the 2011 campaign. Visitors to can view a map of all federal constituencies, colour-coded to reflect the standing of each of the main parties and general level of competitiveness, as per LISPOP’s analysis of the latest surveys. 

Currently, the institute identifies 26 ridings with very tight races showing no clear leading candidate. Another 28 ridings are “leaning” towards one party, defined as a lead of three to seven percentage points. 

“A lot of attention will be placed on these 54 seats,” said Andrea Perrella, the director of LISPOP. “In several of them, high-profile candidates are vulnerable.”  

Justin Trudeau in Papineau, former Liberal leadership contender Gerard Kennedy in Parkdale, and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq from Nunavut are three examples of candidates with a projected slight lead. 

Locally, Waterloo-area conservative MPs Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) and Peter Braid (Kitchener-Waterloo) also show slight leads in their respective ridings. 

Updates will be announced through LISPOP’s Twitter account, @LaurierInst. 

About LISPOP: The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy is a research centre at Wilfrid Laurier University which studies issues pertaining to the creation, use and representation of public opinion in the policy process. The institute serves as a catalyst to promote individual and collaborative research on these issues. In addition, the institute monitors the practices and claims of the public opinion and interest group industries, and serves as an educational resource to the university and the larger community on questions and issues pertaining to those claims and practices.


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