07/05/2011 05:03 EDT | Updated 09/03/2011 05:12 EDT

Harper Conservatives Ride High In Poll: Tories Corner Vote Among Religious, Older, Male Canadians


Two months in and Canadians have no regrets about how they voted in the last federal election.

According to the latest polling results from Abacus Data, the voting intentions of Canadians have changed very little since the vote was last held on May 2nd.

The poll, conducted between June 23 and 24, found that the Conservatives stand at 41 per cent support, virtually unchanged from the election and Abacus’s last poll held in mid-May.

The New Democrats are also holding steady at 32 per cent support.

The Liberals trail in third with 17 per cent support, up one point from May but down two from the election, while the Greens stand at five per cent.

With these levels of support, the House of Commons would be changed very little from its current make-up if an election were held today.

The Conservatives hold a solid lead over the NDP among men, at 45 to 28 per cent support respectively, but the two parties are tied at 36 per cent apiece among women.

There also appears to be a generational gap: the New Democrats lead among Canadians aged 44 or younger, while the Conservatives lead among those aged 45 or older.

Religion is another predictor of political support. The Conservatives have a large lead among those who say religion plays a very or somewhat important role in their lives, but the population is split between the government and the official opposition among the less religious.

Specifically, the Conservatives lead among Protestants and especially evangelicals (67 per cent), while the New Democratic Party is ahead among Roman Catholics (thanks to Quebec) and the non-religious.

The New Democrats’ filibuster of back-to-work legislation in the wake of the work stoppage at Canada Post may be partly explained by support for them in union households: 38 per cent, ahead of the Tories at 36 per cent. For their part, the Conservatives lead in non-union households by a significant margin (43 per cent to 29 per cent).

In Ontario, the Conservatives are ahead with 43 per cent. They are trailed at a distance by the NDP (27 per cent) and the Liberals (25 per cent). This represents a five point gain for the Liberals in the province since Abacus’s last poll, most of it coming at the expense of the NDP.

But Jack Layton’s party is still dominant in Quebec, where it leads with 42 per cent support. The Bloc Québécois polled at 25 per cent, up three points since the last poll but generally where the sovereigntist party stood on election night. The Conservatives, however, are doing much better in the province. They are up five points since the election and three points since Abacus’s last poll, and are solidly in third with 22 per cent.

The Liberals, with only nine per cent support, are virtually non-existent in Quebec.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives enjoy solid leads in British Columbia (54 per cent), Alberta (59 per cent), and the Prairies (49 per cent). In each of these regions the New Democrats placed second by large margins, while in Atlantic Canada the NDP and Tories are running neck-and-neck.

The online panel poll by Abacus Data was conducted on June 23 and 24 and surveyed 1,005 Canadians. A random sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Éric Grenier taps The Pulse of federal and regional politics for Huffington Post Canada readers on Tuesdays and Fridays. Grenier is the author of ThreeHundredEight.com, covering Canadian politics, polls and electoral projections.