Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Study of evangelical voting patterns is full of Holes

According to The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada between 1996 and 2008 evangelical Canadians left the Liberals in favour of the NDP and Conservatives. Their conclusions are based on 5 different polls. One taken in 1996, one in 2003, one in 2004, an exit poll in 2006, and finally one taken 2008.

Their conclusions are problematic. One look at the 1996 is enough to cast doubt on their conclusions.

Among decided voters, the 1996 poll showed the Liberals leading the Reform party 45.7% to 24.7 in Western Canada and 58.8 to 8.2 in Ontario. The poll also had the Liberals ahead of the Bloc 49.2 to 33.8 in Quebec and ahead of the PCs 60 to 21.3 in Atlantic Canada. A Year later, this is how things broke down in the 1997 election. Reform finished with 42.8% in Western Canada and 19.1% in Ontario. The Liberals meanwhile captured 27.7% of popular vote in Western Canada and 49.5% in Ontario. The Liberals captured 36.7% of the vote of the popular vote in Quebec and 34% in Atlantic Canada.

There is no basis for considering this poll. It is an obvious outlier.

The 2003 poll is better, but still support for Canadian Alliance looks to be massively understated.

The 2003 poll put the Liberals at 53.3% in Ontario and the Canadian Alliance at 10%. The same poll had the Liberals leading the Canadian Alliance 34.8 to 24.7% in Western Canada.

In the 2000 election the Canadian Alliance took 49.6% of the popular vote in Western Canada and 23.6% of the vote in Ontario During the 2004 election, the Conservatives took 31.5 of the vote in Ontario and 45.3% in Western Canada.

Still based on the other polls, there is evidence of evangelical Canadians having left the Liberals for the Conservatives in slightly greater numbers than the rest of the population in Ontario between 2004 and 2006 and that this trend increased much more so between 2006 and 2008. In the whole of Canada, the Liberal evangelical vote collapsed in 2008.

What there is not evidence for that the evangelical voters left the Liberals for the NDP. Sure, between 2006 and 2008 there does appear movement from the Liberals to the NDP in Ontario However, this is not matched elsewhere and seems to have more to do with NDP taking northern Ontario away from the Liberals. Indeed, 2008 the evangelicals in Western Canada left the NDP in far greater numbers than they did the Liberals. Furthermore, that poll seems to have understated Liberal and Conservative support; it put the Liberals at 28.2 and they finsished with 33.8; and it put the Conservatives at 35.3% and they finished with 39.2%.

The contention of the authors that evangelicals left the Liberals because they felt hard done by is simply not supported by the evidence. Even the notion that evangleical voters left the Liberals because of SSM is problemtic albeit plausible. Only 25% of evangelical voters listed "moral issues" as determining how they voted and this included both SSM and the sponorship scandal. Based strictly on the numbers one would have to say that Green Shift drove more evangelicals away than SSM ever did.

1 comment:

CanadianSense said...

This study may be full of holes. The attacks and smear on people who hold a religious view is not.

Day, Goodyear, wafers, is that Dinosaur still out?

Loss of Catholic votes is real. McGill Study (Anatomy of Liberal Defeat).

The campaign and strategy to mock CPC as "right wing christian nutjobs" has backfired.

Canadians are very tolerant and "fair" comment continues to be crossed by Liberals in an attempt to mock their opponents.