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This article was published 23/9/2015 (1490 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
New riding-level polls released by LeadNow may show two Conservative ridings in Winnipeg could be in danger, but are also coming under fierce criticism.
LeadNow, an advocacy group encouraging Canadians to vote together to oust Stephen Harper, published new voter opinion surveys on Wednesday from 31 of Canada's 338 ridings, selected and paid for through donations to the progressive organization.
"Historically, strategic voting efforts have focused on national polls and regional projections in order to make assumptions about what's happening at the riding level," Leadnow campaign manager Amara Possian said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"And we know that isn't accurate."
In Winnipeg, they conducted polls in Winnipeg South Centre and Elmwood-Trancona, their second time polling in the latter. Environics utilized automated interactive voice response calls to ask each caller two questions. Firstly: If the federal election were held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you vote for here in the riding of [riding name]? And secondly: Even though you are undecided, is there a party’s candidate that you are leaning towards?
The telephone surveys reached 500 to 600 eligible voters between September 18 and 21, 2015.
In Winnipeg South Centre, the results showed Conservative MP Joyce Bateman may be losing her grip in the riding. Thirty-eight per cent of decided voters said they would choose to vote for the Liberals and Jim Carr if the election was held tomorrow, while 31 per cent would vote Conservative and Bateman; 23 per cent would vote NDP and Matt Henderson; and 8 per cent would vote Green and Andrew Park.
The poll is considered accurate +/- 4.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
The same poll conducted in Elmwood-Transcona shows the NDP and Conservatives continue to be neck-and-neck in a riding that was once an NDP stronghold.
Thirty-nine per cent would choose the Conservatives and incumbent MP Lawrence Toet.
Meanwhile, 37 per cent of decided voters said they would choose the NDP, whose candidate in the riding is Daniel Blaikie, the son of former longtime MP for the riding Bill Blaikie.
20 per cent would choose the Liberals and Andrea Richardson-Lipon; four per cent would choose Kim Parke and the Green Party.
However, LeadNow's call for strategic voting and riding-level polling has come under fire this week.
"Strategic voting, in the few cases where it does occur at a local level, is usually botched up," Michael Marzolini, the chairman of Pollara Strategic Insights and a former Liberal party pollster told CP.
Darrell Bricker of Ipsos Public Affairs told CP it used to be easier to get a decent riding survey, because telephone exchanges could reliably be tracked to street locations, and more people answered their landlines and responded to pollsters.
But with 30 to 40 per cent of Canadians now using only cellphones (which aren't mapped to ridings), and with response rates so low for landlines, good riding polls are an exacting, time-consuming proposition.
Bricker says automated calls can leave a lot of guesswork about whether you've actually surveyed a specific riding resident.
"The only reliable way would be telephone, with sample chosen street by street, and modelled to provide the correct number of interviews in each part of the riding, determined by population density. This costs a polling company about $10,000 to do at cost," he told CP in an email.
— with files from Canadian Press
Updated on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 1:22 PM CDT: Corrects typo
2:50 PM: Changed photo.