Opinion polls and election campaigns. They go together like, well, like a horse and carriage. Unlike the horse and carriage though, it's not always clear who's leading and who's following. Political parties traditionally use public opinion polls to see how their message is getting across, and then to re-shape the message if necessary to present it in a more persuasive way. And the media have traditionally used the polls both to see who's ahead at any given time, and to assign stories that they know people will be interested in.
Much of the criticism of media election polling in the past has dealt with the tendency to play up the horse race aspect to the detriment of the election issues. For this election, the CBC is reversing that tendency. We won't be conducting any voter-preference polls during the campaign. And a poll we conducted in the days leading up to the election call asked just a couple of preference questions, and instead focused on Canadians' views of how the country is being managed and how the political system is working.
Here are the results of that survey.