The state of public polls in Canada tells us a lot about the state of public debate about issues in Canada. It also informs our understanding of the nature of the public opinion business. The on-going analysis of the publicly available polls in Canada is provided by Jenkins Research.
Public opinion polls, whether one likes them or not, are critical ingredients of public discourse. There is no arguing that they provide our companies, not-for-profits, and democratic institutions a peek into the minds of Canadians. This in turn helps them affect or respond to social, economic and political events.
This is the only systematic review of what is in the public domain. It is as comprehensive as possible.
Publicly released polls are part of the business of reading our minds. This project is designed to understand what we are being asked and why.
A careful search strategy is used to identify polls and a coding scheme is applied to capture the nature of the polls.
Building the Database of Public Polls
Multiple strategies are used to identify public opinion releases. These include Google searches, a review of press releases on the newswire and by going to the research firm websites.
Each time a survey is identified, the field dates and research firm are compared against existing surveys in the database for duplicates. In some cases, the same survey has more than one release. For example, an omnibus survey might have multiple clients and/ or topics. As such, we separate poll releases from unique surveys.
- Unique releases of survey results are identified not every mention of public opinion. In the search process, mentions of poll results that do not appear to be a unique release of a survey result are not included.
- Only surveys of Canadians are included. Surveys of special populations of the public, seniors, women, young people are included. B2B surveys are not included. Surveys of people who are on proprietary lists (e.g. work sites or travel sites) are also excluded.
- Non-survey methodologies are not included.
- Government of Canada surveys, which are archived on the internet, are not included unless they garner public attention.
Best efforts are made to identify releases in the correct month. Numbers are updated for previous months if new poll results are identified that correctly should be allocated to those months.
Each unique release is coded based on a number of variables. These include the topics (specifically and in general categories), the sponsors, the modes of data collection, the sample sizes and other survey characteristics.
Public Polls | Trends by Quarter
Below is the overall trend for public polls since April 2016. As new polls are added the graph updates automatically. There is considerable fluctuation from quarter to quarter in the total number of releases. There is less variation in national polls. You can select the geography of the fieldwork by selecting the radio buttons on the graph.
About the data:
Jenkins Research Inc. collected the data and analyses it. Information is as accurate as possible. Results are updated based on new information so results for earlier months can change as updates occur.
Disclaimer: All data and analysis is protected by copyright and should not be used for commercial purposes without prior consent.
On average, each public opinion release in Canada has 10 questions on it.
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