OTTAWA (CP) - A new poll suggests Stephen Harper's post-election surge in popularity has dissipated and dimmed his chances of turning his minority government into a majority...
Nationally, the Conservatives had the support of 36 per cent, the Liberals 30 per cent and the New Democrats 17 per cent.
In the two provinces that will determine whether Harper can turn his minority into a majority, the Conservatives had lost the ground they gained during a post-election honeymoon.
In Quebec, the province Harper has wooed most assiduously, the poll found the BQ had rebounded to 43 per cent, up five points since a Decima poll in May, while the Tories had slipped six points to 23 per cent. The Liberals had 18 per cent and the NDP eight per cent.
And in Ontario, where the Tories and Liberals had been neck and neck as recently as mid-June, the poll found the Liberals had pulled into a nine-point lead with 43 per cent support, compared to 33 per cent for the Conservatives and 18 per cent for the NDP.
The results mirror election night, demonstrating Harper's natural ceiling, despite the favorable conditions. I have always argued if the Liberals can just stay in the game until the convention they will be fine. The leadup will provide tons of positive coverage(minus Volpe), the convention itself an opportunity to shed the dubious past and create a new identity. Stephen Harper will never enjoy such advantageous conditions as he has the past months. The Conservatives inability to surge in the polls, coupled with the Liberals holding their ground, should be a worrying scenario for any strategist.
Particularly impressive, the Liberals now have a large lead in Ontario. If this is what bottom looks like, it would appear that the Liberals really are the natural governing party of Canada. With each successive polls showing the Tory stall, I become more convinced that Harper is vulnerable and all the Liberals need do is bring back the soft supporters. If I was a Liberal strategist, I would have a bounce in my step today.