The federal Conservatives got the budget boost they were hoping for, putting them on the cusp of a majority if an election were to be held today, latest poll numbers suggest.
Taken between March 20 and 21 following Monday's budget address, the Strategic Counsel survey for CTV News and The Globe and Mail asked: How would Canadians vote today?
39 per cent said they would vote for a Conservative candidate.
31 per cent chose Liberal.
The Conservatives are polling three percentage-points higher compared with pre-budget numbers, while their lead over the static Liberals stretched from five to eight percentage points.
Numbers for the NDP (13% from 15%), Bloc Quebecois (8% from 9%) and the Green Party (9% from 10%) were all down slightly compared to the last Strategic Counsel poll, taken one week before the budget was unveiled.
According to the poll, the driving force behind the rising Tory fortunes is that the budget seems to have won over the most important voting block in the country: middle class voters.
And Gregg said while Tory weak spots from the 2006 campaign continue to persist today -- for instance, Conservatives still trail in support among immigrants and female voters -- they are starting to make inroads in those and other significant areas.
I'm hesitant to say this poll indicates a real bounce. The obvious, it's within the margin and error, not to mention the timing. I think we need to wait a few days before we see the true impact of the budget. Coverage tends to be benign in the initial hours, simply parroting the government angles. However, and maybe I over-state this point, I think the mood has turned and the theme emerging is hardly flattering. Are people talking about the "family" budget, or the sellout to Quebec? Characterizing the "bounce" seems pre-mature.