The federal Conservatives have surged to 40 per cent in the popularity sweepstakes, opening a 12-point lead over the Liberals and moving within sight of majority government, a new national poll says.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos-Reid exclusively for CanWest News Service and Global National, also says that almost seven in 10 respondents believe Canada is "moving in the right track these days," and that almost half (49 per cent) identified with the sentiment that "Stephen Harper has done a good job and deserves re-election" as prime minister.
The poll found Liberal support had dropped to 28 per cent, down four points from the August survey. The NDP dropped one point to 16 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois held at eight per cent, and the Green party was down one point to seven per cent.
Bricker said the latest survey's Quebec results show how the Liberals have fallen in Dion's home province. At only 18 per cent support, the party is only four points ahead of the NDP, and trails far behind the Bloc at 33 per cent and the Conservatives at 27 per cent. The Green party polled at seven per cent.
The really concerning part, Ontario, where Harper takes the lead:
The picture was slightly brighter for the Liberals in Ontario, where they trail the Conservatives by only three points, 40 per cent to 37. The NDP was well back at 14 per cent, and the Greens had eight per cent.
British Columbia (high margin of error):
the Conservatives held a strong lead in British Columbia, with 40 per cent support, compared to 30 per cent for the NDP and 23 per cent for the Liberals.
Atlantic (high MOE):
Atlantic Canada was a bright spot for the Liberals. Their support stood at 45 per cent, compared with 37 per cent for the Conservatives, 15 per cent for the NDP, and four per cent for the Green party.
The Quebec numbers are good news for Harper, hopeful for Layton and predictably bad for Dion. What should be giving the Conservative strategists the final election push, the encouraging numbers in Ontario, where Harper takes the lead for the first time in months.
As I've argued before, it is pretty intuitive to think a barrage of negative press coverage translates in the polls. Harper has finally moved his numbers, while the Liberals hit bottom.
Somehow I suspect the throne speech language just got tougher. My opinion remains the same, primarily because I see nothing on the horizon that changes the dynamics.