The poll, conducted by Ipsos-Reid exclusively for CanWest News Service and Global National, said support for the Liberals climbed four points to 33% since the last survey two weeks ago, while Conservative support remained at 35%. The NDP and Green parties each slipped one point to 15% and eight per cent respectively.
In four short weeks the Ipsos gap has gone from 14%, to what amounts to a statistically tie, 2%.
What is particularly noteworthy, the Quebec numbers, which show the same trend as this week's Decima offering:
In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois maintained its lead with 31% support. But that was down seven points from the last survey. The big winner was the Liberal party, which gained seven points since the last survey, to 27%. The Conservatives also saw their support rise by three points to 23%.
Reasonable sample size, another poll which shows the Liberals in second place, out of the "teen" malaise.
Last month, Ipsos was the only outfit to show the Conservatives leading in Ontario. That supposed lead has evaporated, and the Liberals are now in a commanding position:
In Ontario, Liberal support was 43%, giving the party a 10-point lead over the Tories. The Liberals were up three points from the last survey, while the Conservatives dropped three points. The NDP slipped two points to 13%, and the Green party fell one point to six per cent.
The NDP's Ontario numbers should be concerning, and the overall trends are consistent with other polling. Not to get ahead ourselves, but these regional numbers translate into a Liberal advantage overall, which the statistical tie hides.
Bricker mentions Mulroney, and the environment as probable cause. What is interesting here, and comparable to the Decima poll, the Conservatives are stagnant (no real erosion), but the Liberals are moving up, out of the high 20's.
I think people misread the Mulroney factor. The actual substance of the scandal doesn't hurt Harper, but what the fixation does is distract people's attention from the daily Liberal bashing that dominated the media narrative for months. I've always believed this diversion is Dion's opportunity to break out of the cycle, and start to look credible again, re-invent himself somewhat. What is happening here, voters are starting to move back to the Liberals because the stench is evaporating.
As it relates to Bali, another poll this week demonstrated a consistent fact, the environment is the clear number one issue of Canadians. Couple that reality with the Bali dog and pony show, a stage where Dion came off as the alternative view, and it isn't a stretch to attribute the closing gap to this issue.
Whatever the reason, Harper's comments today look even more delusional now:
"Those polls are being interpreted a certain way, but I'm not sure that's really the case. Not that I would call an election or seek one, but we're doing pretty well."
I beg to differ.