A new poll suggests Stephen Harper's Conservatives have lost their big lead over the Liberals, plunging six percentage points in popular support in just one week.
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey puts the Tories at 30-per-cent support, in a statistical tie with the Liberals, who are up four points to 32 per cent.
Support for the Tories dropped across all regions and demographic groups.
A statistical tie, but the first poll since Dion took the helm, that has the Liberals ahead. This poll is also the first one in a couple months to show the Liberals in the 30's again.
The article cites Mulroney, Chalk River and Bali as possible reasons for this dive in Conservative support. Other polls have shown the current government is largely removed from the Mulroney affair. On top of that, the last couple weeks have primarily focused on testimony, with the overwhelming majority having little to do with Harper. In my mind, I don't think this drop in support is a function of Mulroney. As it relates to Chalk River, clearly this issue is hurting the Conservatives, so it maybe part of the equation.
I see this result, primarily, as confirmation that the Baird performance in Bali is rightfully costing the Conservatives. The fact that much of the support moved to the Liberals is also good news for Dion as it relates to the environment file. People can dismiss this issue all they want, but the simple fact, it is consistently the number one concern of Canadians. Apart from just the environmental card, there is the added negativity with regard to Canada's reputation. Canadians take pride in our traditional role on the world stage, and I don't doubt some of this erosion is borne out of embarrassment.
The polls have been largely static for months, such a drop in short order is indicative of just how bad this government has performed. It's up for interpretation, but I read Decima as further proof of the Bali BOMB. Well deserved.
The poll internals:
In the latest poll, support for the NDP stood at 15 per cent nationally, while the Green party was at 12 per cent.
The news was especially bad for the Conservatives in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec, which are key to any hope of winning a majority government.
In Ontario, the Liberals scored 41 per cent support, widening their lead over the Tories who stood at 31 per cent.
In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois remained in the lead with 40 per cent, but the Liberals had moved up to second place with 23 per cent followed by the Tories at 17 per cent — an 11-point drop.
Tory popularity slid dramatically even in the party's traditional strongholds and among groups usually most supportive.
In Alberta, for instance, Tory support plummeted almost 20 points to 45 per cent. In British Columbia, support dropped 17 points to 31 per cent.
In Atlantic Canada, where the Conservatives had been leading for most of the year, the Liberals edged ahead with 36 per cent to the Tories' 33 per cent.
Among male voters, Tory support dropped to 32 per cent from 40 per cent. And among rural voters, the Tories sank eight points to 35 per cent.
A large caution on the Alberta, British Columbia and Atlantic numbers because the margin of error is quite large. We have seen these wild regional fluctuations from Decima before. However, the numbers for Ontario and Quebec have a low margin of error, which gives them more credibility. The lead in Ontario for the Liberals is good news, but what really sticks out is the Quebec numbers. The Liberals in second place, solidly in the 20's, while the Conservatives plummet into the teens- we haven't seen this dynamic for quite some time. I take these Quebec numbers as more evidence for my Bali argument, given the fact that Mulroney is much more popular in Quebec, I doubt this drop is due this scandal. Also, the Quebec government was quite outspoken in opposing the Conservatives in Bali, as well as implementing a tough vehicle emissions standards.