The national survey, conducted by Ipsos-Reid exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National, found the Liberals switching places with the Conservatives since the last poll two weeks ago. The Grits gained two points to 35 per cent while Tory support slipped a similar margin to 33 per cent. The NDP also dropped two points to 13 per cent while the Greens bumped up one point to nine.
In Ontario, Grit support was 41 per cent, a decline of two points, compared with the Tories with 37 per cent, an increase of four points.
Quebec, Liberals in second:
Bloc Quebecois maintained their lead with 35 per cent support, gaining four points from the last survey. The Grits slipped a point to 26 per cent while the Conservatives stayed in third place with 21 per cent.
The bizarre part of this poll, which frankly I put no stock in, the apparent Liberal "surge" in Alberta:
Darrell Bricker, president of Ipsos-Reid, said it appears that most of the Grits jump in support, and subsequent slump for the Tories, is a result of the Conservatives declining a remarkable 23 points in Alberta.
But the troubles Premier Ed Stelmach faces in Alberta due to his government's decision to charge higher royalties and taxes in the oil and gas sector are hurting the federal Tories polling numbers in that province. Meanwhile, the Liberals have jumped 20 points to 30 per cent in the federal poll.
I can't find the margin of error for the Alberta results, but generally they are quite high (9-10%). Ipsos offers nothing really to justify such a remarkable turn in fortunes, for both the Liberals and Conservatives, so take this result with a large grain of salt.
On the whole, Bricker offers this analysis, which seems to bait the Liberals:
"The only difference is that it's likely to be lead by the Liberals. This is very good news for Stephane Dion. Even the slimmest minority would be a major victory for him and his party," said Bricker, adding that the Grits would be "foolish" not to try and trigger an election.
Foolish? Let's not get carried away, with full knowledge that this was the polling outfit who consistently showed the Tories with a double digit lead, on the verge of majority, on a couple months ago, while every other poll disagreed. That said, good news for the Liberals to have Ipsos delivering these type of numbers.
While the Decima and Ipsos polls differ on the Libs and Cons, both suggest the same for the NDP, namely a lowly 13% support number. I wonder if Dion's leadership, which has tended to move the Liberals left, is starting to erode the NDP's support, coupled with the Green appeal? Whatever the reason, these type of numbers translate to official party status scenarios, definitely a concerning trend.