Looking at Decima's latest first, it seems to contradict the SC poll, with the following:
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey put the Tories at 35 per cent and the Liberals at 33 per cent, a statistical tie given the poll’s 3.1-percentage-point margin of error.
Both parties remain well short of capturing majority support and neither appears to have strong momentum.
Support for the NDP and Green party slipped slightly to 13 per cent and nine per cent respectively.
On the face of it, nothing particularly bad for the opposition, until you compare these results with Decima's previous poll. That poll, done three weeks ago, showed the following:
the Liberals stand at 32% compared to 29% for the Conservatives, 16% for the NDP, 12% for the Green Party and 9% for the BQ.
The trend is clear, movement for the Conservatives, a full 6% increase. The NDP falling into official party status terrority.
The real troubling news for the Liberals, the Conservatives have rallied in Ontario:
The poll also found some modest good news for the Tories in vote-rich Ontario, where they climbed into a tie with the Liberals at 40 per cent. The NDP were at 11 per cent and the Greens at eight per cent.
Decima three weeks ago:
latest results show the Liberals with 44%, compared to the Conservatives 30%, the NDP 15%, and the Green Party 10%.
Decima shows the Conservatives gaining nationally, particularly in Ontario.
When you look at the Strategic Counsel poll, you have to be concerned by the fact that the 12 point spread is the largest recorded by this outfit since the last election. We can debate the accuracy, but the trends are similar to Decima, which gives some validity:
Conservatives the first choice of 39 per cent of Canadians, 12 points ahead of Stéphane Dion's Liberals, at 27 per cent. NDP and Greens tied at 12%
If you look at the last two SC polls, you see solid upward movement for the Conservatives, Liberals basically stagnant, erosion for the NDP. In terms of trending, basically the same as Decima.
Strategic Counsel also finds the same worrying trend in Ontario:
Some of the poll's key findings are in Ontario, where 42 per cent pick the Conservatives, an increase of 7 per cent from 2006 and of 5 per cent from last month. The Grits are down six points from the last election to 34.
In the span of a few weeks we see the Conservative move from 2 down to the Liberals, to a full 8 ahead. Comparing that finding with Decima, we saw a 14 point lead for the Liberals three weeks ago evaporate into a deadheat. Both polls convey the same trend, both show real erosion for the Liberals in Ontario, a big uptick for the Conservatives, the NDP wallowing(actually fourth in Ontario).
For the first time I can remember, a polling outfit other than Ipsos, has the Tories ahead or tied in Ontario. Given the fact we now have three polls, all telling basically the same story, I tend to believe these results, and they represent real trouble for the Liberals, very encouraging news for the Conservatives, the NDP bordering on irrelevant.
Ontario was the Liberal firewall, in fact the older polls that showed a national tie, actually pointed to a Liberal minority, once you factored in the Ontario numbers. Everything changes with these results, if taken at face value, the prospect of a Conservative majority seems possible.