A new Nanos Research-Sun Media poll shows the two main parties each with 34% of support from committed voters. Both have made slight gains since early February -- at the expense of the New Democrats.
Support for the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens remained stable through the month.
"We have a dead heat," said pollster Nik Nanos. "If an election were precipitated as a result of the budget, it's really anybody's game."
Nanos poll released February 4 had it:
Conservatives up 3, Liberals up 1, NDP down 5, Greens no change.
Part of the reason for the NDP's apparent decline, which we have seen elsewhere, might have something to do with the Afghanistan debate. The NDP has been largely marginalized in the media coverage, as people focus on the two main party positions. I think it fair to say the NDP has been relegated to the sidelines on this issue, really not part of the process moving forward. I'm not suggesting that the NDP won't have an argument in an election campaign, but during this exercise, clearly in the shadows.
Many of the other polls have shown a tightening in Ontario, or an outright Conservative lead. Nanos offers a completely different finding, in fact the Liberals have extended their lead:
Liberals 46%(+3 Feb 4 poll)
Interesting dynamic in Ontario, the NDP drops considerably, which would appear to benefit the Liberals and Greens. Nationally, there is no co-relation, the NDP drop isn't accompanied by a Liberal rise, in fact it is the Conservatives that are up.
I honestly don't know what to say about these Ontario numbers. If Nanos is correct, then the Liberals are positioned to gain considerably in Ontario. I know Nanos is the "guru", and I generally trust his results, but I'm reacting with some suspicion to these Ontario numbers, the gap just seems too wide to be believable. My gut tells me Ontario is closer than this poll suggests, but who I am to question the soothsayer.