The Conservatives enjoy the support of 36 per cent of Canadians – roughly the same level as the 2006 election – but the Liberals have dropped to 26 per cent, down two percentage points in the last month and four percentage points from the 2006 vote, according to the poll.
The New Democrats are at 18 per cent, the Bloc Québécois at 9 per cent and the Green party, which enjoyed a strong showing in the March 17 by-elections, is at 9 per cent, double its support in the 2006 federal election.
A decent number for the Conservatives, pretty much the same as their showing in the last election. The real reason for the 10 point gap is clearly erosion on the Liberal side, down from 31% at the beginning of February to a new bottom of 26%. One caveat, Angus Reid's Ontario numbers show no relationship to any other outfit, a deadheat, 35% each, with the NDP at 21%. That result, which seems to overstate NDP support relative to others, plus the questionable tie scenario, might have contributed to the unusually low Liberal score.
However, that question aside, Dion's numbers are abysmal. Only 11% of Canadians approve of Dion's perfomance, down a full 6 point since February. Equally concerning, Dion's disapproval numbers have reached towering heights, a full 57% disapprove, a rise of 7 points:
Reid said voter dissatisfaction with Dion appears to be reaching levels rarely seen in Canada.
"I can't recall a time when an opposition leader had a disapproval rating as high and an approval rating as low," he said.
Before Conservative supporters get excited, when asked who would be the best Prime Minister, "Neither" beats Harper 42% to 36%.
"I can't remember a period when we had a prime minister who generally was not liked and a leader of the opposition who was as weak as Dion is," he said.
Political support is sharply divided along gender and age, with older men likely to back the Tories while women gravitate to the Liberals.
People can criticize this poll, but using the past offerings for reference, you clearly see real erosion for Dion and the Liberals. In fact, to see such a drop for Dion is particularly worrisome, because his numbers were already very bad, a "bottom" by any measure. It would appear we have a new low, and if I'm looking for cause, seems pretty intuitive that demonstrating weakness, negative press day after day, is the obvious culprit.