The results of a new wide-ranging poll for The Globe and Mail-CTV News finds Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives a scant three percentage points ahead of Stéphane Dion's Liberals, 34 to 31. Mr. Harper's government has fallen from a height of 39 per cent in February, when the party was inching into majority government territory. NDP 16%, Greens 10%
Last month's Strategic Counsel poll had a gap of 6:
The month before that, the gap was 11 points, before that 12. The last national poll that constituted the Conservatives high water mark has fallen in line.
In Ontario, the "life is good, be happy" approach is a decided loser:
The survey found that 64 per cent of Ontarians agree that the federal government hasn't done enough to help the province through its current downturn. More important, Mr. Lyle said, only 22 per cent of those surveyed said they disagreed. The figure is a concern because it suggests that a good portion of Tory supporters in Ontario either believe the government has not done enough or are neutral on the issue.
In Canada's most populous province, the Liberals lead with 40-per-cent support, compared with 35 per cent for the Conservatives.
In Quebec, more bad news:
In Quebec, the Tories have seen their support drop to 20 per cent from 25 per cent, which is five points below the 2006 election. The Liberals are up five points to 25 per cent. Bloc 38%
The disparity between the national polls and the Quebec only polls remains, but as I've said before, in the last election, this pollsters were fairly close on Quebec, so the results are noteworthy. ADQ? One note, the pollster says the Tories dropped 5% in Quebec, but there last offering was actually 27%, so the drop is 7%. The good news for the Liberals, the Tory drop comes with a Liberal rise, which might suggest they really are the "second" choice for some.
The article, for some reason, throws in the findings from another pollster (Innovative Research) on the environment. I thought this a telling quote, considering all the recent Liberal debate on the environment:
will provide an opportunity for a party that wants to address it.
“It's an agenda waiting to happen for someone wanting to grab it,” Mr. Lyle said. “It will hit a responsive chord.”
This poll, and the trend, is nothing but bad news for the Conservatives, and while they can take comfort in a statistical tie, slight lead, depending on your bias, the breakdown actually points to a possible Liberal government. With the numbers now down to almost core Conservative support, the key for the Liberals to come up further, winning back the soft center-left voter. If, the Liberals can get their environmental policy right, that release might just be a catalyst.