While Harper did his usual tough guy routine, taunting and flexing for the faithful, full of bravado about forcing an election, another finding, from a friendly source, that paints a different picture. These numbers would actually mean a more likely Liberal minority:
A new poll shows the Conservatives just slightly ahead of the Liberals, but behind their Grit rivals in Ontario and Quebec, two provinces where the Conservatives must make gains if they hope to one day form a majority government.
The Ipsos Reid survey finds that 34 per cent of Canadians support Harper's Conservatives, an improvement of one percentage point from the last Ipsos Reid poll six weeks ago, while Dion's Liberals are sitting at 30 per cent, a drop of two percentage points.
In the latest poll, the NDP was the preferred choice of 14 per cent of voters, an improvement of one point since the last poll, while the Green Party has the support of about 11 per cent of Canadians, up two points.
In Ontario, 37 per cent of voters would pick a Liberal candidate while 33 per cent would choose a Conservative.
In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois leads all parties with 37 per cent of support, but the Liberals are in second place with 27 per cent and the Tories are well back of that with just 18 per cent.
The article speaks of a Conservative minority, but then gives reason why that prognostication is dead wrong:
they have a considerable challenge because their national popularity is skewed by overwhelming support in Alberta, where they already hold every seat.
A four point lead nationally is essentially a dead heat, but when you consider that Alberta's over the top Conservative support is included, you could easily make the case, that seat wise, the Liberals may have the slight advantage.
Ipsos tends to find a closer race in Ontario than other pollsters, so people should consider that in the numbers. The Quebec numbers are somewhat surprising, if they were to hold, it represents big problems for the Cons, possible pickups for the Libs.
I put Ipsos at the bottom of the heap for true predictability. When you have reporters from papers that commission the polls saying they "tend to overstate Conservative support", it should demand a grain of salt. That said, if this pollster shows these sort of results, then it is reasonable to think it might actually be worse for the Cons, but even taken at face value, the regionals present a real problem, an election looks a crapshoot. The paper tiger roars.