Our first set of CPAC-Nanos nightly tracking indicates the Conservatives have entered the campaign with a five point lead over the Liberals among decided voters (CP 37%, Lib 32%, NDP 13%, BQ 9% GP 9%). Notably, the Conservatives are showing strength in central Canada where they are statistically tied with the Liberals in Ontario (Lib 41%, CP 39%) and close on the heels of the Bloc in Quebec (BQ 35%, CP 32%).
The last NANOS poll showed the Liberals out front by 2%, so essentially a 7% swing. In Ontario, the Liberals 13% lead has evaporated, the Conservatives move from 29% to 39%. Interestingly, the Liberals numbers haven't eroded in Ontario (down only 2%), so this uptick for the Conservatives comes largely at the expense of the NDP, which explains why we've seen a 4% NDP drop nationally since the last poll. Previous NANOS polls have consistently given the Liberals a solid lead in Ontario, this poll confirms what others have said, with the added dynamic of a clear two-way race.
NANOS also shows a big Conservative move in Quebec, up a full 7% from his last offering, in line with what others have shown. What is interesting, while the race has tightened, the Bloc are actually up 4% since the last NANOS poll, so this move for the Conservatives comes at the expense of the Liberals and NDP.
I sort of expected to see some movement from NANOS, almost a pipedream to think he would still have the Libs ahead, considering all the evidence to the contrary. However, these numbers are manageable and the one word that comes to mind seeing the swings, is VOLATILE. The Conservatives are peaking, the question then becomes, will they maintain? Certainly not good news, but hardly a "jump off a cliff" moment either.
This prophetic reminder from Nanos:
Despite Harper’s strong leadership numbers, the Liberal brand remains strong trailing by only five points nationally. Any significant missteps by Harper could potentially push this block of voters over to the opposition.