The poll also suggests Conservatives and Liberals are statistically tied, with 33 per cent and 31 per cent support respectively, well ahead of the NDP at 15 per cent, the Greens at 10 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois at 10 per cent.
Within the margin of error, a statistical tie. Another poor showing for the NDP, and although we don't have the regionals, the Bloc is clearly formidable in Quebec.
The leadership numbers tell a striking story. Ignatieff's negatives are quite low, partially a result of his relative "unknown" status, but still a clear indication that he's had a very good introductory period as leader. Partisanship aside, I've always believed that Layton has handled recent events poorly, and this poll confirms a seismic shift in public sentiment for the NDP leader:
Indeed, Ignatieff was the only national leader to score a net positive rating, with 43 per cent of respondents saying they had a favourable impression of him versus 32 per cent who had an unfavourable opinion.
Harper was viewed favourably by 43 per cent and unfavourably by 49 per cent, relatively unchanged since last October's election.
Layton was seen positively by 37 per cent and negatively by 49 per cent of respondents, almost a complete reversal since the election campaign when the NDP leader was the most favourably viewed national leader.
I've never seen any finding as bad as this one for Layton, it would appear people are tiring of the predictable act. Lesser stature also means the NDP assault on the Liberals is more likely to be seen as posturing, rather than principle. Many people concluded that Layton was "the big loser" in the budget debate, this poll reaffirms that perspective. From most popular, to least popular, hard to fluff that off.
Harper's numbers have actually remained steady, but this poll reflects a 5% drop in support for the Conservatives since the election. The Liberals are up 5%, the drag of the coalition gone, Ignatieff is clearly helping the cause.
I'll post the regionals when they're released :)
Good news on the "growth" front for Ignatieff:
More importantly, the leadership favourability numbers suggest theLiberals under Ignatieff have more growth potential than their rivals.
Ignatieff was viewed more positively than negatively all across the country, except Alberta, and across all age and gender groups. While he was most favourably viewed among Liberal voters (70 per cent), 33 per cent of Conservatives, 44 per cent of New Democrats, 32 per cent of Bloquistes and 38 per cent of Greens said they too had a positive impression of the Liberal leader. By contrast, Harper was viewed favourably by 90 per cent of Conservatives but only 27 per cent of Liberals, 22 per cent of New Democrats, 14 per cent of Bloc supporters and 30 per cent of Greens.