Nationally, EKOS gives the Liberals a 5% advantage, up from the narrow 1% edge we saw in the last EKOS offering. Pretty much in line with others, although EKOS notes the gap soared to 8% after the Raitt fiasco.
Regionally, while Ontario remains fluid there seems to be a new volatility range. A couple of weeks ago, we saw several firms that showed a narrowing, the Liberal lead shrinking, although ahead. Prior to that, we had seen double digit gaps, the Liberals in the 40's. Now, a few polls are showing a return to the wide gap, which suggests that the volatility is a question of size of lead now, rather than the previous back and forth we've seen in previous years. EKOS has the Liberals at 43%, Conservatives 32% and the NDP still at a concerning 15%. This type of gap, coupled with a lack of vote splitting, as we've seen elsewhere recently, translates into a large swing in seat totals.
EKOS maintains the dynamic in Quebec, Liberals and Bloc neck and neck, both up slightly from the last poll, Conservatives trending down.
A huge advantage for the Liberals in Atlantic Canada, over both the Conservatives and NDP. Given the size of this poll, the margin of error is relatively low for this reason, so the numbers are noteworthy. Liberals 43%, Conservatives 26%, NDP 24%.
Interestingly, EKOS again shows a neck and neck race in British Columbia. The last EKOS polls showed a dead heat, and this is replicated with this latest offering. Conservatives 31%, Liberals 30%, NDP 25%. My friends in British Columbia tell me to be cautious, but positive signs indeed.
While the numbers are good across the board for the Liberals, what is particularly relevant with this poll, the issue orientated numbers. Canadians are asked to comment on importance of issues and who is best able to deal with them. The overall score on issues gives the Liberals a substantial lead:
Which party is best able to deal with these issues, overall score?
Of particular importance, on the question of jobs and unemployment, the Liberals lead 41% to 31%. That suggests real erosion on the last remaining "strong suit" for the Conservatives, managing the economy. We also see the two parties basically tied on the question of who is best able to deal with the deficit.