Libs 36.3% (37.2%)
Cons 32.8% (31.8%)
NDP 16.8% (15.7%)
Greens 4.8% (7.4%)
Looking at the regionals, the numbers are a bit more telling electorally. While the NDP are up nationally, that tends to mask a very poor score in Ontario. The Conservatives haven't moved much, but a questionable result in Atlantic Canada tends to offset important gains in Ontario, and further evidence of a SLIGHT rebound in Quebec.
In Ontario, Nanos now puts the Conservatives out front:
Cons 42.4% (33.8%)
Libs 40.9% (42.1%)
NDP 11.5% (14.4%)
Greens 5.2% (9.6%)
That's a big gain in volatile Ontario. Nanos duplicates other pollsters, the Conservatives seem to have benefited from the election posturing episode. The Liberal number remains strong, but that kind of dynamic doesn't translate to a minority, no matter the national percentages. Nanos puts the NDP in very concerning terrority, falling below what was already weak support. Nanos consistently shows the NDP below their 2008 support.
In Quebec, we see further evidence of a change between the Bloc and the Liberals, with another pollster showing the Conservatives getting an every so slight uptick:
Bloc 38% (35%)
Libs 35.4% (38.2%)
Cons 14% (11.6%)
NDP 10.8% (13.3%)
Still a strong number for the Liberals, but the trend is the same.
Part of the reason the Conservative national number doesn't rise as much a one would think, given a large move in Ontario, up marginally in Quebec, is partially due to a questionable result in Atlantic Canada. Nanos shows the Conservatives falling to 19% from the previous 33% support level. A very high MOE, and that number seems suspiciously low for the Conservatives.
Nanos does seem to confirm apparent Liberals strength in British Columbia, with the party leading with 36% support, Conservatives 30%, NDP 24%. Another high MOE, but that Liberal number isn't out of line, relative to other pollsters.
On the question of party leaders, Nanos finds a very unpopular Harper, Ignatieff fairing much better:
Harper Impression Question: Do you have a positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative or negative impression of Stephen Harper?
Net Impression Scores*
Atlantic Canada: -28.6
British Columbia: -8.4
Ignatieff Impression Question: Do you have a positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative or negative impression of Michael Ignatieff?
Net Impression Scores*
Atlantic Canada: +18.0
British Columbia: +4.5
No previous poll with the same question, so it's hard to denote any trends. Ignatieff has a far higher "neutral" score with voters, which is a testament to his relative unknown status compared with Harper. I suspect the Conservatives will retool their message in the coming months, taking the focus off Harper and more onto the party brand itself. For the Liberals, Ignatieff has some latitude with Canadians, but these numbers don't dissuade me from my view that we need to define him quickly, particularly on the economy.
I would categorize this poll as somewhat better for the Conservatives than the national numbers suggest. Ontario will be the election battleground, the Conservatives appear to be rebounding according to all the pollsters. That said, despite this ebb and flow in Ontario, the Liberals have reason for optimism, primarily because the dynamic seems to be a fluctuation between a big lead and statistical tie. This fact suggests we are well placed, but the campaign will be the key in moving soft support.