First the national numbers:
Nanos tends to show the Greens lower than other pollsters, which accounts for both main parties having a reasonably high percentage. When you look at the regionals, you see a "could go either way" electoral reality. The Liberals have a slight lead in Ontario, with a replicated 42%, but the Conservatives only lag 3% back. The Liberals assume a good lead in Atlantic Canada, and come out with a statistical tie in Quebec, over 30%. You do the math, minor quibbling aside and either party could form government with these numbers.
All the polls show a tight race, the numbers translate into a situation where NO party would enter an election with momentum and/or confidence. What is particularly noteworthy, a deadheat scenario isn't exactly the preferred starting point from the Conservative perspective. In fact, that situation presents a likelihood that no matter the eventual "winner", the Conservatives would lose seats. On the flip side, it's hard to see how the Liberals, minus a disasterous campaign, wouldn't add to their 77 seat total. I'd still give slight odds that the Conservatives would form gov't, but I'd also give long ones that it would be in a DIMINISHED position. If that seems a reasonable scenario, how an election now actually WORKS for the Conservatives escape me.
Harper has one more election, should he return with less MP's, we will undoubtedly start to hear whispers, Conservatives will look for a successor, he would likely retire at some point. In many respects, it's majority or bust for Harper in the next election, if he can't replicate or best the 38% in the last election, the natural political demise begins. There is ZERO motivation for Harper to force an election, unless the Conservatives have some confidence that a majority is at hand. Where's the upside, from the Conservative perspective to force an election today?
With the above in mind, and I believe the logic sound, the Liberals have little to fear from the shallow chest thumping from the Conservatives. In other words, the Liberals can be aggressive on the detainee document front, because I believe the Conservatives will blink. I also believe, if the Conservatives don't fold, that means the information is so damaging and explosive, they will do ANYTHING to avoid. Either way, we have the initiative and I'm sure a campaign would prompt more leaks and "put on the defensive" material.
These polls aren't great for the Liberals, but relatively speaking they're worse for the Conservatives. We should proceed on the detainee front with these considerations in mind. Ultimately, any "demands" the opposition make will only lead to an election, if the Conservatives CHOOSE. They have the power to avoid an election, this isn't non confidence, this is complying with the democratic will, Parliamentary supremacy, accountability and transparency. I don't fear any of those questions, and I don't fear these polls. How anyone can see the Conservatives "itching", when faced with 40-50 of their seats on the line, little hope of addition, probability of subtraction really, really doesn't compute from where I stand.