Nationally, 14% thought forming a Parliamentary coalition after the next election in an attempt to form a government was the best route to take.
A merger between the two parties in advance of the next election has the support of 13%.
An agreement on cooperation that would see them exist as separate parties, but where they would not run candidates against each other in ridings where one of them was contending to win garners the most support among the cooperation options, with 28% believing this is the option the two parties should take.
Three in ten Canadians (30%) prefer that the two parties not cooperate at all.
55% of Canadians support some level of co-operation, while only 30% reject. The numbers are even more attractive for the opposition electorally, when you breakdown the regions were it would matter most. Even amongst the Conservative base, only 50% oppose, while 39% support co-operation.
I don't see the above as necessarily a ringing endorsement of a coalition, in reality the much more mild proposal I made of a riding non-aggression pact is the clear preference. However, it's the wider openness that is noteworthy, and these type of polls suggest that the Conservative bogeyman is losing steam.
Yesterday, I argued that Liberals need to turn the coalition question around, into a verdict on Harper's leadership. This poll supports that view that Canadians CRAVE co-operation, they want politicians to work together, they desire something different from the status quo. This sentiment is quite dangerous for the Conservatives, and I have a feeling they may well regret any unilateral decision to make arrangements a centerpiece issue in a campaign.
The 2008 debate represented an entirely new and strange proposition. Since that debate, we've seen more and more evidence that the notion of co-operation isn't taboo, in fact it's seen as somewhat necessary. Not a full blown coalition, but the idea of a "unifer" has a built-in audience just waiting. This poll provides further confirmation to me that the unifer narrative may just be our best hope to finally rid Canada of the Harper stench.