The Decima Research survey, made available to The Canadian Press, suggests the Conservatives had 34 per cent support, compared with 31 per cent for the Liberals. The survey suggests the NDP had 15 per cent support, the Bloc Quebecois had 10 per cent and the Green party had eight per cent.
The poll gave the Liberals 40 per cent support in Ontario, compared with 35 per cent for the Conservatives, 13 per cent for the NDP and 11 per cent for the Greens. In Quebec, the Bloc had 41 per cent, compared with 27 per cent for the Liberals, 14 per cent for the Tories, 11 per cent for the NDP and five per cent for the Greens. The margins of error are higher for regional samples.
The poll shows the NDP up 3 points since the last Decima poll, while the Liberals and Conservatives have basically exchanged percentages. The Conservatives may have received a small boost, given Harper's year-end interviews, coupled with a benign newscycle.
I heard one commentator argue that the next election will be decided during the campaign. Hardly a unique argument, but given the continued closeness of the two parties, it does suggest any gaff would be critical and discipline is at a premium. Harper ran a great campaign last time out, with tight orchestration, meant to minimize any opportunity for errors. The Liberals had better match Harper's slick organization, because any resemblance to the Martin trainwreck will seal their fate. Dion ran an excellent leadership campaign, tackfully avoiding any minefields, so hopefully he can neutralize Harper's packaging.
As an aside, I'm just getting over the flu from hell, which is why I haven't blogged lately.