Conservatives had 32 per cent support, compared with 29 per cent for the Liberals. That spread is covered by the poll's margin of error, which is 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The poll found the NDP had the support of 17 per cent of respondents nationally, while the Green party had 14 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois five per cent.
Results from the last three weeks of polling suggested the Tories and Liberals were tied at 31 per cent, with the NDP at 15 per cent, the Greens at 13 per cent and the Bloc at eight per cent
The money quote:
"For the Liberal party, these numbers reveal an opportunity dropped, at least so far; if voters seem cool to the Conservatives, they are not warming to Mr. Dion."
Where were these numbers yesterday:
The survey, conducted earlier this week through Monday's Quebec byelections, also suggested that the Bloc Quebecois had slumped to 22 per cent in Quebec, compared with 26 per cent for the Conservatives. The Liberals and the NDP were tied at 16 per cent in the province, just a point ahead of the Green party.
First time a poll has put the Conservatives out front in Quebec, which is less surprising than it would have been yesterday. For anybody who thought Muclair was a one off, note the NDP tied with the Liberals in Quebec.
Kinsella is still trashing Paul Martin, but here are the raw vote totals for all three by-elections:
Conservative 31475 36.9
Bloc 23983 28.1
NDP 14587 17.1
Liberal 12118 14.2
Green 2197 2.6
Spreads are comparable to the Decima poll.
I have a bad feeling that the last week of this poll, that shows a margin of error lead for the Conservatives might be a sign of a new gap, the last few days have to hurt. Time will tell. In the end, the key might be where the sizable Green support ends up, is it solid or soft?