Conservatives, NDP jostle for first place federally, poll finds
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, left, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are seen in this combination photo. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:12AM EDT
The Conservatives and NDP are jostling for first place in the hearts of Canadian voters, according to a new public opinion poll that shows the Tories hanging onto a slim lead federally.
According to the new study from Nanos Research, the governing Conservatives hold the support of 33.6 per cent of those surveyed -- a number that is little changed since May.
The NDP follows close behind with 30.3 per cent support, a slight dip of about 3 percentage points from May.
The Liberals followed in third place with 26.5 per cent support, a small uptick from 24.9 per cent in May, while the Green Party sits at 4.4 per cent, up from 2.4 per cent in May.
The Bloc Quebecois trails in fifth place with 4.2 per cent support.
When the numbers were broken down by province, however, the outlook in Quebec was more positive for the Liberals, showing a jump from 17.3 per cent support in May, to 25 per cent support in July.
The Liberals suffered massive losses in Quebec during the last federal election as Jack Layton's "Orange Crush" in the province swept the NDP to Official Opposition status.
The Conservatives' support was relatively stable federally in most provinces, but saw a jump from 34 to 40.4 per cent in B.C. and a drop of about five percentage points in the Prairies.
Nanos Research also analyzed the popularity of the individual party leaders and found interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has experienced a bump in support since announcing he would not seek the permanent party leadership. Rae saw gains in all areas including trust (14.5 per cent), competence (14 per cent) and vision for Canada (13 per cent).
Prime Minister Stephen Harper still had the lead in all categories, but his numbers were little changed from May.
According to the survey, 23 per cent of Canadians trust Harper, 27.1 per cent feel he is the most competent leader, and 22.6 per cent believe he has the best vision for Canada.
New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair's support was also little changed since May. In total 15.8 per cent felt he was the most trustworthy, 12.8 per cent felt he is the most competent, and 18.2 per cent felt he has the best vision for Canada.
When compared using Nanos' leadership index score, which factors in the responses from a number of leadership-related questions, only Rae showed a significant gain.
Following are the leadership index scores (results from May in brackets):
- Stephen Harper: 72.7 (72.4)
- Thomas Mulcair: 46.8 (48.2)
- Bob Rae: 41.5 (32.2)
- Elizabeth May: 15.4 (17.4)
- Daniel Paille: 7 (6)
Nanos Research conducted a random telephone survey of 1,200 Canadians aged 18 and up, between July 7 and July 12.
Results of a survey of this size are considered accurate to plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.