Conservatives lead Liberals by six points: poll
Published Monday, April 14, 2008 11:01PM EDT
The Conservatives' nationwide lead over the Liberals has slightly narrowed to six points, partly because of a surge in support among Ontario voters for Stephane Dion's party, according to a new poll.
National results show the Liberals up three points and the Conservatives down two (percentage-point change from a March 13-16 poll in brackets):
- Conservatives: 36 per cent (-2)
- Liberals: 30 per cent (+3)
- NDP: 15 per cent (+1)
- Green Party: 10 per cent (-2)
- Bloc Quebecois: 8 per cent (-2)
The Strategic Counsel survey, conducted between April 10-13 for CTV and The Globe and Mail, comes less than a month after two Ontario byelection victories that sent Bob Rae and Martha Hall Findlay to the House of Commons.
Although the Liberals lost a seat in northern Saskatchewan and barely retained a riding in B.C., Dion had trumpeted the two wins in Toronto.
Poll results among Ontario voters suggest the Conservatives have now lost their lead in the vote-rich province of 106 seats (percentage-point change from a March 13-16 poll in brackets):
- Liberals: 42 per cent (+8)
- Conservatives: 33 per cent (-4)
- NDP: 14 per cent (-2)
- Green Party: 12 per cent (-1)
In recent weeks, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, an Ontario MP, had been aggressively criticizing the provincial Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty, urging Ontario to cut business taxes in its budget. Flaherty even said Ontario would be the last place in Canada one would want to invest.
In this poll, the Liberals have about two points more support in Ontario than they did in the 2006 federal election. The Tories are down two points.
However, in Quebec, the Liberals continue to trail far behind the Tories. The latest poll suggests every party except for the NDP has bled support to the Conservatives (percentage-point change from a March 13-16 poll in brackets):
- Bloc Quebecois: 36 per cent (-5)
- Conservatives: 27 per cent (+7)
- Liberals: 20 per cent (-3)
- Green Party: 10 per cent (-1)
- NDP: 7 per cent (+1)
The Liberals' internal troubles in Quebec have surfaced in recent weeks, with many in the party complaining of a lack of election readiness and tensions with Sen. Celine Hervieux-Payette, Dion's Quebec lieutenant. Although Dion is a native son, his deputy leader, Michael Ignatieff, had much higher support in Quebec in the 2006 Liberal leadership race.
The Bloc Quebecois is currently six points below the support it had in the 2006 federal election. The Tories are almost two points up and the Liberals about a point down in support compared to the 2006 election.
- The poll was conducted between April 10-13 by The Strategic Counsel for CTV and The Globe and Mail.
- The national sample size is 1,000 people and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
- The Ontario sample size is 383 people and the margin of error is plus or minus 5.0 percentage points.
- In Quebec, the sample size is 243 people and the margin of error is plus or minus 6.3 percentage points.
- Results are based on tracking among a proportionate national sample of Canadians 18 years of age or older.