Final poll shows Conservatives maintaining lead
Published Sunday, May 1, 2011 10:14PM EDT
Going into Election Day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives look to be in the same position where they started -- on the bubble for a majority -- according to CTV's final election campaign poll.
The latest and final Nanos Research poll conducted for CTV News and The Globe and Mail, has Conservative support at 37.1 per cent. A Nanos poll conducted just prior to the election campaign had the ruling party's support at 38.6 per cent.
Of course, the big change going into Election Day is the Conservatives' main rival -- no longer the Liberals, but the New Democrats. Their support in the final poll sits at 31.6 per cent, significantly higher than the 19.9 per cent they started out with.
"What we know at this point, assuming the trends continue, is that the (Jack) Layton New Democrats will have their best showing in history," pollster Nik Nanos said in a note.
The results from the poll, conducted April 30 and May 1 (results from March 15 in brackets):
- Conservatives: 37.1 per cent (38.6 per cent)
- New Democrats: 31.6 per cent (19.9 per cent)
- Liberals: 20.5 per cent (27.6 per cent)
- Bloc Quebecois: 5.7 per cent (10.1 per cent)
- Greens: 3.8 per cent (3.8 per cent)
Both the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois are looking at historical rebukes. The Liberals could finish third, leaving the NDP as the Official Opposition party and the Bloc Quebecois are faced with a significantly diminished number of seats.
The Liberals started out with national support of 27.6 per cent, while the Bloc was at 10.1 per cent.
Nanos says a few key questions will decide tomorrow's vote; What's voter turnout going to be?; Which party can get out their vote with a solid ground game?; and finally, which way will those elusive vote splits fall.
"It's all going to come down to the distribution of support across the country and on a riding-by-riding basis," Nanos said. "Vote-splitting is going to particularly critical in Ontario and the province if Quebec."
In 1997, the Liberals won a majority government with only 38.4 per cent of the popular vote, so it is possible for Harper to seize his long-sought after prize if things fall his way. The Conservatives' best hope is to pick up a number of seats in Ontario from the Liberals, because of vote-splitting on the left with the NDP.
Nanos said that the Conservatives lead over the NDP increased in polling from Saturday to Sunday. But he said the election was "too close to call."
A national random telephone survey was conducted Saturday night and Sunday afternoon by Nanos Research. The margin of error for a survey of 1,054 respondents is plus-minus 3.0%, 19 times out of 20.