Poll shows NDP, Liberals in statistical tie
Published Friday, April 22, 2011 9:04PM EDT
Heading into the final stretch of the campaign, the Liberals and New Democrats are in a statistical tie, according to the results of a new election campaign poll that also shows the Conservatives still short of majority territory.
The new poll numbers, conducted for CTV and the Globe and Mail, also suggest that the NDP's Jack Layton is gaining on his Conservative rival in the key leadership index, especially in the areas of trust and vision for the country.
"The daily Nanos Leadership Index showed Harper ahead at 88.1 points but Layton a competitive second at 72.9 points," said pollster Nik Nanos.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was in a distant third, with only 44.4 points. The index is an aggregate score composed of trust, competence and vision.
Still, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives continue to sit 12 percentage points ahead of their closest rivals, at 37.8 per cent nationally, according to latest numbers released by Nanos Research Friday.
In the 2008 election, Harper's Conservatives won their second minority government with the support of 37.6 per cent of voters.
Healthcare continues to be the main concern in the campaign, with 31.9 per cent of those polled saying it is the most pressing national issue. Jobs and the economy continues to slide in importance, with only 20.3 per cent of people saying it was of the utmost importance.
Accounting for the margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points in this latest survey's national results, the 26.1 per cent who said they support the Liberals and the 23.7 per cent who back the NDP put the two parties in a statistical neck-and-neck race for second place.
The Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party round out the ranking at 7.4 per cent and 3.5 per cent support respectively.
Looking at the regional breakdown, and again accounting for the margins of error, the three federal parties remain in a statistical tie in Atlantic Canada too, while the Bloc and NDP are virtually matched in Quebec.
Tory support in Atlantic Canada -- where the sample has a plus-minus 10.1 per cent margin or error -- has slipped for three straight days to 36.5 per cent, with the Liberals at 31.6 per cent and the NDP at 31.2 per cent.
In Quebec, where the margin of error is 6.5 percentage points, the New Democrats have continued to see their support climb to 26.3 per cent support, while the numbers for the Bloc dropped for the third day to 31.8 per cent. Both the Liberals (18.6 per cent) and the Conservatives (16.7 per cent) have seen their support slip in Quebec too.
West of the Ottawa River, however, the Conservatives' election prospects remain strong with a 6.8 per cent lead over the Liberals in Ontario. In the Prairies and British Columbia -- where support for the second-ranked NDP has been on an upswing in the past few days -- the Tories lead by 23.5 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively.
According to results, more than half of voters continue to rank party platform as their top deciding factor. That far outstrips those whose decision is based on the party leader (21.2 per cent), local candidate (14.8 per cent) or traditional support for a particular party (8.8 per cent).
Methodology: The results of this latest Nanos Research survey are based on a random, national telephone sample of 995 decided Canadians conducted between April 19-21. The margin of error is plus-minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.