With the latest polls suggesting that Jack Layton and his New Democratic Party are reaching unprecedented levels of national support, investors are starting to take notice.

The markets seem to have largely ignored this election, notes BMO Nesbitt Burns deputy chief economist Douglas Porter in a note to clients. But he says that the recent polls suggest the country could see "a significant shift next Monday."

According to the latest polls, support for the Conservatives is largely unchanged, but the NDP has moved into second place. Based on those numbers, EKOS Research is projecting the Tories' seat count fall while the NDP's seat count soars -- perhaps high enough to give Layton a working majority in the House of Commons.

"While the market has all but ignored the election, we could see a significant shift next Monday, if these polls are remotely accurate (admittedly a big "if", although they are consistently pointing in the same direction)," Porter write in his morning note to clients.

"While that's certainly an ‘interesting' result, it's not exactly market-friendly. In other words, hang onto your hats!"

At Scotia Capital, economists Derek Holt, Karen Cordes Woods, and Gorica Djeric also noted that their global clients have been asking for updates about the federal election.

They note that they normally treat polls as "noise" since polls assess votes, but don't necessarily give indications about the distribution of seats, and therefore which party will form the next government.

"In short, while we again caution that share of vote doesn't necessarily mean anything in terms of the share of seats which is the only thing that matters, the outcome is looking like it may well yield another minority Conservative government following the fourth election in 11 years, but with the NDP rising at the expense of the BQ and Green Party," the Scotia Capital note reads.

The Scotia Capital note quotes the latest Nanos Research poll conducted for CTV and The Globe and Mail, which puts NDP support at 23.6 per cent.