The three-party race that has dominated this election may have come to an end, with the latest nightly tracking by Nanos Research for CTV News and The Globe and Mail showing that support for the NDP continues to slip.

The three major parties had been in a statistical tie throughout most of September, but the latest nightly tracking finds support for the NDP has fallen to its lowest level since the campaign began. The Liberals and the Conservatives, meanwhile, continue to be neck-and-neck in support.

Voters were asked: "If a federal election were held today, please rank your top two current local voting preferences?" The latest numbers show:

  • Liberals at 33.5 per cent support
  • Conservatives at 31.9 per cent
  • NDP at 25.9 per cent

The Green Party has 3.9 per cent support nationally.

Voters were then asked a series of questions about whether they would consider or not consider voting for each of the federal parties, to determine each party’s proportion of accessible voters.

That polling found 49.9 per cent of Canadians would consider voting for the Liberals; 44.8 per cent would consider voting for the NDP; 42.3 per cent would consider the Conservatives; 24.3 per cent would consider voting for the Greens and 29.3 per cent of Quebecers would consider voting for the BQ.

The margin of error among the 1,093 decided voters is considered ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Harper maintains advantage on preferred PM measure

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is in the lead on the preferred prime minister measure, followed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair in third, according to the latest nightly tracking by Nanos Research for CTV News and The Globe and Mail.

Survey respondents were asked: "Of the current federal political party leaders, could you please rank your top two current local preferences for prime minister?"

The latest numbers from Friday afternoon show:

  • 33.2 per cent said they preferred Harper
  • 28.3 per cent preferred Trudeau
  • 23.2 per cent preferred Mulcair

Among the other federal party leaders, 4.4 per cent said they preferred Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, while 1.7 preferred Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe.

Trudeau's results in the preferred PM measure have improved the most since last month. The Liberal Leader has gained 6.6 per cent support, when compared to poll results from Aug. 28. Harper has also seen an increase in support over the last month, with a rise of 4.0 percentage points. Conversely, Mulcair is down 4.4 per cent when compared to a month ago. In that Aug. 28 poll, Harper was ahead of the other party leaders on the preferred prime minister measure.

When asked to pick their second choice for preferred prime minister:

  • 33 per cent of those who picked Harper first said they had no second choice
  • 54 per cent of those who picked Trudeau first said Mulcair would be their second choice
  • 58 per cent of those who picked Mulcair first said Trudeau would be their second choice

Poll methodology

A national dual-frame (land and cell) random telephone survey is conducted nightly by Nanos Research throughout the campaign using live agents. Each evening a new group of 400 eligible voters are interviewed. The daily tracking figures are based on a three-day rolling sample composed of 1,200 interviews. To update the tracking a new day of interviewing is added and the oldest day dropped. The margin of error for 1,200 decided voters is ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Full poll and survey at Nanos Research

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