The latest nightly tracking by Nanos Research for CTV News and The Globe and Mail shows that the NDP continue to marginally trail the Conservatives and the Liberals in a tight race nationally.

Voters were asked: "If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?"

The latest numbers show:

  • 32.6 per cent supported the Conservatives as their top choice
  • 31.4 per cent picked the Liberals as their top choice
  • 27.0 per cent chose the NDP

The NDP remain the top choice in Quebec, but their advantage is slipping with the Liberals second and the Bloc Quebecois and Conservatives tied for third.

Ontario is still a tight race between the Liberals and the Conservatives, with the NDP in third.

The NDP passed the Conservatives to lead the latest poll in B.C., while the Liberals saw their support dip as they stayed in third place.

The Conservatives maintained a comfortable lead in the Prairies, while the Liberals held a better than 20 per cent advantage over their rivals in Atlantic Canada.

Trend moving against NDP as Election Day nears

The New Democrat Party is trending downward in the last three weeks of the election, particularly in the provinces where the party hopes to perform well, according to Nik Nanos of Nanos Research.

“For 16 days in a row, the race was ripped between the three main parties – no one could break away. Now we’ve seen in the last four to five days, numbers for the New Democrats start to slide,” Nanos told CTV News Channel on Tuesday.

The NDP “still have an advantage” over rival parties in Quebec, but that advantage is not as strong as it once was, Nanos said. He also pointed out that the latest polls from Nanos Research show the NDP are also slipping in the tight battle for Ontario, a province that could “make or break the election.”

Nanos said many anti-Conservative voters are still trying to decide between Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party and the NDP, in hopes of finding the more likely party to defeat Stephen Harper. “One of them has to be the main competitor against Stephen Harper, and it looks like right now, Justin Trudeau has the upper hand,” Nanos said.

He said Sept. 24 marked a turning point for the NDP’s fortunes, as the French-language debate and the release of the NDP economic platform resulted in a dip in the party’s poll numbers.

“The day after both of those events, the trend started to move against the New Democrats,” he said.

The Liberals appear to be picking up the NDP’s slack in the Quebec polls, with the Bloc Quebecois also on the rise, Nanos said. The Bloc moved into a statistical tie with the Conservatives in Quebec, according to the latest Nanos numbers.

“Right now, if this trend continues, it’s going to be an issue of how many seats will the New Democrats lose in Quebec, even if they have the greatest number of seats,” Nanos said.

The pollster said he does not predict “any major breakthrough” for the NDP at this point. However, the party remains “within striking distance” of its rivals, with time left to make up ground before Oct. 19.

“They’ve got to try to reverse the trend,” Nanos said.

Harper holds marginal advantage as preferred PM

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper holds a marginal advantage on the preferred prime minister measure, according to the latest nightly tracking by Nanos Research for CTV News and the Globe and Mail.

According to the most recent survey, Harper remains voters’ top choice as prime minister, followed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.

For the 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 survey results show:

  • 31.4 per cent of respondents picked Harper as their first choice
  • 27.4 per cent chose Trudeau
  • 24.8 per cent picked Mulcair

Support for Harper dipped by 1.0 per cent over the previous night’s numbers. Trudeau’s support rose by 1.5 per cent, and Mulcair’s by 1.1 per cent.

Among the other federal parties, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May had 4.0 per cent support as voters’ preferred PM, while Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois was the top choice for 2.0 per cent of respondents.

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 1,066 decided voters is ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The subsample for Ontario is based on 317 decided individuals. A sample of 317 respondents is accurate ±5.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Full poll at Nanos Research

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