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Liberals at risk of big losses in Vancouver, Toronto, Nanos projections show

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The federal Conservatives continue to hold a commanding lead over the Liberals, who are at risk of losing large swaths of Metro Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area they won in the last federal election, according to latest ballot numbers and seat projection data from Nanos Research.

If the election was held today, the Conservatives would get 40 per cent of the ballot support marking a 15-point lead over the Liberals, who are at 24.7 per cent ballot support.

That's an increase of 6.3 percentage points for the Conservatives, when compared against their 2021 election performance, while the Liberals are 7.9 percentage points lower than they were three years ago.

"The bottom line is, if an election were held today… we're talking still about a Conservative majority government," Nik Nanos, chair of Nanos Research and CTV News' official pollster, said on the latest episode of Trend Line.

The NDP sit at 20.6 per cent, which is slightly up by 2.8 per cent. Just four percentage points separate them now from the Liberals. The Bloc Quebecois are at 7.4 per cent, largely unchanged from 2021. Meanwhile, the Greens and the People's Party sit at 5.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent ballot support, respectively.

(Nanos Research)

Preferred prime minister

When it comes to the party leaders, Nanos found that 35.1 per cent of respondents said Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was their preferred choice for prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits at second, with 20.8 per cent preferring him as PM.

In addition, 13.8 per cent preferred NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, 4.3 per cent preferred Green Party Co-Leader Elizabeth May, and 2.2 per cent preferred Maxime Bernier of the People's Party.

Seat projections

In the below Nanos seat projection maps, the current seat projections are on the left. The results from the 2021 election are on the right.

Greater Toronto Area

(Nanos Research)

Toronto and the surrounding suburbs have been the strongest base of support for Trudeau's Liberals. In the last election, the Liberals won every single seat in the City of Toronto as well as every seat in many of the suburbs, such as Mississauga, Brampton, Pickering and Oakville.

But according to Nanos’ seat projections, many of these ridings are at risk of turning blue, especially in the 905 region just outside of Toronto. Even in downtown Toronto, which Nanos calls "ground zero for the Liberal Party of Canada," the data shows the NDP potentially in a position to pick up seats.

A setback in Toronto would be like an "emergency" situation for the Liberals, Nanos said.

"When you get outside of Toronto, you can see that some of those some of those other ridings ---the Mississaugas, the Bramptons --- it's going to be the Conservatives that are that are going to be some of the key challengers," he added.

Ottawa

(Nanos Research)

Similarly, the ridings in the suburban areas of Ottawa that are currently held by the Liberals also face tough competition from the Conservatives.

"There are a couple of ridings that could flip in Ottawa and that are a little closer than the liberals have seen in the past," said Nanos.

British Columbia

(Nanos Research)

The Lower Mainland in British Columbia was another strong base of support for the Liberals in 2021. In the last election, the vast majority of the ridings in this region went to the Liberals, except for a few ridings in East Vancouver and Burnaby that went to the NDP and the outer suburban ridings that were won by the Conservatives.

But much like in the Toronto region, the Liberals are in for some tough battles in Metro Vancouver from both the Conservatives and the NDP.

"You can see Vancouver being another big battleground, between the Liberals, the New Democrats and the Conservatives," said Nanos.

The Conservatives could also make significant gains in the rest of BC. In 2021, much of Vancouver Island and northwestern B.C. went to the NDP, but Nanos data shows that these ridings would likely go Conservative if the election was held today.

Montreal

(Nanos Research)

The Liberals in 2021 won almost every single riding on the Island of Montreal and the suburb of Laval, while the Bloc Quebecois held many of the ridings off the island.

The Nanos projections show that we would get much of the same result if the election were to be held today.

"Not a lot of change in the island of Montreal. Maybe we'll see the Liberals, pick up, or the NDP pick up a seat from the Liberals and the Bloc having to fend off a little bit of an attack," Nanos said.

Maritimes

(Nanos Research)

Support for the Liberals also appears to be eroding the Maritimes.

In the last election, the Liberals won every single riding in P.E.I. as well as large swaths of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Now, Nanos projects these Liberal ridings could be won by the Conservatives, or are too close to call.

Even the town of Shediac, N.B., a traditional Liberal stronghold that's been held by Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc since 2000, is currently too close to call according to Nanos.

"We have Dominic LeBlanc ahead, but, he's leading by less than seven percentage points in the Nanos modeling," Nanos said.

"(LeBlanc) has a solid track record. And you know what? If he has to kind of look over his shoulder and focus on making sure that he fights in Shediac, that's not good news for the Liberals in the region."

Watch the full episode of Trend Line in our video player at the top of this article. You can also listen in our audio player below, or wherever you get your podcasts. The next episode comes out Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Correction

The article has been corrected to say the Green Party of Canada's current ballot support is 5.1% in the Nanos tracking.  The 2.8% number mentioned was the popular support number after the 2021 federal election.

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