The federal Liberals remain ahead of the governing Conservatives among decided voters, according to a new poll, but a horse race is shaping up two years from the next federal election, with the major parties all within five points.

A new CTV/Ipsos Reid poll puts Liberal support among decided voters at 33 per cent, down three points from last month, the Conservatives at 30 per cent, unchanged from last month, and the NDP up one percentage point to 28 per cent support.

Although Liberal support has dipped slightly, perhaps signalling an end to new leader Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon period that saw a surge in party support, the Conservatives also appear to have stopped the bleeding as the Senate expenses scandal cools off for the summer break.

“While the Senate scandal has clearly hurt the Tories, their descent has stopped,” read a statement from the polling firm. “Also, their approval numbers have popped (barely) above 40 again which, when combined with their incumbency, means they're still in the game for re-election.”

The survey, however, also includes support among voters who are most likely to show up on voting day. According to those responses:

  • 59 per cent said nothing short of an unforeseen emergency could stop them from voting, a figure that’s close to the 61.1 per cent voter turnout rate in the 2011 election
  • 20 per cent said they will do their best to vote, but sometimes other things get in the way.
  • 8 per cent might vote but won’t make a special effort, and 7 per cent said they probably won’t vote.

Liberal supporters were most likely to say they would vote barring an emergency at 75 per cent, compared to 69 per cent of Conservative supporters and 66 per cent of NDP supporters.

Among respondents who are most committed to voting, the Liberal lead widens:

  • Liberals: 35 per cent
  • Conservatives: 29 per cent
  • NDP: 26 per cent
  • Bloc: 5 per cent
  • Greens: 3 per cent

“Anyone can say they will vote for a party, but the real question for politicians (and pollsters for that matter) is to try and determine who is actually going to turn up and mark their ballot,” the statement said.

“On the heels of the British Columbia provincial election campaign where old turnout models proved volatile or inadequate to measure the true outcome, it’s critical that the pure group of ‘turn out and turn up’ voters be identified and monitored.”

Going back to decided voters, the poll shows the Conservatives gaining ground in their traditional stronghold, the West.

  • In Alberta, the Tories have 60 per cent support, up 5 points; the Liberals are at 22 per cent, down 2 points; the NDP have 13 per cent support, down 4 points.
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives are at 46 per cent support, up 10 points; the Liberals are at 21 per cent support, down 11 points; the NDP are at 23 per cent support, up 5 points.
  • In British Columbia, the Conservatives are up 3 points to 33 per cent support; the Liberals are down 4 points to 30 per cent support; the NDP are down 1 point to 29 per cent support.
  • In Ontario, both the Conservatives and Liberals are down 1 point to 34 per cent support, while the NDP are up 2 points to 29 per cent support.
  • In Quebec, the Liberals are down 5 points to 34 per cent support, the NDP are up 5 points to 34 per cent support and the Bloc are up 8 points to 23 per cent support.
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals are at 53 per cent support, up 2 points, while the New Democrats are down 6 points to 19 per cent.

Also of note, the poll found that only seven per cent of Conservative supporters say they are open to switching their vote to another party, compared to 17 per cent of Liberal supporters and 21 per cent of NDP supporters.

“These are voters who really haven’t yet settled on a place to cast their final and decisive vote and tend to harden up during an official election campaign, usually in the back half after the leaders’ debates...,” the firm’s statement read. “In essence, these are the voters that the parties fight over to woo and keep because they are most likely to go out and vote but the real question is for whom at the end of the day.”

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid for CTV News between June 21 and 25, 2013. It included online interviews with 1,177 Canadians and is considered accurate within +/- 3.3 percentage points.