THUNDER BAY – The Federal Liberals have fallen below the “Dion Digits” in the latest poll by EKOS Research. Given cessation of Parliament, the polling numbers are surprisingly active.
EKOS Research states, “As Parliament closed, the Liberal Party were close to the margin of error behind the Conservatives. This week, they have found themselves nearly 11 points down and exploring a basement level support for their party”.
The Liberal Party is seeing their support tanking. That is likely going impact, should the trend continue, any possibilities for a fall federal election. With Ontario already having civic elections this fall, it is possible that the Liberals will be uninterested in forcing a federal election.
EKOS states, “The Conservative are the only clear beneficiaries of this Liberal swoon and now would have a legitimate minority government in an election were held today”.
“The Liberals should be particularly alarmed about newfound Conservative strength in Ontario, where they now have a sizeable lead. Even in supposedly security-wary Toronto, the Conservatives enjoy an unprecedented lead.
“The bad news for the Liberals continues with signs of Conservative life in Quebec. The key demographic propelling the Conservatives appears to be seniors, where nearly half now
“So why this abrupt shift in Conservative fortunes? In the absence of Parliament, we could
speculate that it is merely a random survey error. But the pattern is far too pronounced and we can dismiss this hypothesis.
“Perhaps the absence of the critical lens that Parliament provides to the public explains buoyed Conservative fortunes. Another factor is the continuing recovery of the economy and the juxtaposition of Canadian strength compared to the economic and fiscal woes of recent visitors from the G8.
“A final interesting hypothesis is that Stephen Harper may now be assuming a symbolic as well as political role. It is interesting to note that in the absence of the representative head of state (Michaëlle Jean), it was Harper who greeted the Queen, rubbed shoulders with Obama and European Leaders, and basked in the positive glow surrounding Canada Day.
“So just as the Olympic hockey victory lifted Harper’s fortunes, the cumulative effect of these events seems to have exerted a similarly positive effect. If indeed Harper is now becoming a proxy for national pride, this may make the challenge for Ignatieff even more formidable (as confidence in national direction continues to be strong).
“One puzzling note to dampen an otherwise positive poll for the Conservatives is that there may be some conditionality to their newfound strength as confidence in the direction of the federal government continues to be tepid at best”.
The Liberals are launching what they call the “Liberal Express”, a bus tour with the leader.
Ignatieff states, “Starting at the Calgary Stampede, the “Liberal Express” tour will visit every province and territory during July and August. I’ll be on board, along with Liberal MPs and Senators, local candidates, and Young Liberals.
We’ll be at community events, summer barbecues, parades and pancake breakfasts – listening to Canadians, and sharing our positive vision for the future of the country.
We’re going to be talking about the issues that matter to Canadian families: health and home care, pensions, learning and training, and Canada’s leadership in the world”.