OTTAWA – The Conservative Party is holding on to the top spot in Canada, but has lost points in the new year, a new Vision Critical / Angus Reid poll has found. In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,008 Canadian adults, 34 per cent of respondents (-3 since December) would support the governing Conservative Party in the next federal election.
The Liberal Party is second with 28 per cent (+2), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 17 per cent (-1), the Bloc Québécois with 11 per cent (+1), and the Green Party with eight per cent (+1). While the Tories and the NDP are now below their final tally in the 2008 election, the Grits, the Bloc and the Greens are ahead of their result in the last federal ballot.
The Tories maintain their dominance in Alberta (65%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (44%). In British Columbia, two-in-five decided voters would support the governing party (42%), followed by the NDP (25%) and the Liberals (21%).
The biggest change has come in Ontario, where the 13-point Tory lead observed in December has become a statistical tie (Conservatives 38%, Liberals 36%). In Quebec, the Bloc remains ahead with 43 per cent, followed by the three federalist parties (Lib. 22%, NDP 15%, Con. 13%).
The real story in the latest poll are the continuing low numbers for Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. Conservative leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper maintaining an approval rating of 26 per cent. NDP leader Jack Layton gained a point to tie Harper at 26 per cent, while Liberal Party and Official opposition leader Michael Ignatieff dropped to 12 per cent. Layton keeps the best momentum score of the three leaders at -3, followed by Harper with -18 and Ignatieff with -20.