Polling Numbers Starting to Gel

expect change

expect changeTHUNDER BAY – The 2011 Election is starting to look like a battle between the Liberals and the Conservatives. The New Democrats are seeing their poll numbers slide, as are the Green Party. The latest Nanos Research Poll is showing that support for the Conservatives is a 41%, the Liberals are at 31%, and the New Democrats are at 14.9%. That represents an increase of 1% for the Conservatives, an increase of 0.7% for the Liberals and a drop of 2.3% for the New Democrats.

There are a growing similarity in the polls starting to show up.

The latest Ipsos Reid poll conducted during the second week of the Federal election for Global Television and Postmedia News indicates that if the election were held tomorrow the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper would receive 41% of the vote among decided voters (down 2 points from two weeks ago). The Liberal Party led by Michael Ignatieff would receive 26% (up 2 points), the NDP led by Jack Layton would receive 19% (up 3 points), and the Green Party led by Elizabeth may would garner just 4% (down 1 point).

Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc have 37% of the vote in Quebec, with the Conservatives (22%) and Liberals (21%) in a virtual tie with the NDP close behind (18%) and the Green Party (2%) well back of all others. One in ten (9%) Canadians is undecided.

The results represent only a marginal change from the poll released by Ipsos Reid at the outset of the campaign.

What continues to drive the high-flying Tories in the overall national support are their numbers in Ontario: 46% of decided voters would vote for the Conservatives—15 points ahead of the Liberals at 31%, followed by 17% for the NDP and 6% for the Green Party.

But the national vote numbers could yield a ‘ballot box bonus’ for the Conservatives and deliver them their coveted majority if vote certainty turnout holds: currently, 56% of Canadians say that they are ‘absolutely certain’ to go out and vote on Election Day and if this represented the actual vote turnout the adjusted polling numbers suggest Conservative support would rise to 44%(+3), support for the Liberals would be 26%, the NDP vote would yield 18% and the Green Party would receive 4%. The Bloc would receive 8% nationally.

Mirroring this is the fact that four in ten (44%) Canadians believe the ‘Conservative Party under Stephen Harper has done a good job and deserves re-election’ while 46% more closely agrees that ‘the Conservative Party does not deserve to be re-elected and it’s time for another party to be given a chance to govern the country’. One in ten (10%) Canadians don’t know which of these options is closest to their point of view.

But while the numbers have remained relatively consistent on the topline vote intentions, the real shakeup may actually be in the fight for second choice ballots:

When asked their second choice the NDP leads with 31% of decided voters compared to 21% who would pick the Liberals, 12% who would choose the Conservatives and 12% who would pick the Green Party.

But it’s the Liberals who may have the most to lose by NDP vote preying: 50% of Liberal supporters say their second preference is the NDP whereas just one in three (35%) NDP supporters say their second choice is the Liberal Party.

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