Federal Conservatives Maintain Ten Point Lead

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Canadian PoliticsTHUNDER BAY – The federal political scene, according to pollster Angus Reid has the Conservatives ahead with a ten point lead over the New Democrats. The Liberals are in third place. The poll also examines the NDP leadership race as it factors in Thomas Mulclair and Brian Topp and other individuals as leadership candidates to replace Jack Layton as NDP leader.

Angus Reid reports, “Across the country, 39 per cent of decided voters and leaners (unchanged since August) would support the governing Tories in the next federal election. The NDP is second with 29 per cent (-2), followed by the Liberal Party with 21 per cent (+2), the Bloc Québécois with five per cent (-1), and the Green Party with four per cent (=).

The Conservatives remain well ahead in Alberta (61%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (56%), and have the support of more than two-in-five voters in British Columbia (43%) and Ontario (42%). The NDP is first in Quebec (40%), with the Tories and the Bloc fighting for second place.

The Conservatives remain the most popular party for both genders (Men 43%, Women 36%). Respondents aged 18-to-34 pick the NDP first (38%), while those aged 35-to-54 and those over the age of 55 prefer the Tories (42% and 48% respectively).

Three parties—the Conservatives, the NDP and the Greens—are holding on to at least four-in-five voters who supported them in the May 2011 election. The retention rate is lower for the Bloc (75%) and the Liberals (70%)”.

With the Quebec MP as leader, support for the official opposition party reaches 28 per cent—three points higher than under Brian Topp.
As the New Democratic Party (NDP) ponders its next leader, the Conservative Party maintains a ten-point advantage in Canada, a new Angus Red Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with the Toronto Star and La Presse has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,668 Canadian adults also shows that Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair would provide the NDP with a clear advantage in Quebec and a closer race at the national level than party president Brian Topp.

Voting Intention

Across the country, 39 per cent of decided voters and leaners (unchanged since August) would support the governing Tories in the next federal election. The NDP is second with 29 per cent (-2), followed by the Liberal Party with 21 per cent (+2), the Bloc Québécois with five per cent (-1), and the Green Party with four per cent (=).

The Conservatives remain well ahead in Alberta (61%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (56%), and have the support of more than two-in-five voters in British Columbia (43%) and Ontario (42%). The NDP is first in Quebec (40%), with the Tories and the Bloc fighting for second place.

The Conservatives remain the most popular party for both genders (Men 43%, Women 36%). Respondents aged 18-to-34 pick the NDP first (38%), while those aged 35-to-54 and those over the age of 55 prefer the Tories (42% and 48% respectively).

Three parties—the Conservatives, the NDP and the Greens—are holding on to at least four-in-five voters who supported them in the May 2011 election. The retention rate is lower for the Bloc (75%) and the Liberals (70%).

NDP Leadership Race

In this survey, respondents were provided with a list of 16 NDP figures and asked whether each one of them would be a “good choice” or a “bad choice” to lead the party. Thomas Mulcair is seen as a “good choice” to replace Jack Layton by 24 per cent of Canadians, followed by former Saskatchewan Premier Ray Romanow, Brian Topp and former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer all at 18 per cent, and former NDP deputy leader Bill Blaikie and Ontario MP Paul Dewar at 10 per cent each.

Among NDP voters in the 2011 election, Mulcair is also the top choice with 35 per cent, followed by Topp with 21 per cent, Romanow with 18 per cent, Doer with 16 per cent, Dewar, Blaikie and British Columbia MP Libby Davies with 11 per cent each, and Quebec MP Roméo Saganash with 10 per cent.

Canadians were also presented with a ballot question featuring three NDP figures as leaders. With Doer at the helm, the NDP trails the Conservatives by an 18-point margin (42% to 24%). While the party becomes slightly more competitive in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, it drops markedly in Quebec.

With Topp as leader, the Tories would hold a 17-point lead (42% to 25%), but the NDP keeps first place in Quebec with 31 per cent. The NDP’s fortunes would rise with Mulcair, who would take the party to 28 per cent at the national level—a 13-point lead for the Conservatives)—but would command the backing of more than half of voters in Quebec (52%).

Analysis

Most Canadian voters are standing by their choices in the May 2011 election, but the survey shows that there might be a realignment depending on who becomes the new leader of the NDP. With Doer, who has stated he has no intention of running, the party gets a bit of a boost in Western Canada, but no tangible bounce nationally. With Topp, the NDP does not maintain the connection with Ontario that was observed in the last federal ballot. Mulcair is clearly a dominant figure in Quebec, syphoning support from former Liberal and Bloc voters, and bringing a level of dominance for a federal party that is seldom seen outside of Alberta.

It is important to note that, under all three scenarios, the NDP would drop to pre-2011 levels in Ontario, where the Liberal Party would take sole possession of second place with the Conservatives clearly ahead.

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