THUNDER BAY – The federal Liberals have climbed past the New Democrats. There is a shift in the support for federal political parties in the latest Nanos Poll. Support for the Conservatives remains steady at 33.3 percent with the Liberals at 30.1, the NDP at 27.9, the BQ at 4.7 and the Green Party at 2.9.
With the Liberal leadership race started in earnest, the Liberals have picked up 5.5 percentage points in the past month and are numerically ahead of the NDP for the first time since April 2012. Of note the Liberals are up noticeably in two key battlegrounds, British Columbia and Ontario. Also of importance, support for the NDP is down in these two regions but remains steady in Quebec.
It would seem that the focus on the Liberal leadership race has had the greatest current impact in Ontario and British Columbia. Although a number of the higher profile declared and potential Liberal leadership candidates hail from Quebec, including Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau, the Quebec numbers remain relatively unchanged with the focus on the Liberal leadership race.
Many parties naturally do well during leadership races because voters can project onto a leaderless party based on the possible choices. One good month for the Liberals does not a trend line make. It is too early to understand the full ramifications of the Liberal Leadership race.
However, volatility in voter support for the Liberals and the NDP in Ontario and British Columbia is a key dynamic to monitor in the short term.
There are some interesting trends continuing in the poll. Prime Minister Harper is still seen as the most trustworthy leader, however across the board since September the level of trust in the Nanos Poll for all leaders is down across Canada.