Darrell Bricker (Ipsos):
In the first week of the post-Labour Day election campaign, the Liberals appear to have made gains in the key battlegrounds of Ontario and Quebec, ticking up on a national basis, while the NDP has stumbled in Quebec causing their national support figures to dip. The Conservatives have made gains in BC, but have fallen behind in Ontario, resulting in an unchanged reading nationally.
According to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, despite a concentrated attack by the Liberals and NDP, amplified by media, pundits and others over the Syrian refugee crisis, it would appear that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have survived to live another day with their vote support unchanged nationally.
If the election were to be held tomorrow, 32% of decided eligible voters would vote for Thomas Mulcair and the NDP (down 2 points), while 31% would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals (up 1 point), and 29% would vote for the Harper Conservatives (unchanged). The Bloc led by Gilles Duceppe would receive 4% of the decided vote nationally (up 1 point), 17% in Quebec, and Elizabeth May’s Green Party would also receive 4% of the vote nationally (up 1 point).
Liberals Make Gains in Key Battlegrounds Ontario, Quebec…
While the race is tightening nationally, the key to victory is found in the regions. The Liberals appear to be the primary beneficiary of vote movement in the seat-rich provinces of Ontario and Quebec:
- In Ontario, the Liberals (37%) have widened their lead over the Conservatives (31%) and NDP (27%), while the Green Party (5%) lags behind.
- In Quebec, while still solidly in the lead, the NDP (38%) margin over the Liberals (26%), Bloc (17%) Conservatives (16%) and Green Party (2%) has narrowed.
- In BC, the Conservatives (35%) and NDP (34%) are jockeying for the lead, with the Liberals (25%) in third position. The Green Party (6%) has its best showing in BC.
- In Alberta, the Tories (45%) have a healthy lead over the NDP (31%), Liberals (18%) and Green Party (3%) province-wide.
- In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (35%), NDP (34%) and Liberals (25%) are in a similar position as in BC, with the Green Party trailing (5%).
- In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (55%) are predictably well ahead of the NDP (29%), Conservatives (15%) and Green Party (1%).
Underlying Support for Government Improves Slightly…
While the incumbent Conservative government’s vote figures have remained unchanged nationally since last week, some of the underlying metrics of support have ticked up, albeit just slightly.
Stephen Harper (32%, +3) is now tied with Justin Trudeau (32%, unchanged), but still behind Thomas Mulcair (36%, -3) as the person voters believe would make the best Prime Minister of Canada.
Four in ten (40%) ‘approve’ (11% strongly/28% somewhat) of the Conservative government under the leadership of Stephen Harper, up 2 points. In contrast, six in ten (60%) ‘disapprove’ (37% strongly/24% somewhat), down 2 points.
Three in ten (30%) believe that the ‘Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done a good job and deserves re-election’ (up 1 point), but the vast majority (70%) of voters still believe it’s ‘time for another federal party to take over’ (down 1 point).
Economy Remains Top Ballot-Issue; Syrian Refugee Crisis Least Important Election Issue…
When tested among nine potential “ballot questions” that could be important to eligible voters in determining who they will vote for on Election Day, the Syrian refugee crisis ranked last among those issues. Six in ten (60%) voters say that ‘the performance of the Canadian economy’ is ‘absolutely critical’ in helping determine who they will vote for on E-Day, placing it well ahead of any other issue tested.
Other issues that fewer voters deem as ‘absolutely critical’ include: the specific economic plan presented by each party (41%), reducing taxes (38%), a desire to throw out the Harper government (37%), a strong plan to reduce greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change (32%), ethics issues related to the Senate and Mike Duffy trial (28%), continuing Canada’s military mission to fight ISIL in the Middle East (22%) and a national childcare program (21%). Just 16% say that the Syrian Refugee crisis is ‘absolutely critical’ in determining their vote, placing it firmly in last position.