The federal Conservatives are again flirting with majority territory. The latest EKOS survey found 37.3 per cent of respondents would vote for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives if an election were held now, compared with only 24.8 per cent who said they’d support Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals. Gotta love those Tories! Their 12.5-point lead is their largest since October 2009.
While Conservatives increased their lead by two percentage points over the past two weeks, support for the Liberals fell by more than three points over the same period. And Jack Layton’s New Democrats’ support remained steady at 14.2 per cent of respondents.
Michael Ignatieff and his Liberal Party team have been very vocal about the possibility/probability they might defeat a budget that does not roll back corporate tax cuts. It’ll be interesting to see how bullish they are about an election if other polls confirm these somewhat surprising results.
A 12.5 percentage point lead puts the Tories right at the edge of majority territory and the Grits at the bottom of their support range. According to EKOS chief Frank Graves on CBC TV’s Power & Politics last evening, the Conservatives now also enjoy a 10-11 point lead in Ontario and an 11-12 point lead in the 905/416 GTA area. Conservatives are also ahead with women.
With these numbers and such a low reading for the Liberals (Dion territory), the traditional 40-41-points may not be needed for PM Harper to get a majority in an election.
This also suggests the prime minister could get his majority government regardless of the level of support he receives from Quebec. Loosening the Quebec death-lock on Canadian federal politics will be good for all Canadians. Perhaps then Quebec voters will stop sending to Ottawa MPs with the stated intention of destroying our country.
Spring election, anyone?
The New Democrats must also be concerned: their 14.2 per cent support would yield them less seats after an election than they have now.
Grits are probably praying the NDP will save their bacon by finding something to like in the upcoming Tory budget so a spring election can be avoided.
[NB: a random sample by EKOS of 1,652 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey between Feb. 4-9. The margin of error associated with the total sample is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.]