If findings from a new Ipsos Reid poll can be relied upon, Canadians seem to prefer the idea of a Conservative Party of Canada minority in power rather than a Liberal-led coalition government, if the Tories can’t win a majority in the next election. This is just the sort of news we need to help focus the minds of those Grits who are agitating for a federal election.
Apparently, 55 per cent of respondents would rather see a Conservative minority running the country, and only 45 per cent said they would support a government run by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton. And, with only 16 per cent of respondents saying they believe Michael Ignatieff would be the best fit as prime minister (48% favoured PM Harper; 35% favoured Jack Layton), this cannot be good news for Liberals.
Adding the Bloc Québécois support to any Liberal-NDP coalition drives support for that prospect to 39 per cent—a figure too low, I believe, to be a real option.
While the Tories can’t seem to garner enough support for a majority government, Canadians still seem to prefer to see them running the country. The Liberals seem to be so busy playing to the press gallery and news networks they haven’t noticed that ordinary Canadians are not buying their spin—or their leader. So why do they seem so anxious for an election?
Perhaps senior Grits like Bob Rae feel they need to go through an election, even if it means losing, so they can then replace the ineffectual Michael Ignatieff. Or perhaps it’s Michael Ignatieff who wants to put his campaign skills to the test and if—as it seems likely—he loses, he can return to academia, a place to which he’s far better suited. Perhaps Ignatieff is fed up playing second fiddle to PM Harper and wants out if he can’t be the prime minister.
(Between Jan. 24 and Jan. 27, 1,006 Canadian adults were interviewed online for the Ipsos Reid survey, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.)