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The Conservative Party has jumped out to a slight lead in the election campaign in Canada, according to polling taken mostly after the RCMP announcement of a criminal investigation for the insider-trading allegations surrounding current Finance Minister Ralph Goodale. For the first time, Ipsos reports that the Tories now lead the Liberals on a national basis:
With the federal election now entering 2006 and its final stage, a new national Ipsos Reid survey, conducted on behalf of CanWest News Service/Global News, shows that while the Conservative and Liberal parties are in a virtual tie when it comes to vote support the underlying dynamics suggest that it is the Conservative campaign which has traction and momentum.
According to the survey, if a federal election were held tomorrow, 33% of voters would cast their ballot in support of the Conservatives (+1 point from last week’s survey), 32% would vote for the Liberals (32%, -1 point), 18% would vote for the NDP (+2 points), and 5% would vote for the Green Party (unchanged). In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois attract more than half of federal votes (52%, -2 points).
Currently four in ten Canadians (42%, +5 points) agree with the statement “I'd be comfortable voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to form the government in the next election because we'll probably have another minority which will keep them in check” - 44% of Ontarians agree with this statement.
The news gets worse for the Liberals and PM Paul Martin. For the first time, the Grits may be losing Ontario. The new Ipsos polling shows for the first time that support for Liberals has fallen behind that of the Conservatives. The Tories have a razor-thin 2-point lead in the province that normally provides the Liberals their base of support. Absent that, they have leads in the Maritimes and BC, but without Ontario they have no hope of winning a large enough plurality to control the Commons.
The Grits have three weeks to turn things around, and with a brand-new investigation hanging over them like some Sword of Damocles, I doubt that even Martin is slippery enough to pull the wool over the eyes of Canadian voters one last time.Sphere It View blog reactions
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