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January 21, 2006
Final Ipsos Poll Shows Tory Lead At 12

Ipsos has come out with its final polling for the Canadian election, and the numbers show Stephen Harper and the Tories rolling to a resounding victory in two days. The Tories now have a twelve-point gap over the Liberals and still have an edge in Ontario, the Liberal power base:

As the 39th general election enters its final days, it now seems almost certain that when the votes are counted on Election Day, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and his family will have a new home address at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa as he becomes the new Prime Minister of Canada.

A new national Ipsos Reid survey of 2000 Canadians, conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News from January 17-19th, frames the Conservatives holding 38% of federal votes (+1 point) and taking a 12-point lead over the Liberals (26%, -3 points) into the final election weekend. The NDP at 19% (+1 point) and the Green Party at 5% (unchanged) remain static in the polls.

Meanwhile, in Quebec, the Conservatives at 27% (+6 points) are now attracting nearly double the percentage of federal votes than are the Liberals (14%, -10 points) - the Bloc holds steady with 46% support (+3 points).

And while there has been speculation from many of a tightening vote scenario in the crucial province of Ontario, this trend does not appear evident: The Conservatives at 38% (-2 points) have maintained a lead (now at 4 points) over the Liberals (34%, -3 points) in this province. However, rising Liberal fortunes in the city of Toronto alone, which will not produce any new seats for the Party, has perhaps been at the root of this speculation.

Based on the numbers, Ipsos predicts an overwhelming plurality for the Tories of 147 seats, while the Liberals may wind up fighting for second place with Bloc Quebecois, both of which could win 59-63 seats. The stunning rejection of Liberal rule by a Canadian electorate that had largely been presumed to be detached and bored with politics and scandal will not just rock the political world but call into question the reporting of Canadian media, the independence of Canadian polling, and the conventional wisdom spooned out by pundits on both sides of the border. It's difficult to believe that this kind of quantum shift merely occurred over three weeks.

Stay tuned. Canada is about to erupt.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 21, 2006 9:46 AM

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