Party Support Shifts as Regions Polarize

TORONTO, August 20 — After four weeks of campaigning, the opinion polls are finally showing movement. The Conservatives are benefitting the most from this, having now taken a four point lead in the National polls, although this good news is tempered by a cratering of support in the Atlantic provinces.

Nationally, the Conservatives sit at 32.1% of decided voters, followed by the Liberals at 28.4%, the NDP at 21%, the Greens at 10.2% and the Bloc Quebecois at 8.3%. In the Atlantic provinces, however, Conservative support has dropped sharply, from 19.3% to 16.2% in the space of a week. The Liberal lead has increased to 51.5% and the NDP maintain second spot with 21.5% of decided voters. Green Party support has also increased, to 10.8%.

“The Atlantic provinces seem to be turning away from the governing Conservatives,” said pollster Allen Reid. “Given the rise of the Green’s fortunes, I have to think that Peter MacKay might be a little worried right now.”

But the news was worse for the Liberals. The Tories have moved ahead in Ontario, with 36.2%, followed by the Liberals at 33.3%, the NDP at 20.6% and the Green Party at 9.9%. Further, Liberal support is cratering in Alberta, down to 14.7%, well behind the Conservatives at 51.6%, and within sight of the Green Party at 11%. The NDP remain in second place at 22.6%.

“With Liberal support is remaining stagnant elsewhere, it’s looking less and less likely that the party can overtake the Conservatives,” says Reid. “It would take a significant gaffe on the part of the Conservatives or a significant shift in Liberal strategy to turn things around, and given how the campaign is going, I don’t see that happening.”

The Liberals and the Conservatives did post modest gains in Quebec, however, where the Bloc Quebecois have slipped over a percentage point to 34.7% of decided voters. The Conservatives are in second place at 23.6% and the Liberals close behind them at 22%.

“What should be disturbing for the Bloc Quebecois is that Liberal and Conservative support are coming from different parts of the province,” says Reid. “Liberal support is concentrated in Montreal, whereas Conservative support is stronger elsewhere. They’re not competing against each other, but against the Bloc, and that means that their numbers are a lot stronger than the overall provincial numbers suggest. Bloc support is at the lowest level of the campaign.”

The NDP continues to post respectable numbers throughout the country, save for Quebec. They lead in Manitoba and Saskatchewan with 34.1% of the decided vote and are tied for first place in BC with 30% of the decided vote.

Over 3000 Canadians were sampled over a week. The numbers are considered accurate to within three percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

       Atlantic   Quebec   Ontario   Man/Sask  Alberta      BC     National     
CON     16.15%    23.61%    36.17%    30.00%    51.58%    30.00%    32.14% 
LIB     51.54%    21.99%    33.33%    25.00%    14.74%    25.42%    28.40%
NDP     21.54%    12.27%    20.57%    34.17%    22.63%    30.00%    21.02%
GRN     10.77%     7.41%     9.93%    10.83%    11.05%    14.58%    10.18%
BLQ      0.00%    34.72%     0.00%     0.00%     0.00%     0.00%     8.26%

Sample    220       720      1200       200       300       400      3040

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by James Bow published on August 20, 2008 11:48 AM.

Conservatives Gain Strength in Ontario, Lose Support in Atlantic was the previous entry in this blog.

Polls Show Conservative Momentum, Continued Volatility is the next entry in this blog.

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