The numbers, released yesterday by Environics Research Group, show 41 per cent of decided voters surveyed in the 44 GTA ridings support the Liberals, down from the 51-per-cent share of the vote the party received in the June, 2004, election.
Thirty-five per cent said they would vote for the Conservative Party, up seven points from the Tories' 28-per-cent showing last June, and just six points behind the Liberals. The New Democrats had 21- per-cent support, up from 15 per cent in the election.
Looking just at the 905 region, the poll puts the Liberals and the Conservatives in a virtual tie, with Liberal support at 41 per cent and the Conservatives at 39 per cent. The New Democrats were far behind at 16 per cent.
In the 416 region, according to the Environics poll, the Liberals had 40 per cent, the Conservatives 31 per cent and the New Democrats 26 per cent.
Recent polls show a consistent 3 to 5 percentage point lead province-wide in Ontario. Factor in these numbers, and that would mean a virtual sweep outside the GTA, with the exception of 2 or 3 NDP seats up north, and Ottawa-Vanier and Kingston staying Liberal.
The 416 numbers are especially heartening, as they suggest two or three seats in the party's dead zone.
These numbers are good for at least 60 seats, and it wouldn't take more than three percentage points to push that up towards 70.
Provided the wheels don't fall off the bus again, Ontario will bring home at least a strong minority government.