Remember all the bitching at the beginning of the campaign about SES polls when we were 15 points down? We were all prepared to lynch Nik Nanos then, and when SES gave us a 3-point lead, they became polling champions.
We all think Frank Graves and EKOS are deep in the tank for the Grits, so no doubt there will be glee when this poll makes its way round:
The survey, conducted by EKOS Research Associates for the Star and La Presse, found that 36.2 per cent of decided voters say they will support the Conservatives, while 30.4 per cent favoured the Liberals.
The NDP is supported by 17.9 per cent of voters, while the Bloc is at 10.4 per cent nationally and the Green party is at 4.7 per cent.
Results for Ontario and Quebec are eye-catching. In Ontario, where the Liberals have always enjoyed a big lead, a real dogfight has now emerged, with the Liberals at 38.5 per cent support and the Tories at 35.3.
In Quebec, where Harper has spent an unusual amount of time, the two parties are in almost a dead heat with the Liberals at 21.9 per cent and the Conservatives at 20.2. The Bloc Québécois is well ahead at 43.8, but the increased Tory support has come at the Bloc's expense. The shift shows Quebec voters are eyeing a federalist alternative other than the Liberals.
The poll will be a dispiriting blow to the Liberals, who have to rally their troops for the final push to the Jan. 23 vote.
But it will also hold dangers for the Tories, making them a target in a way they've escaped so far.
Does anyone seriously believe that we're at 20% in Quebec? Anyone? Watch for that result to get played up, with the suggestion that it would split the federalist vote in Quebec so badly that the Bloc would win all 75 seats. Not to keep Quebec voters in line, but to frighten Ontario voters away from the Tories and NDP with fears of a Tory-Bloc coalition.
If EKOS is really the Liberal-friendly pollster we think it is, this poll could be a spur to Ontario voters to get back on side.
Source: Toronto Star