Conservatives Lead by Three; But Struggling East of Manitoba

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According to Harris/Decima Chairman Allan Gregg “There seems to be little question that the Liberals have improved their electoral fortunes over the summer -- they have closed the gap with the Conservative lead to 3 points; moved into a virtual tie in Ontario, advanced in Quebec and significantly narrowed the Conservative lead among men. Unfortunately for them, it would appear that virtually none of this improvement is a result of voters forming a positive impression of their leader, Michael Ignatieff. In fact, while Conservative leader Stephen Harper has improved his net favourability rating (i.e. the percent of voters holding a favourable minus unfavourable impressions) slightly -- from -10 to -5 – Mr. Ignatieff still trails him at -25 and has basically not moved since May.

A more in-depth analysis presents even more disturbing news for the Liberal leader and demonstrates that he has been unable to cultivate a loyal constituency among any of the demographic and socio-economic groups we look at. In fact, his net favourable rating is worse than Harper's for every group analyzed, save Quebecers and voters with post graduate degrees and even among these two constituencies he is in negative territory. A narrow majority of Liberal voters do hold a favourable impression of Mr. Ignatieff but once again, compared to the number of Conservatives (88%) who hold a favourable impression of his opponent, it is apparent that Mr. Ignatieff does not have the ability to galvanize the Liberal support base the way Mr. Harper does his."

  • Nationally, over the last two weeks, the Conservatives lead by three points. The Conservatives are at 33%, the Liberals 30%, the NDP 16%, the Greens 10% and the BQ 9%.
  • In Quebec, the BQ leads, with the Liberals establishing themselves as the 2nd place party. Here, the BQ stands at 37%, followed by the Liberals with 28%, the Conservatives 15%, the Greens 10% and the NDP 9%.
  • In Ontario, the race remains neck and neck. Here, the Liberals stand at 36%, the Conservatives 35%, the NDP 18% and the Greens 10%.
  • In BC, the Conservatives and NDP are battling for popular support. Here, the Conservatives stand at 32%, followed by the NDP with 30%, the Liberals with 21% and the Greens with 15%.
  • The Conservatives continue to dominate on the Prairies.
    • In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Conservatives are at 44%, followed by the Liberals with 27%, the NDP 21% and the Greens 7%.
    • In Alberta, the Conservatives hold 63% support, to 18% for the Liberals, 11% for the Greens and 6% for the NDP.
  • The Liberals are now well in front in Atlantic Canada. Here, they stand at 45%, to 28% for the Conservatives, 18% for the NDP and 9% for the Greens.
  • Leadership tracking also reveals that Canadians continue to view Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper’s leadership unfavourably.
    • Mr. Harper is seen in a favourable light by 44%, and unfavourably by 49%.
    • Mr. Ignatieff is seen favourably by just 29% and unfavourably by 54%.
    • Mr. Layton is seen favourably by 51%, and unfavourably by 37%.
    • Ms. May is seen favourably by 30%, and unfavourably by 33%.
    • M. Duceppe remains very popular in Quebec, with 61% viewing him favourably, and 29% unfavourably.

The vote data were gathered through teleVox, Harris/Decima’s national telephone omnibus survey over two weeks between August 12 and August 22. 2010 for 2,017 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. Regional margins of error are outlined below.

Atlantic – +/- 6.8%
Quebec – +/- 4.4%
Ontario – +/- 3.8%
Man/Sask – +/- 6.8%
Alberta – +/- 6.9%
BC – +/- 6.2%

The leadership data was gathered through teleVox, from August 19 to August 22, 2010 for 1,007 completes. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.