Deadlocked national race obscures seat advantage for Liberals: EKOS poll

Bloc and NDP fortunes on rise as Green fortunes decline

THE national numbers could not be tighter with the Liberals and Conservatives at 31.2 and 31.8 points, respectively.

The NDP has risen, but that rise seems to have plateaued and they now standing at 18.4 points.

The Green Party is now at 6.8 per cent and they have seen a lot of their vote cannibalized by the rise in the NDP.

At 3.4 per cent, the People’s Party has fallen back somewhat, while the Bloc Québécois is 6.4 per cent nationally, which translates into a statistical tie in Quebec (29 per cent, compared to 28 per cent for the Liberals.)

Regionally, the main story remains Ontario. The polling was conducted in the aftermath of the Conservative release of its platform calling for $53 billion in cuts with assurances of no cuts to jobs. In Ontario, where voters are leery from their experiences with similar messaging from Doug Ford, the Liberals have once again opened up a 10-point lead (40 per cent, compared to 30 per cent for the second-place Conservatives). The NDP is also rising significantly in the province at 21 points.

The Atlantic has been looking quite favorable for the Liberals some time. The party stands at 44 points here, with the Conservatives well back at 18 points.

It is also notable that the Conservatives have largely fallen out of the picture in Quebec. Indeed, save for Ontario where they continue to have some prospects (though they are well behind the Liberals), the Conservative position in Eastern Canada is not particularly strong.

British Columbia remains an unpredictable tight race between the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and a waning Green Party.

Alberta and Saskatchewan remain solidly locked in with the Conservatives, with the party well over 60 points in both provinces. The Conservatives are also doing very well in Manitoba.

The Conservatives do better with men, while the Liberals do better with women. The age patterns are not terribly clear, although NDP support is disproportionately concentrated among youth. However, it remains to see whether those voters will actually show up on Election Day.

The other major gap we see is across university-educated versus non-university-educated voters, with university graduates favouring the Liberals and other educational cohorts favouring the Conservatives by a fairly large margin.

Bottom line:

There is still room for further movement, but it applies largely to non-Conservative parts of the vote. The Conservative vote is fairly locked in which is good news for them. On the bad news side, there is very little room for growth with a scant six per cent identifying them as second choice.

The Liberals score 12 per cent on second choice so can aspire to grow. The NDP, however, have the greatest growth potential at 22 per cent, followed by the Green Party at 14 per cent and the Bloc Québécois at 11.9 in Quebec. If further movement were to occur for the NDP, it would come from the Liberals and Greens.

In fact, the greatest potential circulations are final shifting among promiscuous progressive voters across the three centre-left national parties. The Conservatives are pretty well stuck and must count on a large turnout advantage to win this election.

These findings leave open the question of alliances – formal or otherwise – between the parties in a hung parliament. We will be testing this in the next few days, but the most plausible options right now are a Liberal-NDP or a Conservative-Bloc, with the former being somewhat more likely at the moment. How voters react to these new realities will shape the final outcome of Election 43.

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