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Conservatives Rally in Ontario and Quebec to Challenge for Lead; NDP Slides to Third: Liberals 33% (Unchanged), Conservatives 32% (+5), NDP 27% (-3) : POLL 

Harper, Trudeau, Mulcair

In Battleground Ontario, Conservatives (35%) and Liberals (34%) Tied; In Key 905 Region, Conservatives (43%) Have Advantage over Liberals (36%), NDP (19%)

Toronto, ON – The Conservatives are charging hard and are within two points of the leading Liberals, buoyed by rallies in Ontario and Quebec. Meanwhile, the NDP continues its gradual slide and is now in third place nationally, according to new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.

If the election were held tomorrow, the Liberals under Justin Trudeau would receive 33% of the decided vote among eligible voters (unchanged since last week), while the Conservatives led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper would receive 32% of the vote (up 5 points). Thomas Mulcair and the NDP would receive 27% of the national popular vote, down 3 points. In fact, in early September the NDP was receiving 34% of the popular vote, and has decreased by roughly 2 points each week since then.

Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois would receive 4% of the vote nationally, down 1 point (current support of 18% in Quebec), while Elizabeth May and the Green Party would receive 4% of the vote, unchanged. One percent (1%) of Canadians would vote for some other party. One in ten voters is unsure (11%) of who they’d vote for, or say that they wouldn’t vote or would spoil their ballot.

In order to understand the national trends, examining party support in the regions is critical:

  • In Ontario, the Conservatives (35%) have closed the gap with the Liberals (34%) and are now tied for the lead, with the NDP (27%) and Green Party (4%) trailing. Ipsos also boosted the sample size of the poll in the GTA in order to understand how the parties are performing in this key area:
    • In Toronto proper, the NDP (34%) and Liberals (33%) are tied for first, with the Conservatives (28%) in third, and Green Party (4%) trailing.
    • In the “905” area surrounding Toronto, the Conservatives (43%) have the advantage over the Liberals (36%), NDP (19%), and Green Party (3%).
    • In the rest of Ontario there exists a tight three way race among the Conservatives (33%), Liberals (33%) and NDP (29%).
  • In Quebec, the NDP (34%) vote has softened as their lead narrows over the Liberals (24%) and rallying Tories (21%), with the Bloc (18%) not far behind. The Green Party (2%) lags.
  • In British Columbia, the Liberals (35%) lead the Conservatives (30%) and NDP (27%) in another three-way race, with the Green Party receiving 8% of the vote province-wide and 1% voting for some other party.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (50%) lead the Liberals (26%), NDP (19%), Greens (2%) and other parties (2%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (38%) lead the Liberals (30%), NDP (30%) and Green Party (2%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (52%) are holding a solid lead over the NDP (24%), Conservatives (19%) and Green Party (3%), while 2% would vote for some other party.

Most Canadians Support Position that Women Show Face During Citizenship Ceremonies…

The issue of the niqab and the requirement of women to show their face during citizenship ceremonies has resurfaced in this election. An Ipsos poll in early 2015 showed that 88% of Canadians supported a government directive that face coverings, such as niqabs or burqas worn by some observant Muslim women, were not permitted during Canadian citizenship ceremonies. However, this directive was recently found to be unlawful by both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, stating the policy was in violation of the Citizenship Act which says citizenship judges must allow the greatest possible religious freedom when administering the citizenship oath.

While support for the government’s position has softened somewhat, three quarters (76%) of Canadians still ‘support’ (55% strongly/21% somewhat) ‘a requirement that that people show their face during Canadian citizenship ceremonies’, while one quarter (24%) ‘opposes’ (10% strongly/14% somewhat) this requirement.

While a majority of voters for every party supports the requirement, this could be just the wedge issue the Tories have been looking for, with 95% of Tory voters supporting such a requirement, compared to 69% of NDP and 67% of Liberal voters. Nine in ten (92%) Bloc voters also support the government’s position. In Quebec as a whole, 84% support the requirement (72% strongly), which could help explain the bounce for the Tories in Quebec.

Key Tracking Metrics Improving Slightly for Harper Government…

Mirroring the rise in fortunes in vote support for the Tories is an improvement in many of the key tracking metrics that can portend whether the government is re-elected or not:

  • Four in ten (42%) ‘approve’ (13% strongly/30% somewhat) of the performance of the government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, up 2 points since last week. Six in ten (58%) ‘disapprove’ (30% strongly/27% somewhat), down 2 points.
  • Nearly half (47%) ‘approve’ (12% strongly/35% somewhat) of the Federal Government’s overall management of the Canadian economy, up 2 points. The other half (53%) ‘disapproves’ (19% strongly/34% somewhat), down 2 points.
  • On the topic of which party and leader would be best able to deal with the struggling Canadian economy if elected, Harper (35%, up 4) slightly edges Trudeau (34%, unchanged) and Mulcair (31%, down 3).
  • Thinking about who would make best Prime Minister, Harper (35%, up 5) and Mulcair (34%, down 4) are slightly ahead of Trudeau (32%, unchanged).
  • One in three (33%, up 4) believes the Harper government has done a good job and deserves re-election, while 67% (down 4) believe it’s time for another party to take over.
  • Four in ten (43%, up 4) believe Canada is headed in the right direction, while 57% (down 4) believe Canada is off on the wrong track.

    These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 25 to 28, 2015 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1354 Canadians eligible to vote was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say Panel (comprising ~150,000 panelists) and non-panel sources (river sampling). Given Ipsos’ use of river sampling and a router to match respondents who may not qualify for other surveys with one they do qualify for (such as this poll), it is not possible to identify the number of respondents invited to participate in the survey, or a traditional measure of response rate. Weighting by region, age, gender and political variables was employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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