poll: harper now "a razor's edge" away from losing government

Jane Taber calls it a "breathtaking shift".
Stephen Harper's Conservatives would lose 33 seats if an election were held today and only maintain a tenuous hold on minority government, according to a new EKOS poll.

"From comfortable majority and kudos in October to the razor's edge of losing government altogether," says pollster Frank Graves, whose new survey finds that Canadians simply don't like the Parliamentary shutdown.

"Clearly it has a significant impact. It has become a proxy and a catalyst for a whole bunch of broader frustrations and anxieties that the public are feeling about the government."

Indeed, the EKOS data is consistent with two polls released yesterday showing the Tories and Michael Ignatieff's Liberals effectively tied for support and that Canadians are displeased with Mr. Harper’s decision to prorogue Parliament.

. . .

More interesting, however, is Mr. Graves's seat projections based on the latest numbers.

If an election were held today, he says, the Tories would have only 112 seats compared to the 145 they have now. Last fall, when his polls had the Tories in majority government territory, Mr. Graves had the Harper team winning 177 seats. Now, they would see their biggest losses in Ontario, dropping to 33 from 51 seats.

The Liberals, meanwhile, would make gains in Ontario, taking 60 seats from their current 38. Nationally, Mr. Graves has the Ignatieff team winning 107 seats compared to the 77 seats they have now.

His figures suggest the NDP would win 33 seats, down from the 37 they have now. And the Bloc Quebecois would win five more seats, going to 53 from 48 seats.

See you on January 23!

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