The Conservative Party remains the political favourite and an increasing number of Canadians are happy with the country's direction, a new poll suggests.
Of those surveyed, 33.3 per cent would vote for the Conservatives if an election were held tomorrow, according to an EKOS poll released exclusively to CBC News. Moreover, 47 per cent of those surveyed say that, all things considered, the government is moving in the right direction.
The results are not a huge change from those published a week earlier, which showed support for the Conservatives at 33.1 per cent and support for the country's direction at 44.2 per cent.
The Liberal Party, on the other hand, took a small hit in popularity among those surveyed. If an election were held tomorrow, 27.7 per cent of those surveyed would vote for them, a drop of 1.2 percentage points from the week before.
While the drop was slight, it continued a six-week slide for the Liberals, who have been unable to return to the year's high of 31.1 per cent in results released on Jan. 28.
The NDP held steady, with 15.9 per cent support of those surveyed.
EKOS surveyed a random sample of 2,880 Canadians aged 18 and over by telephone between March 17 and 23. The deemed margin of error is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The Conservatives maintained their lead in the West, garnering 56 per cent and 49.5 per cent of the vote in Alberta and Saskatchewan/Manitoba, respectively. They continue to suffer in Quebec, where they received the support of just 16 per cent of those surveyed.
In Ontario, Conservatives and Liberals run almost neck and neck, with 36.6 per cent and 35 per cent support, respectively.
In British Columbia, 33.4 per cent of those surveyed supported the Conservatives, ahead of both the Liberals and the NDP, while the Bloc Québécois stayed strong in Quebec, with 39.2 per cent.
Conservative supporters were most likely to say the country is heading in the right direction, at a resounding 86.5 per cent.
Supporters of all other parties, however, said the country is headed in the wrong direction. Bloc Québécois supporters are especially discontented: 72.3 per cent said the country is going in the wrong direction.
Those surveyed in Alberta are also most likely to think the country is heading in the right direction, at 64.2 per cent. A majority of Quebecers — 57.2 per cent — said it is heading in the wrong direction.
Men were more likely than women to say the country is on the right path.
Those under the age of 25 are also happier with the country's direction: 51.5 per cent of them say the direction is the right one, while 46.5 per cent of those aged 45 to 64 said the direction is the wrong one.
An earlier version of this story said the NDP led in British Columbia, with 25.6 per cent support. In fact, the Conservative Party led with 33.4 per cent.Oct 18, 2013 12:04 AM ET