Who is where in the race to power

A sampling of polls from elections past as well as a running poll leading up to the Oct. 14, 2008, federal election

A sampling of public opinion surveys over the past two years

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The Canadian Press/ Harris-Decima poll includes interviews with about 300 Canadians each night as part of a rolling nationwide survey that will continue throughout the campaign. The CBC intends to regularly update these numbers in conjunction with its polling partners. The Sept. 24, 2008, results represent 1,248 interviews done between Sept. 20 and Sept. 23. The poll's margin of error is 2.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.  <a href="#latestpoll">Click here</a>[/CUSTOM]  to go to the latest poll.

Federal party planners must have been reaching for some headache relief when they watched the ups and downs offered by the polls that were published leading up to the Sept. 7 election call.

Polling company Decima, for example, had the Conservatives (37 per cent) ahead of the Liberals (30 per cent) in January of this year. But that lead collapsed, according to Decima, and the Liberals were leading by one point in mid-August, with 33 per cent compared to the Conservatives' 32 per cent.

Things have changed again since then, according to more recent polls, with the Conservatives up by 10 per cent over the Liberals.

Following is a snapshot of polls taken after the January 2006 election, leading up to September of this year:

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        % NDP     %Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
 January 2006 election 36.3 30.2 17.510.5 5 --
 March 31, 2006 Environics 41 22 2110 5 1,719/+-2.4

Conservatives deliver first budget

The Conservatives' first budget in May 2, 2006, cut the GST by one percentage point in July and offered almost $20 billion in tax relief for individuals over the next two years. The government also introduced a $1,200-a-year child-care benefit for the parents of children under the age of six

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        %NDP     %Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error

May 3, 2006 Strategic Counsel Globe and Mail/CTV


June 23, 2006 Environics


Sept. 18, 2006 Strategic Counsel Globe and Mail/CTV


Strategic Counsel 

Dec. 2, 2006: Liberal leadership convention chooses Stéphane Dion

Dark horse candidate Stéphane Dion surged from fourth to first to claim the federal Liberal leadership, defeating contender Michael Ignatieff on Dec. 2, 2006, in the final ballot. "The most exciting race in the history of our party is over," Dion told a jubilant crowd of some 5,000 at the party's convention in Montreal. "Let's get ready for the election."

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        %NDP     %Bloc     % Green       % Poll size/margin of error

Dec. 30, 2006 Environics


Jan. 14, 2007 Strategic Counsel Globe and Mail/CTV


March 1, 2007 Harris/Decima Canadian Press



March 19, 2007: Second Conservative budget

Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on March 19, 2007, presented his party's second budget, which included a new $2,000 tax credit for each child under 18. The maximum benefit under the plan will be $310 per child. As well, one of Flaherty's chief proposals was an extra $1.5 billion aimed at correcting the so-called "fiscal imbalance" with the provinces.

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               % Liberals        %NDP     % Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
March 22, 2007 Strategic Counsel Globe and Mail/CTV 393113891,000/+-3.1
March 28, 2007 Léger Marketing412714961,500/+-2.6
May 3, 2007 SES/Nanos Research Sun Media323317910857/+-3.4
May 27, 2007 Léger Marketing373014981,500/+-2.6
June 30, 2007 Environics3728177111,733/+-2.3
Oct. 12, 2007 Ipsos National Post/Global TV402816781,000/+-3.1
Oct. 14, 2007 Environics3329197111,727/+-2.4

Léger Marketing

Nanos Research

Oct. 16, 2007: Conservative speech from the throne

The Conservative government unveiled its top priorities for the upcoming Parliamentary session in its speech from the throne on Oct. 16, 2007, promising major tax cuts, a vote to extend the Afghan mission until at least 2011 and new crime legislation. The speech said Canada should stay directly involved in Afghanistan until at least 2011. The government said it would call for a vote on the mission.

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        %NDP     %Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
Nov. 8, 2007 SES/Nanos Research35341796885/+-3.3
Nov. 8, 2007 Ipsos National Post/Global TV422815971,000/+-3.1
Dec. 2, 2007 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3628169111,000/+-3.2
Jan. 3, 2008 Environics3627177132,032/+-2.2

Jan. 9, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

3730131091,000 avr/+-3.1
Jan. 14, 2008 Strategic Counsel Globe and Mail/CTV36301411101,000/+-3.1
Jan. 26, 2008 Ipsos National Post/Global TV3729149101,000/+-3.1
Feb. 8, 2008 Nanos Research313319108841/+-3.4
Feb. 16, 2008 Ipsos National Post/Global TV 362913910857/+-3.35


Lead up to release of federal budget on Feb. 26, 2008

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said he found the Feb. 26, 2008, federal budget "a grab bag that does nothing," adding his party would not vote against it, ensuring it would pass. Key features of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's second such document was the introduction of a new investment vehicle for Canadians, dubbed a Tax-free Savings Account. In its budget, called "prudent" by many analysts, the government also promised $250 million for carbon capture and storage projects.

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        %NDP     %Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
Feb. 19, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3533131091,000/+-3.1
Feb. 20, 2000 Strategic Counsel Globe and Mail/CTV39271210121,000/+-3.1
Feb. 22, 2008 Angus Reid Toronto Star343117981,082/+-3

Confidence motion on Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan

On March 13, 2008, a confidence motion to keep Canadian soldiers in Kandahar until 2011 was passed in the House of Commons. Revised following consultations with the Liberal party, the motion called for the mission to be renewed past 2009, but with a focus on reconstruction and training of Afghan troops. It also included a firm pullout date, calling for Canadian troops to leave Afghanistan by December 2011.

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        %NDP     % Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
April 2, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3230159101,000/+-3.1

Revealed that MP left documents at former girlfriend's apartment

Stephen Harper said on May 27, 2008, that he didn't believe national security was compromised after classified documents were left at the home of the former girlfriend of Maxime Bernier. The foreign affairs minister had come under much criticism in previous as connections between his ex-girlfriend Julie Couillard and Quebec biker gang members and organized crime figures emerged.

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               % Liberals        %NDP     % Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
July 7, 2008 Environics3530178101,673/+-2.4
Aug. 13, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3233157111,000/+-3.1
Aug. 30, 2008 Angus Reid Toronto Star36.32818981,012/+-3.1

Election call made on Sept. 7 for Oct. 14

On Sept. 7, 2008, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper announced outside Rideau Hall after his conversation with Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean that there would be a federal election on Oct. 14. Harper took aim at Stéphane Dion and his promotion of a new carbon tax. The Liberal leader responded that the October vote posed "a stark choice" for the country. Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe said it was important to send a large number of Bloc MPs to Ottawa. New Democrat Leader Jack Layton touted his team of MPs. Green party Leader Elizabeth May said her top priority would be the environment.


 Conservatives               %

 Liberals        %

 NDP     % Bloc     % Green       % Poll size/margin of error
Sept. 4, 2008 Environics382819872,505/+-2
Sept. 8, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press362815991,000/+-3.1
Sept. 10, 2008 EKOS Research3726198102,330/+-2
Sept. 12, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press412614981,406/+-2.6
Sept. 12, 2008 Nanos Research383114991,200/+-3.2
Sept. 12, 2008 EKOS Research3626191184,367/+-1.5
Sept. 13, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press4124161081,200/+-2.9
Sept. 14, 2008 EKOS Research3525191192,569/+-2.1
Sept. 14, 2008 Nanos Research383017961,201/+-2.9
Sept. 15, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press382716981,200/+-2.6
Sept. 16, 2008 EKOS Research3823199112,848/+-1.8
Sept. 16, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3827161081,366/+-2.6
Sept. 17, 2008 Nanos Research383117771,200/+-3.1
Sept. 17, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3828158101,366/+-2.6
Sept. 17, 2008 EKOS Research3824198113,154/+-1.7

Sept.18, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

Sept. 19, 2008 EKOS Research3625188133,992/+-1.6
Sept. 19, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3825188131,307/+-2.7
Sept. 20, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press382317812


Sept. 22, 2008 EKOS Research372419812


Sept. 24, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3724169121,248/+-2.8

Sept. 25, 2008 EKOS Research


Sept. 29, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

Sept. 30, 2008 EKOS Research3427199102,296/+-2.0

Sept. 30, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

Oct. 1, 2008 EKOS Research34252010113,177/+-1.7

Oct. 1, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

Oct. 2, 2008 EKOS Research34251910113,947/+-1.7

Oct. 2, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

Oct. 3, 2008 EKOS Research36241910113,655/+-1.6
Oct. 3, 2008 Nanos Research3530181091,200/+-2.8
Oct. 3, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3722189121,254/+-2.8

EKOS Research

Campaign heads into final days after leaders' debates

As the campaign headed into its final week, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper unveiled a Tory platform that pledged $400 million more in loans over the next four years to help the beleaguered manufacturing sector in Central Canada. The long-awaited platform came amid increasing global economic uncertainty and almost a week after the federal leaders met for English and French debates. During the English language debate, Harper brushed aside repeated criticism from the four other federal party leaders that he had failed to produce an economic plan.

 DATE/SOURCEConservatives               %Liberals        %NDP     %Bloc     %Green       % Poll size/margin of error
Oct. 6, 2008 EKOS Research33261910122,606/+-1.9
Oct. 6, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3225218121,235/+-2.8
Oct. 7, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3126218131,251/+-2.8
Oct. 8, 2008 EKOS Research35242010113,599/+-1.6

Oct. 8, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press


Oct. 9, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press


Oct. 10, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press

Oct. 12, 2008 Harris/Decima Canadian Press3526181091,256/+-2.8
<a name= "latestpoll">Oct. 12, 2008</a> [/CUSTOM] Harris/Decima Canadian Press