Liberals, Conservatives still in dead heat
The Liberals are in a dead heat with the ruling Conservatives for the second straight week, despite the government's handling of the Haiti crisis, a new EKOS poll suggests.
Asked which party they would support if an election were held tomorrow, 31.6 per cent of those polled chose the Liberals, and 31.1 per cent backed the Conservatives.
The poll found 14.6 per cent of respondents supporting the NDP, 11.0 per cent the Green Party and 9.1 per cent the Bloc Québécois.
"There is no evidence that the government's actions on Haiti are providing any relief in the Conservatives' decline from clear dominance of the political landscape in October to basic parity with the Liberals today," said EKOS president Frank Graves.
"At this stage it is probably safe to say that despite considerable initial confusion over whether the government's problems were ephemeral or structural, the evidence is that there has been a significant shift."
As for the direction of the government, 43 per cent believed it was headed in the right direction, and 47 per cent said it was going in the wrong direction, while 11 per cent didn't know.
The Liberals' revival is strongest in Ontario, which was a longtime Liberal stronghold that had been taken over by the Conservatives through the fall.
Support for the Liberals is also strong in Quebec and the party is edging up in British Columbia as well.
The Liberals have been gradually winning support among middle-aged baby-boomers and seniors — groups more likely to vote than younger Canadians.
The Liberal have also recovered their lead among groups that had traditionally supported them, including new Canadians and the university educated.
"We have seen public opinion reverse itself a couple of times in the last year, so it would be a mistake to say that any trend is irreversible," said Graves.
"However, the fact that prorogation backfired on the government and that its response to Haiti has been well-received but has not translated into support for the Conservative party suggests there may be some sturdiness to these trends."
The poll surveyed a random sample of 3,206 Canadians aged 18 and over January 20-26. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.