CBC poll suggests Liberals in lead, Alliance surge

The Alliance is gaining ground and the election race is polarized according to a new CBC-Toronto Star-La Presse poll. The poll finds Jean Chretien's Liberals in the lead with 47 per cent of decided voters and Stockwell Day's Canadian Alliance with 28 per cent.

The survey was done by EKOS Research Associates. It found the other three offical parties trailing far behind. The Conservatives registered at 7 per cent, the NDP at 8 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois at 9 per cent (39 per cent in Quebec).

Liberal support was down by three percentage points since the last EKOS poll published Oct. 12, whereas the Alliance's numbers have surged from 19 to 28 per cent with a momentum which could potentially deny the Liberals a third majority.

"Although unlikely, continued Canadian Alliance growth could bring the prospect of an Alliance government into the realm of the possible," the poll's conclusion stated, but "a Liberal government is by far the most likely result and it will most likely be a majority."

However it noted, "a minority government is a possibility, (albeit less likely)."

EKOS said most of the Alliance's new support came from previously undecided voters. Their numbers dropped from 34 to 14 per cent.

The survey found support dropping for the Tories and NDP. "Without a fairly rapid resuscitation the NDP and Conservatives are headed for political oblivion," it said.

The poll found public trust highest toward Liberal leader Jean Chrtien especially in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, and "surprisingly strong" in Quebec, beating Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe.

It said trust in the Alliance's Day is on the rise particularly in British Columbia and Ontario.

The poll sampled the opinions of 2,265 people across the country between Oct. 23 and Oct. 26. The national margin of error is plus or minus two per cent, 19 times out of 20.