IN a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1,156 Canadians, equal proportions – just under a third – would vote for the Conservatives (31%) or the Liberals (32%) if the election were held today, while the NDP would attract just less than 3-in-10 (28%).
This compares closely to the last sounding of public opinion, when the three parties were with one point of each other (May 14 – 31%, 31% and 30%, respectively). Under this scenario, the Green Party would take few votes (5%) as would the Bloc Quebecois (3%) or any other party (1%).
In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals lead strongly (53%), in Quebec, they are ahead (34%) of the NDP (24%) or the Conservatives (23%) or the Bloc (13%).
In Ontario, the three parties are at relative parity, with the Liberals slightly ahead (Conservatives – 31%, NDP – 31%, Liberals – 33%).
In the prairies and Alberta, the Conservatives lead (44% and 49 respectively) in both regions the NDP are second (27% and 29%, respectively) while the Liberals are third (23% and 18%, respectively).
In BC, the Conservatives and NDP are tied (33% and 32%, respectively), while the Liberals trail very slightly (28%).
Of note, close to one fifth of 2011 NDP voters will vote Liberal this time (19%), while just fewer past Liberals will vote NDP now (15%). About one tenth of past Conservatives will vote either Liberal (12%) or NDP (13%) this time around. As many as one third of past Green voters will vote NDP in 2015 (34%).
Conservative Minority in the cards
If these results are projected up to a 338-seat House, the Conservatives are set to capture 151, nineteen fewer than required for a majority. The Liberals would form the opposition with 101 seats and the NDP would hold the balance of power with 83 seats. The Greens would retake their one seat, the Bloc would take one and one independent (André Arthur, if he runs as an independent) would take a seat.
Leader favourables are steady
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the approval of one third (33%) and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a very negative -27.
Opposition leader Tom Mulcair has the approval of close to half (46%) and his net is a very favourable +19.
Justin Trudeau’s approval is just less than 4-in-10 (38%) and his net is a neutral +2. These findings are very similar to those noted last month.
Liberals, Conservatives in tie for expectations of victory
Exactly equal proportions (just more than 3-in-10, or 31%) expect the Conservatives or the Liberals to win the next election, while just fewer than one fifth have this expectation for the New Democrats (18%).
Just fewer have no idea who will prevail (15%). Among New Democrats, one tenth believe the Conservatives will win (13%), while twice this proportion think the Liberals will win (22%). One half expect their own party to be victorious (48%).
“While we see the three major parties at something close to parity here, we do not see much momentum on the part of the New Democrats in supplanting the Liberals as the preferred alternative to the government,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.