Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jack and the magical beanstalk!

Layton would make best PM, voters say
Sarah Boesveld
April 27, 2011
Poll after poll Wednesday confirmed Jack Layton's NDP is in solid second place even as a new leadership survey suggests Canadians now feel he'd make the best prime minister of the pack.

The unprecedented boost in NDP support shows itself in a new leadership poll by Ipsos Reid, which found Mr. Layton is the best candidate for prime minister.

The poll conducted for Postmedia News and Global National saw 45% of respondents rank Mr. Layton as the best prime minister material, just cruising past Conservative leader Stephen Harper who sits at 42% in that category after falling five points from two weeks ago. But despite Mr. Layton’s success in that category, the Conservative leader is still seen as the man who will “get things done,” and shepherd the country through tough economic times, the poll found.

“On all the issues of competence, particularly as they relate to economic competence, Harper continues to lead the pack,” said Ipsos Reid president Darrell Bricker.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff fared the worst in the leadership poll, with only 13% of the 1,023 adults surveyed saying he’s the best bet for prime minister. That’s down six points from when the same question was posed two weeks ago. The sample size for this poll, conducted online between April 19 and 21st, would usually have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

At least four other polls released Wednesday mirrored this dueling dynamic between the NDP and Conservative parties, all showing a continued rise in orange support with the Tories still leading the pack. They also show the Liberals’ continued downward slide, a decline the party has been grappling with since the NDP started making gains in the polls last Thursday.

The latest poll from Nanos Research, a three-day rolling survey for the Globe and Mail/CTV, showed the NDP in a solid second place at 27.8%. That’s a full 10 points behind the Conservatives’ 37.8% but farther ahead of the Liberals’ 22.9%, a number that has been declining with each passing day. Wednesday’s poll from EKOS Research also showed a drop in Liberal support, dipping to 22.9% while the NDP and Conservatives held firm to their numbers, at 28.1% and 34% respectively.

EKOS president Frank Graves said the NDP surge has kept its momentum, making for a “huge transformation” in the race. The last EKOS poll on Tuesday showed the Liberals at 24%, a position they considered to be “sub-Dion levels,” referring to the last race under the banner of former leader Stephane Dion, which drew disappointing results.

Almost one-third of Canadians are throwing their support behind the NDP, Wednesday’s poll conducted for the Toronto Star and La Presse said. That’s only five points back from the Conservatives at 35%. Like the EKOS poll, the Liberals are sitting at 22% among respondents.

“Now the NDP surge has become more solid, with marked increases in Quebec and Ontario, and a higher level of committed voters who say they will not change their mind before election day,” the poll said. “These gains have come at the expense of the Liberals and the Bloc (Quebecois).”

The Bloc, which sat at 7% nationally, dropped two points in this poll. They’re at second place in Quebec with 29%, while the NDP enjoys 38% of support there.

Forum Research has the biggest squeaker of a poll, showing a tightening gap between the surging NDP and the leading Conservatives, placing the left-leaning party just three points behind the Tories. Thirty one per cent of respondents said they support the NDP, while the Conservatives slipped from 36% to 34% in the most recent poll. Again, the Liberals are at 22%, sitting squarely in third place. Some of the Tories’ slips occurred in the Atlantic provinces, according to the poll, showing a drop in support to 26% from 33% on April 21. The NDP’s boost in Quebec is also evident in this poll, which also shows NDP support rising in Ontario.

With reports from Postmedia News


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