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article imageLatest poll shows NDP Tories and Liberals virtually tied

By Ken Hanly     Aug 25, 2015 in Politics
Ottawa - A recent poll by Nanos, Globe and Mail, CTV shows the three main parties in a virtual tie although other recent polls still show the NDP ahead by several points. Nevertheless the NDP vote percentage has gone down since the last CBC poll-tracker averages.
The Nanos poll shows the Conservatives at 30.1 percent of the vote, the NDP is at 29.1 percent and the Liberals at 29.9. The Nanos poll is in contrast to two other recent polls that still have the NDP leading by several points. Nanos polls for some reason in several cases give lower values for the NDP than other polls as can be seen by the list of polls at the CBC poll-tracker.
Nevertheless the poll averages also show a decline for the NDP and the three parties closer in the polls. The most recent poll-tracker results averaged on August 24 are: Conservatives 29.4 percentage of vote, a slight gain of 0.2 from the last polls; the NDP at 32.3, a significant drop of 1.5 from last time; and the Liberals at 28.3 the largest gain of 0.8. Seat projections show the NDP still ahead with 126 seats, followed by the Conservatives with 118 and the Liberals trailing with only 93. The Green Party would win one seat and the Parti Quebecois none.
In the previous elections in 2008 and 2011, Harper was able to successfully claim that his Conservative government was best suited to guide the economy. This time around with the Canadian economy in the doldrums if not recession and the stock markets tanking, this advantage appears to be declining. The economy is still a crucial election issue. A recent Ipsos Reid poll showed that 76 per cent of Canadians considered the economy "absolutely critical" to determining their vote. Three quarters also said the same for creating jobs. An Abacus Data polls shows that only 43 percent of Canadians think the economy is good or very good. Two years ago 67 per cent thought this. The numbers of those who think the country is on the wrong track have increased while those thinking it is on the right track, still 36 per cent, has declined. While one third think the economy is still growing, 64 percent think it is shrinking. There are more detailed results at the Abacus site with quite helpful figures.
On the issue of leadership on the 15 issues tested, on all 15 a majority of respondents thought Mulcair or Trudeau would make more acceptable decisions than Harper. However, on the economy, respondents in three of four recent polls gave Harper an edge of one or two points over Mulcair and the NDP. An IPSOS poll showed a wider lead of 36 to 28 percent for Harper. If the vote were on the economy alone Harper might win at most a small minority victory and perhaps not even that as he no longer has a huge advantage on the issue. With Canada facing economic troubles and the energy sector in particular badly hit, the opposition is sure to blame Harper for this situation even though much is beyond his control. Likely, emphasis will continue on the issue of ethics in opposition attacks on Harper. Polls so far do not show any negative results for the Conservatives in response to the revelations at the Duffy trial.
More about federal NDP, Stephen Harper, canadian federal election
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