The new EKOS poll today merely adds fuel to the election fire.
It was taken between August 26 and September 1 and involved 2,118 Canadians. Michael Ignatieff's decision to oppose the Harper government came on September 1, and there was plenty of go-or-no-go talk for the two days previous, so this poll does include the potential of an election.
The national results:
Liberals - 32.6%
Conservatives - 32.6%
New Democrats - 16.5%
Greens - 9.9%
Bloc Quebecois - 8.3%
It's a dead heat! It can't be any closer than this. This will certainly not dissuade the Liberals from going, and the relatively strong 16.5% for the NDP won't make them support a government they've never supported before. The only stumbling block is the, well, Bloc. This is a weak result for them, but I think Gilles Duceppe is a savvy enough party leader that he is confident in his ability to win a campaign.
In British Columbia, the Tories are in front with 35.3%. The NDP is second with 25.5% and the Liberals third with 24.9%. The Greens continue to poll well in the province, with 14.3%.
In Alberta, the Conservatives have a relatively low 55.4% support, thanks to the very high 25.7% support of the Liberals. This makes them competitive in several ridings. At 10.8%, however, the NDP could be booted out of the province.
In the Prairies, the Tories lead with 46.3%, followed by the NDP at 25.9% and the Liberals at 18.6%. This is a good result for the NDP, but not for the Liberals.
In Ontario, the Liberals have opened up a significant lead, erasing last week's 37%-37% tie. This, more than anything, will tell the Liberals they are making the right decision. They lead with 40.4%, well ahead of the Conservatives at 33.1%. The NDP is at 15.6%, which isn't good but is better than some of the numbers we've seen here.
In Quebec, the Bloc is down to 32.3% but leads the Liberals, who are at 30.9%. That is a strong number for them. The 19.4% result of the Tories is also strong, and would mean they keep most of their seats. The NDP, at 9.8%, would risk losing Outremont.
The race is close in Atlantic Canada, with the Liberals in front at 34.1%, followed by the NDP at 30.0% and the Conservatives at 27.5%.
This poll would result in the slimmest of Liberal minorities:
Liberals - 119 seats
Conservatives - 115 seats
Bloc Quebecois - 44 seats
New Democrats - 30 seats
With the support of the NDP, and a Bloc that would want to lick its wounds, they would be able to govern.
The Conservatives lead the Liberals among males, 35.8% to 33.1%. They lead among 45-64 year olds (35.8% to 31.9%), and those over the age of 65 (41.0% to 37.0%). High-school graduates prefer the Tories over the Liberals (33.2% to 28.9%), as do college graduates (34.7% to 28.8%). Stephen Harper's party also leads in Calgary, 52.9% to 33.8%.
The Liberals lead among females, 32.2% to 29.5%. They lead among those under the age of 25 (29.5% to 22.1%) and those between the ages of 25 and 44 (32.0% to 28.2%). They lead the Tories among university graduates (38.9% to 30.2%) as well as in Vancouver (32.4% to 30.7%) and Toronto (44.8% to 35.4%). The Liberals also lead the Bloc in Montreal (32.7% to 32.3%), a new development.
I'm going to have a projection update later today.