I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving long weekend. Feel free to share any of your stories in the comments section, particularly of the political nature. Here in Ottawa, Michael Ignatieff worked the soup line at the mission downtown so that got a little air time.
Anyway, schedules return to normal with an Ipsos-Reid poll to greet us. Taken between October 6 and October 8 and involving 1,000 Canadians, the poll found the following national support levels:
Conservatives - 39%
Liberals - 29%
New Democrats - 13%
Bloc Quebecois - 10%
Greens - 8%
This is the sort of lead we've been seeing recently, but at 29% the Liberals are actually back to where they were before the precipitous fall to 25%. The NDP, at 13%, are really floundering.
Not in British Columbia, though, where they stand at 28%. The Conservatives lead with a very good 47% (are they back?) while the Liberals are at 18%. With 6%, Elizabeth May can delay her plans to re-locate to Ottawa.
Alberta shows the Conservatives at 60%, the Liberals at 16%, and the NDP at a decent 14%. In the Prairies, the Conservatives have an incredible 67%, but the polling size is small enough to get one of the Ipsos-Reid asterisks. The Liberals are at 19% and the NDP at 10%.
In Ontario, the huge Tory lead seems to have disappeared, as the two parties are statistically tied. The Conservatives are at 40% (still excellent, by the by) but the Liberals are back in it at 36%. The Greens are at 12% and the NDP is in crisis mode at 11%.
The Bloc is well ahead in Quebec with 40%, while the Liberals are at 26%. The Conservatives are at 20%, seemingly confirming that the Tories are back in the game in the province. At 9%, the NDP is out of the game.
Atlantic Canada puts the Liberals back in front with 46%, followed by the Tories at 35% and the NDP at a worrying 15%.
The poll would give the following seat totals:
Conservatives - 146
Liberals - 91
Bloc Quebecois - 51
New Democrats - 20
This matches with the Ipsos-Reid explanation that the Tories are just outside of majority territory. With 91 seats, the Liberals would see a marked improvement over their current caucus while at 20 seats the NDP is on the brink of irrelevancy.
We're really into the fall now that Thanksgiving has passed, and if polls like this one continue we might start to see the stories about Liberal collapse pass as well. Obviously, they're not doing well in this poll. But they aren't at 25%, either. And while the Tories are certainly up in the polls, we're still seeing a likely repeat of the 2008 election with the Liberals improving on the backs of the NDP. That is not a situation Stephen Harper would like to see, as that is worse than what he currently has in front of him. If an election is going to have his party stagnate and the Liberals improve, he should (and would) avoid one.