Thursday, June 10, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 4.6-pt Conservative Lead

EKOS's weekly poll shows some Conservative weakness and Liberal growth, but nothing spectacular in terms of movement.The Conservative lead has been shrunk to 4.6 points. They are at 31.4%, down 0.3 from last week. A statistically insignificant drop. The Liberals are up 0.6 points, slightly more significant, and stand at 26.8%. The New Democrats are down 0.8 points to 16.6%.

The Greens are up 1.1 to 12.6%, while the Bloc Québécois is at 8.9% and "Other" at a very high 3.8%.

In Ontario, the Liberals have re-taken the lead with a two point gain to 36.1%. The Conservatives drop two to 32.1%. That is a bad number for them. The NDP is stable at 17.1%. The Liberals lead in Toronto with 42.9% while the Conservatives lead in Ottawa with 48.4%. The Liberals are down 11 points in the national capital.

In Quebec, the Bloc is down five to 35.8% but still has a dominant lead. The Liberals are down one to 18.9%, a very bad number for them. The Conservatives are up two to 17.2% and the NDP is up one to 12.0%. The Bloc leads in Montreal with 37.2%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives drop three to 30.8%. The NDP and Liberals are down one each, to 26.0% and 19.0%, respectively. The Greens have moved up into third place with a three point gain. They now stand at 20.2%, a terrific result for them. The Conservatives have a slim lead in Vancouver with 27.6%.

The Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada with 34.7% and the Conservatives lead in Alberta with 51.9%. In that province, the Liberals are up six to 22.7% while the NDP is down five to 8.7%.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives are up 11 to 49.8%, while the NDP drops five to 22% and the Liberals drop nine to 15.1%.

The Conservatives win 66 seats in the West, 34 in Ontario, 8 in Quebec, and 10 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 118.

The Liberals win 12 seats in the West and North, 54 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 19 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 99.

The Bloc wins 51 seats in Quebec.

The NDP wins 16 seats in the West and North, 18 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 3 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 39.

The Greens win one seat in British Columbia.

A bad poll for the Tories, a relatively good one for the Liberals, NDP, and Greens. With a combined 139 seats, a rainbow coalition of Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens would be possible. With a loss of 25 seats for the Conservatives and gains by all three parties of this coalition, it would be difficult to argue that it would be a "coalition of the losers".

In such a scenario, the Bloc would be in a powerful position - or would they? The RC (rainbow coalition) would have to be smart enough to not invite the Bloc, but also not upset them. So, we'd likely see a budget without any poison pills, and maybe even one or two out-reaches, and the RC government would muddle about for a year or two.

And then it could go one of two ways. On the one hand, support for the government could tank, giving the Bloc reason to defeat it and make gains in Quebec. Perhaps a Conservative majority would be the result. While a government like that would be anathema to the Bloc's social democratic views, it would likely be a boon to sovereigntism in Quebec, just when the Parti Québécois would be set to replace the provincial Liberals.

On the other hand, my gut tells me that this kind of progressive coalition would find support in Quebec, dropping the Bloc to the low-30s in support. This would make the Bloc nervous, and push them towards supporting the government. The RC coalition, knowing that their support in Quebec is one of their lifelines, would not introduce any legislation that would raise the ire of Quebecers and put the Bloc back into a dominant position.

So, it would be a gamble. It could go either way, but what is not a certainty is that the Bloc would be given a "veto". Their relative power would depend entirely on the policies set forth by such a government, and they could turn out to be far more stable than the minorities we've seen under Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.