Yesterday, Harris-Decima released a new federal poll, showing a dip in support for both the Conservatives and the Liberals. Encompassing some of the brouhaha over the census, but not all of it (as it continues today!), this is a possible indication that the issue is beginning to cause some trouble for the government.Harris-Decima's last poll was taken between June 10 and June 20, so it has been about a month. Over that time period, the Conservatives have dropped three points to 31%. The Liberals are down one point to 26%. The gap has narrowed by two points.
The New Democrats are up one to 18%, while the Greens are up two to 12%. The Bloc Québécois is at 10%, down one.
The game is tied in Ontario, as both the Liberals and the Conservatives have 34%. That is a loss of six points for the Conservatives and a gain of two for the Liberals. The NDP is up three points to 18% in the province. Overall, this was a good poll for them.
In Quebec, the Bloc is down four points but still leads very comfortably with 41%. The Liberals are down three to 19% while the Conservatives are up two to 13%. The Greens are at 12% and the NDP is unchanged at 11%.
It's another close race in British Columbia, as the Conservatives have fallen back two points to 31%. The NDP is down two as well to 30%. The Liberals pick up three and stand at 22%, while the Greens are down one to 13%.
The Conservatives and Liberals are tied in Atlantic Canada with 34%, while the NDP is up five points to 22%.
The Tories lead with 55% in Alberta and 39% in the Prairies. The NDP is up 11 points to 34% in the latter region.
The Conservatives win 63 seats in the West and North, 43 in Ontario, 4 in Quebec, and 10 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 120. That is down 14 seats from Harris-Decima's last poll.
The Liberals win 14 seats in the West and North, 46 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 18 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 92, up nine.
The Bloc wins 55 seats in Quebec, unchanged from Harris-Decima's last poll.
The NDP wins 18 seats in the West, 17 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 4 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 41, up five from last time.
With this poll, the national projection is now:
Conservatives - 33.9%
Liberals - 28.2%
New Democrats - 16.4%
Bloc Québécois - 9.7%
Greens - 9.1%
While this poll puts the Liberals in a better position than they were in June, this is still not a good poll for them. They aren't doing well enough in British Columbia or Quebec, and need to pull away in Ontario. But the poll is even worse for the Conservatives, as they are only at 31% - way too low for a government. They are struggling in British Columbia and Quebec and need to be doing better in Ontario and the Prairies. With 120 seats, it would be a difficult government for Stephen Harper to run.
The Bloc and the NDP come out shining from this poll. The Bloc, though down slightly from HD's last poll, still make a gain over 2008's election and win a historic-best 55 seats. The NDP also do very well, picking up some seats and breaking the 40-seat barrier.
As the census issue drags on, and Michael Ignatieff continues his bus tour, it will be interesting to see how the numbers change (if they do) over the next few weeks. One wonders if we will end this summer the way we ended last summer, with a Liberal lead. One also wonders if we will enter the fall the same way we entered last fall, with that lead eradicated.