In the latest poll from Ipsos-Reid, the New Democrats have shed four points and have sunk to 12%, lower than they've ever been in the last seven months. But it is the Greens who take advantage of the NDP fall.Compared to Ipsos-Reid's last poll, taken between September 8-12, the Conservatives have gained one point and now have 35% support. The Liberals have dropped two to 29%.
The NDP drop has put them in a tie at 12% with the Greens, who have gained three points. The Bloc Québécois is up one point to 11% nationally.
This is a horrendous number for the NDP - but it is impossible to say whether this is a product of the recent long-gun registry issue or simply a matter of the margin of error. Considering that Harris-Decima has also shown NDP weakness of late, perhaps it does have more to do with the LGR.
The Liberals and Conservatives are tied in Ontario with 37%, as the Liberals lose four points and the Conservatives gain as much. The Greens have gained five points and stand at 15%, while the NDP is down four to 11%.
The Bloc is up five points in Quebec and dominates with 44%, followed by the Liberals at 22% (unchanged) and the Conservatives at 16% (down one). The Greens have claimed fourth spot with 11%, while the NDP is down nine (!) to 7%. The Bloc seems to have been boosted by the NDP's slip.
The Conservatives lead in British Columbia but have dropped eight points, standing at 33%. The Liberals are up one to 26% and the NDP is up four to 25%, one of the only good bit of news in this poll for Jack Layton. The Greens are up two to 15% here.
The Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada with 38%, down ten points. That drop is almost certainly due to the unreasonable 48% Ipsos-Reid had the party at in this region a few weeks ago. The Conservatives follow with 34%.
They lead in Alberta with 57%, while the Liberals are up eight to 25%. This is not the first time we've seen the Liberals riding high in Alberta.
The Tories are up nine to 63% in the Prairies, followed by the NDP at 15% (down eight) and the Liberals at 14% (down six).
With this poll, the Conservatives would win 69 seats in the West and North, 48 in Ontario, nine in Atlantic Canada, and six in Quebec for a total of 132.
The Liberals would win 48 in Ontario, 21 in Atlantic Canada, 15 in the West and North, and 14 in Quebec for a total of 98.
The Bloc would win 55 seats in Quebec, an all-time best for them.
The NDP would be reduced to 11 seats in the West, nine in Ontario, and two in Atlantic Canada for a total of 22. Their relatively strong showing in British Columbia saves the party from eradication.
The Greens win one seat in Ontario.
This is a good poll for the Conservatives, undoubtedly. At 35%, the party is within striking distance (and the MOE) of their 2008 electoral result. They have good numbers in Alberta, the Prairies, and Atlantic Canada, and would probably gladly take this result in Ontario.
It isn't bad for the Liberals either, who are doing well in British Columbia and Alberta, as well as in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
It's a great poll for the Greens and also very good for the Bloc, but it is a disastrous one for the NDP. They would lose their seat in Quebec, many of their seats in Ontario, and be reduced to a rump caucus with extremely little influence. They wouldn't even have enough MPs to help the Conservatives pass legislation, if they were so inclined.
It's too early to panic for the NDP, but a few more polls like this and Mr. Layton will have to start working hard to regain the support of the old CCF base and the new urban social democrats.