A new poll released today by Nanos Research shows very little movement for any party since early October, though the New Democrats have made some seat gains at the expense of the Liberals.Compared to that early October poll, the Conservatives have gained 0.5 points and lead with 37.1%. The Liberals follow with 31.6%, down 0.8 points.
The New Democrats are down 0.9 points to 15.4%, while the Bloc Québécois is up a point to 10.8% and the Greens are up 0.3 points to 5.2%.
The number of undecided in this unprompted telephone poll were 19.2%.
Stephen Harper is the best option for Prime Minister for 28.4% of respondents, compared to 16.4% for Jack Layton and 15.5% for Michael Ignatieff. That represents little change from Nanos' last poll.
Harper does best in the Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) with 45.9%, while he does worst in Quebec with 14.1%. He has a much bigger spread than either Layton or Ignatieff, indicating how his support is regionally based.
Layton's best was in Quebec (24.2%) and his worst was in British Columbia (11.1%). Ignatieff's best result was in Atlantic Canada (18.7%), while his worst was in the Prairies (12.6%).
The Conservatives lead in Ontario with 40.9%, down one point from Nanos' last poll. The Liberals are down a mere 0.2 points to 35.5%, while the NDP is down 1.9 points to 16.2%. The Greens bring up the rear with 7.3%, up 2.9 points. This would give the Conservatives 54 seats, the Liberals 41, and the NDP 11. That is unchanged from Nanos' last poll.
In Quebec, the Bloc has gained 4.5 points and leads with 42.8%. The Liberals follow with 26.2% (down 1.5), while the Conservatives are down 0.5 points to 19.3%. The NDP is down 0.7 to 10.5%, but would still win one seat. The Bloc would win 51, two more than in early October, while the Liberals would win 16 and the Conservatives seven. That is one lost seat for each of these parties compared to the last poll.
In British Columbia, the Liberals are up 1.4 points to 33.1% and lead. The Conservatives are up one point to 31.7%, while the NDP is up 1.9 points to 26.1%. The Greens have dropped 4.3 points, and now stand at only 9.1%. The Conservatives would elect 15 MPs with this result, while the Liberals would elected 12 and the NDP nine.
The Conservatives lead in Atlantic Canada, but that is undoubtedly due to the small sample size. How else to explain the 8.3 drop for the Liberals, who trail the Conservatives 42.4% to 32.7%. Nevertheless, the Liberals would win 16 seats to the Conservatives' 12 and the NDP's four. That is a five-seat drop for the Liberals compared to the last poll, while the Tories pick up two and the NDP three.
Nanos persists in grouping Alberta with the other two Prairie provinces. The Conservatives lead there with 55.2%, followed by the Liberals at 30.4%.
In total, the Conservatives would win 137 seats, unchanged from Nanos' last poll. The Liberals would win 92, a loss of six seats, while the NDP would win 28 for a gain of four. The Bloc picks up two.
Of course, that is still a net gain for the Liberals, who currently hold 76 seats in the House of Commons. But a loss of only five seats for the Tories and a maintenance of the 2008 level of popular support would likely mean another two or three years of Conservative governance.