Now that the campaign has begun, it is a little unusual to look back on the polls in July. But there were a lot of polls conducted last month: 13 in all, interviewing some 24,934 Canadians. So let's look at the numbers, for the sake of continuity at least.
The Greens were down 0.3 points to 5.1%, while the Bloc Québécois was down 0.7 points to 4.8%. Another 0.8% of Canadians said they would vote for another party.
In Alberta, the Conservatives were up for the third consecutive month, picking up 0.6 points to hit 48.6%. The NDP was down 1.1 points to 27.5% and the Liberals were down 0.4 points to 16.8%. The Greens were up 1.5 points to 5.1%.
The Conservatives also lead in the Prairies with 38.8%, up 0.3 points from June. The New Democrats were up for the fourth consecutive month, up 2.1 points to 29.8%. The Liberals were down 0.3 points to 26.1%, while the Greens were down 1.6 points to 4.3%.
In Ontario, the Conservatives were up 3.4 points to 35.2%, followed by the Liberals at 29.9% (down 0.2 points, and their sixth consecutive month of decline). The NDP was down 2.7 points to 28.6%, while the Greens were down 0.7 points to 2.8%.
Things were relatively stable in Quebec, where the New Democrats continue to lead with 35.7% (up 0.8 points). The Liberals were down 0.5 points to 21.8% and the Bloc was down 3.1 points to 19.3%. The Conservatives were up 3.5 points to 19.2%, while the Greens were down 0.7 points to 2.8%.
And in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals dropped for the fifth consecutive month, down 2.7 points to 38.4%. The NDP was up for the fourth month, gaining 3.7 points to hit 31.8%. The Conservatives were up 0.8 points to 24%, while the Greens were up 1.3 points to 4.4%.
Compared to June, that represents a drop of six seats apiece for the NDP and Liberals, a slide of one for the Bloc, and a gain of 13 for the Conservatives.
The Conservatives picked up eight seats in Ontario, two in Quebec, and one apiece in British Columbia, Atlantic Canada, and the North. They were down one seat in the Prairies.
The NDP was down five seats in Ontario, two in Alberta, and one in Quebec. They were up one seat in B.C. and one in the Prairies.
The Liberals were down three seats in Ontario, two in Quebec, and one in both Atlantic Canada and the North. They were up one seat in Alberta.
So this was the lay of the land before the race kicked off in earnest. A close race between the NDP and Conservatives with the Liberals losing momentum, and nobody close to a majority government. At least, for now.