A new poll from Mainstreet Reseach for Postmedia shows the Progressive Conservatives with a wide lead in Manitoba, settling a bit of a dispute from recent polls out of the province as to whether the Liberals really are making a serious move. While their support is the highest it has been in decades, they still do not appear to be in a position to seriously challenge the Tories — at least yet.
The PCs led in the poll with 44%, followed by the Liberals at 27% and the NDP at 23%. This puts Mainstreet in line with the Probe Research poll released over the holidays that had the split as 43-29-22. The Insightrix poll putting the gap between the PCs and Liberals at three points seems to be the odd poll out.
Another 6% supported the Greens, and 24% was undecided. (The infographic above is courtesy of Mainstreet.)
The single-election projection model (the three-election model is still under construction) would deliver 41 seats to the PCs with these numbers, with the Liberals winning nine seats and the NDP taking seven.
The strength for the PCs would seem to be largely due to the split between the Liberals and NDP. The PCs, recall, took exactly 44% of the vote in the 2011 election. The party looks poised to virtually sweep the rural parts of Manitoba, and benefit from a split in Winnipeg. Like the Probe poll, Mainstreet shows the Tories ahead of the other two parties by a much less significant margin in Winnipeg than it does province wide: 37% to 28% for the NDP and 27% for the Liberals. But it should be enough to tip the balance quite strongly in favour of the PCs.
I talked about the political situation in Manitoba (prior to the release of this Mainstreet poll) with provincial columnist Deveryn Ross on the latest episode of the Pollcast. You can listen to it here.