Harper pulls away as ‘fall swoon’ hits Ignatieff in poll

Jane Taber

Globe and Mail Update
Posted on


new EKOS poll is not good for Stephen Harper and his Conservatives – but it’s even worse for Michael Ignatieff and his Liberals.

The Opposition Leader is experiencing a “fall swoon,” according to pollster Frank Graves.

The survey comes on the eve of three crucial federal by-elections. Two of the three races are extremely competitive and the view is Mr. Ignatieff needs a win to keep his caucus happy and hold on to some of the personal success he gained from his summer cross-country bus tour.

Released Thursday morning, the poll shows the Tories pulling away from their competition _ 33.3 per cent support nationally compared to 27.1 per cent for the Liberals. The NDP is at 16.6 per cent and both the Green Party and Bloc Québécois have 9.5 per cent. The companion EKOS seat projections suggest that, were an election held today, Mr. Harper’s team would not be able to achieve the majority government it so covets.

Mr. Graves has Conservatives losing 10 seats, decreasing their bench strength in the House of Commons to 131 seats from 141. The Liberals would likely gain 13 seats, seeing their fortunes rise to 89 seats from 76. The NDP would likely win 33 seats, down from the 36 they now hold; the Bloc would increase its contingent to 54 MPs from its existing 47; there would be one independent and the Green Party would be shut out again.

Despite some Grit seat gains, Mr. Graves argues this poll is more about the Liberal Leader than the Prime Minister. “After getting into position to be close enough to deny Stephen Harper a stable minority [Mr. Ignatieff] is now falling back again,” the pollster said.

“Although these numbers are well short of a majority that Stephen Harper was flirting with this time last year, another ‘fall swoon’ for Michael Ignatieff and his inability to provide a catalyst for strong and growing dissatisfaction with the current government may be wearing the patience of voters thin.”

Mr. Graves noted the Liberal Party “now appear to be chronically rebuffed by the electorate as they try to move past the Tories.” Each time they get close to breaking through that magic 30 per cent ceiling they are pushed back, he said.

This poll differs dramatically from the EKOS poll of two weeks ago, which had the two main parties in a virtual deadlock – 29.4 per cent for the Tories compared to 28.6 per cent for the Liberals. But the story with that poll was about the NDP: Mr. Graves had Jack Layton’s team at 19.3 per cent, the highest level the party has been at in two years. Although support for the NDP is still strong among women, the surge shown by the previous results has not been sustained.

Mr. Graves has looked at, too, where party support is coming from. He noted that the Conservative strength is concentrated among older voters, men and those born in Canada. And so strong are the Tories in their Western base that Mr. Graves saysthey “have enough support in Alberta to win most of the seats twice.” The Liberals, meanwhile, get their support from university-educated, non-Canadian born citizens.

The EKOS poll of 1,973 Canadians was conducted between Nov. 17 and 23. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.




"Fall Swoon" be dammed. Igy while having the experience, ethics that put the PM into the gutter, lacks the charisma, the passion, the "leadership ability" necessary to be PM.

There is only one Liberal who has the essential qualities with a hope in hell of turning the polls around and that is Justice Trudeau.

It makes you wonder when the entire Liberal Party will wake up and smell the coffee.

Justin Trudeau's taking of of Julian Fantino, shows guts, and its that kind of passion, and determination that Igy lacks and Trudeau has that are vital to Canada entering a new phase that will get rid of the brainless, corrupt Republican agenda.