The New Ipsos-Reid puts Tories/Libs in a statistical dead heat:
The survey, conducted by Ipsos-Reid for CanWest News Service and Global National, says the Conservatives have the support of 36% of the population, compared to 34% for the Liberals.
The survey said the NDP held at 13%, the Bloc held at 9% and the Green party grew to 8%, up three points from the January poll.
The Tories "appear" to have momentum, says Ipsos-Reid President Darrell Bricker, but they don't appear to have much and in any case the Ontario/Quebec numbers are still pretty much where they've been for several months:
In Quebec, the Bloc had 38% support, compared with 25% for the Liberals, and 21% for the Conservatives.
In Ontario, the Liberals were ahead of the Conservatives by 41% to 38%, but the margin shrank to three points from six points in January.
Meanwhile, from Paul Wells we have a CROP Poll of the federal parties in Quebec:
But enough about that crap. You want to hear about the new CROP poll, don't you. Philistines. All right, all right. It ain't pretty: Bloc stable at 36%, a few points below anything it's ever got in an election but still no longer falling. Conservatives at 22%, also fairly stable, 3 points below their 2006 election score in Quebec. Liberals at 26%, a measurable dip. We've surely put to rest any idea that Quebecers harbour any particular animosity toward Stéphane Dion. But they need convincing just like anywhere else, and right now, they ain't convinced.
So everyone is where they've been but the Greens, who are on a definite upward trend. Therefore I think we can pretty much put aside the notion of a snap election called in late March. As Bricker says:
"The fundamentals, particularly on the issue of leadership, are definitely in the right direction for the Conservatives," Bricker said. "But they're not going to pull the plug in the midst of a Quebec election, and they are going to have a wait for at least a couple of months after that to see how things are going to shake out on a federal vote.
"So it's difficult for me to see how they end up calling an election this spring with any degree of certainty."
Furthermore, bill C-288 (the Kyoto Implementation Act), the obvious "trigger" of an election call, if you believe Conservative partisans, will not emerge from the Senate until April/May (according to Lib Leaders in the Senate), and could not therefore spark any kind of action until July/August at the earliest, which would mean a vote would come in September/October.
Of course, we will be having an Ontario election in October, and maybe an Alberta election also some time later this year.
So I am beginning to wonder if an '07 federal vote is at all likely.
In addition, it is difficult to see C-288 providing a plausible election trigger, in my opinion, for it does not seem to bind the government to unreachable targets, as so many have argued. Or at least, as Stephane Dion describes it in his Friday Star op-ed:
This bill requires the Conservatives to propose a plan to meet the challenge set by the Kyoto targets or to provide an accounting to the House on why those targets will not be met.
So, provide a plan or tell us why you've failed. It seems that, contrary to the CW, its the opposition parties who have trapped the Tories.