(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - The governing Conservative party remains ahead in Canada, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies released by the Toronto Star. 38 per cent of respondents would vote for the Tories in the next federal election, while 29 per cent would support the opposition Liberal party.
To me this just says that despite the fact that Liberal activists seem more comfortable with Iggy than Dion, the change in leadership hasn't moved the numbers much. Mind you, AR's analysis of the raw data indicates a somewhat rosier picture:
Exactly two months after the ill-advised economic statement that almost doomed the Conservative government, the political map finds the five federal parties—with the exception of the Liberals—very close to their level of support in the last federal election.
The Liberals have managed to sustain positive numbers in Quebec (where they are second to the Bloc) and British Columbia (where they trail the Tories). In these two provinces, the Grits are doing better than they did in the 2008 election. Ignatieff is clearly outperforming his predecessor in head-to-head match-ups against Harper, but many respondents remain unaware or uncertain.
AR's analysis of the Conservative Base and its response to last week's budget (they're "satisfied" with it) seems absurd given the response in the blogosphere, but on the other hand the poll does confirm a certain angst among NDP voters that appears evident on the anecdotal level.
The NDP, in stark contrast to Tories and Grits, is only holding on to 64 per cent of its 2008 voters. Three out of every ten NDP supporters are now backing either of the two main federal parties.Anyway, I am sure Steve V will be along to explain things for us.
PS. This is another online survey, but since AR's recent results have fallen in line with all the other major Canadian pollsters, I guess the time has come to stop complaining about their methodology.