Federal NDP surges to lead in new poll: report

Trends point to close three-way race as national election looms
Photo: Joe Cressy

Five months from a federal election, and the three main parties are in a dead heat.

Your ad here
Don't like ads?
Automated ads help us pay our journalists, servers, and team. Support us by becoming a member today to hide all automated ads:
Become a member

The Ottawa Citizen’s Glen McGregor had one hell of a scoop last night. The veteran journalist reported on Twitter shortly after 10 p.m. EST that preliminary numbers from a “big pollster” that will be “out soon” have the NDP leading in federal vote intention, albeit in a race so tight that all three parties are within the margin of error of one another.

UPDATE: The full EKOS report has now been released, and final numbers are CPC 30, NDP 29.1 and LPC 27 per cent.

Based on the use of what appears to be their traditional graphics many observers have assumed that the big pollster in question is EKOS Research Associates, but there has been no confirmation. During the Alberta election, EKOS president Frank Graves tweeted similar preliminary numbers, which changed slightly in the final release.

McGregor had another teaser, tweeting a snapshot of the national trendline, which showed a surge in support for the New Democrats.

A single poll months away from an election doesn’t mean much, but what’s worrying for the other parties is that this poll fits into an emerging trend of improved fortunes for the NDP. The Liberals, on the other hand, are in serious decline. All the triumphalism of the chosen son has evaporated as the party’s support has dropped steadily, losing a total of almost 10 points from late last year.

The narrative that Justin Trudeau’s communications team has been selling to the media is that this fall’s election boils down to a choice between the red door and the blue door, and haven’t Canadians had enough of the blue door? The new poll, if it turns out to be correct, might have the NDP leading by less than a single percentage point, but it’s a psychological dagger to the heart of the Liberal strategic voting argument. How can the Liberals call the NDP a non-factor in the face of polls they lead, however slightly?

Do you suppose Trudeau would like a mulligan on his disastrous C-51 position? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that his naked politicking — claiming to oppose the bill while instructing his MPs to vote for it in order to avoid providing Harper with political ammunition — has much to do with his current predicament.

The Alberta election result, and the psychological permission it conferred to some Canadians to follow the lead of our most conservative province and support the NDP, is no doubt also a factor.

But NDP supporters should hold the parade. McGregor is reporting a single poll, and it remains to be seen if these numbers will hold up. But for now, it’s looking more like a close three-way race to the finish.

UPDATE An Insights West poll of British Columbia which was released Wednesday seems to confirm the positive trend for the NDP. That poll has NDP support in the province at 35 per cent, followed by the Conservatives at 29 per cent and the Liberals with 25. Mulcair also had the highest approval rating of the leaders, at 52 per cent.
Here's the Ottawa Citizen story on these leaked numbers.
Will a Forum poll tonight confirm the EKOS results?
You might also be interested in...
A closer look at the racist myth at the heart of Selina Robinson’s comments
Richie Assaly
February 7, 2024
EXCLUSIVE: Information commissioner finds feds withheld details of relationship with private spy agency
Ethan Cox
February 14, 2024
New Indigenous Alberta NDP leadership candidate to UCP: ‘Start packing your bags’
Brandi Morin
February 24, 2024