This is a relief.
The Ipsos Reid poll conducted May 8-10 found Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tories would receive 37 per cent of the decided vote if an election occurred now — up by three points since last month.
The NDP led by Thomas Mulcair would receive 35 per cent of the vote, up by two points. The Liberals, now led by interim leader Bob Rae, are supported by 19 per cent of the electorate, down two points. …
Ipsos Reid president Darrell Bricker said in an interview Monday the survey shows a fundamental shift in the Canadian political scene.
“Longer term, the politics of this country are starting to move towards a more economically-derived cleavage, combined with this more urban/rural divide.”
Bricker said Harper is deriving his support from a “coalition” of voters in the West, rural areas, and the Ontario suburbs who believe he has performed well in handling the economy.
The poll found nearly half (47 per cent) approve of Harper’s performance as prime minister, with 56 per cent approving the Conservative government’s overall management of the Canadian economy.
“That’s where he gets his votes,” said Bricker. “In the West, it’s making sure you protect the economic benefits and future of the oilsands and natural resources against the other guys, which are a more activist government, with more national programs, probably a tax on the wealthy and a focus on the environment.”
At the same time, said Bricker, it appears the Tories are keeping support in the ring of ridings surrounding Toronto — known as the 905 — where voters put a premium on tax-cutting policies.
The NDP, meanwhile, is strong in Central Canada and are leaving the Tories far behind in its two major cities — Toronto and Montreal.
I expected these sorts of numbers once things settled down a bit, and now we’re seeing them.
Big things to watch: which way BC is breaking, and how the 905 is feeling.
If Harper keeps BC onside and the 905 solid, he wins another election. If he doesn’t, he loses.
It’s as simple as that.