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(09/04/09) -

Parties Virtually Tied as Election Nears in Canada

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Canada’s political scene has tightened after the country’s opposition leader hinted that the minority government may be toppled in the next few weeks, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies published in the Toronto Star. 33 per cent of respondents would vote for the governing Conservative party, while 32 per cent would back the opposition Liberal party.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Canada’s political scene has tightened after the country’s opposition leader hinted that the minority government may be toppled in the next few weeks, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies published in the Toronto Star. 33 per cent of respondents would vote for the governing Conservative party, while 32 per cent would back the opposition Liberal party.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) is third with 19 per cent, followed by the Bloc Québécois with nine per cent, and the Green party with seven per cent. Support for the Tories fell by one point since late August, while backing for the Grits increased by two points.

Canadians renewed the House of Commons in October 2008. The Conservative party—led by Stephen Harper—received 37.6 per cent of the vote, and secured 143 seats in the 308-member lower house. Harper assembled a minority administration. The Tories also earned a minority mandate after the 2006 election, ending more than 12 years of government by the Liberal party. In December, Michael Ignatieff took over as Liberal leader, replacing Stéphane Dion.

In late January, Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty presented the federal budget, which predicts a $70 billion U.S. budget deficit over the next five years, and includes a $33 billion U.S. economic stimulus package, as well as tax relief aimed at the lower and middle class.

On Sept. 1, Ignatieff declared that the Liberals will no longer support the Conservative minority administration in the House of Commons, saying, "We’ve kept this government on life support for 10 months. In June, I made it clear that in a whole number of areas, the government’s performance was letting Canada down. And it hasn’t got better over the summer."

Yesterday, Harper discussed the current state of affairs, saying, "We will not be making any backroom deals [to keep the government in place]. If other parties, as I’ve said before, have useful ideas, good, effective, affordable ideas on the economy, let us see what they are and we’ll take a look at them."

The next election to the House of Commons is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15, 2012. Sitting prime ministers can dissolve Parliament and call an early ballot at their discretion. In order to trigger an election, all three opposition parties in the House of Commons—Liberals, NDP and Bloc—would have to defeat the government in a confidence motion.

Polling Data

If a federal election were held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you be most likely to support in your constituency?

 

Sept. 2

Aug. 26

Jul. 28

Jul. 18

Conservative

33%

34%

33%

33%

Liberal

32%

30%

34%

30%

New Democratic Party

19%

18%

16%

18%

Bloc Québécois

9%

8%

10%

11%

Green

7%

9%

7%

6%

Other

1%

0%

1%

2%

Source: Angus Reid Strategies / Toronto Star
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,007 Canadian adults, conducted on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, 2009. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

Other poll highlights:

32% support the opposition parties toppling the Conservative government; 57% are opposed
42% think it is time for a change of government; 34% would keep the Conservatives in power

Complete Poll (PDF)