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VOTER INTENTION STAGNANT AS TORIES EKE OUT A BARE LEAD – September 16, 2010

[Ottawa – September 16, 2010] – After what could easily be described as an unpredictable summer, Conservative and Liberal support appears to have stabilized. At 32 points, the Conservatives have held a small but statistically significant lead for two consecutive weeks. In the meantime, the Liberals have remained steady at 29 points. This period of inactivity is somewhat reminiscent of last spring where both parties remained anchored below the 33-point mark.

While the Conservatives and Liberals may be frozen in amber, there appears to be somewhat more volatility among NDP and Green supporters. In the last week of polling, the NDP widened their lead over the Green Party by more than three points. This movement is as much due to a rise in NDP support as it is to a fall in Green support, suggesting that voters may be switching between the two parties.

In this very stable environment, it is appropriate to look at the two-week results for demographic trends.

The Liberals retain a clear lead among the university educated, though they do not fare nearly as well among the other education groups. The Conservatives, meanwhile, continue to hold a solid lead among men and seniors, though they still lag among female voters. However, this gender gap is not as extreme as has been seen in recent weeks.

Regionally, the stark east-west divide that emerged several weeks ago appears to have diminished. The Conservatives have pulled into parity with the Liberals in Ontario and they have gained ground in both Quebec and Atlantic Canada. On the other hand, BC has once again become a tight three-way race with the Liberals, NDP, and Conservatives all wedged into a statistical tie.

Finally, we recently started retesting country of birth. While the Liberal Party has traditionally led among those born outside Canada, last fall the Conservatives pulled into the lead with this group. It is now clear that the Conservative advantage with the non-native born has been relinquished.

Click here for the full report: full_report_september_16

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