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A BRIEF UPDATE OF LAST THREE DAYS: NDP SURGE CONTINUES AS WE APPROACH A CLONED PARLIAMENT – April 18, 2011

CONSERVATIVE LEAD WIDENS TO 12.5 POINTS

[Ottawa – April 18, 2011] – The weekends are always difficult times to poll on vote intention but as we are in the final two weeks of the campaign, we have decided to do so. Based on some 2,350 cases from Friday to Sunday, the top line results show the Conservatives at 37.4 – ahead of their end of last week position – and now showing a clear advantage over the Liberals who, at 24.9 points, have fallen back to their position coming out of the 2008 election.

The NDP, meanwhile, continues to follow an upward trend line and, at 20.0 points, they are the only party to have clearly demonstrated upward momentum throughout the campaign (which they began around 6 points below their current standing). The NDP are also ahead of their position in 2008 and they seem to be benefitting from growth with younger and women voters and these gains have been partly drawn from the Green Party and the Bloc, who appear to have stopped the bleeding and are now holding steady at 31.9 points in Quebec.

There is some instability apparent in the numbers, which suggests that things can still change. While support for national direction has improved, support for the current government in Canada has reached a low point for the campaign. So far, it is the NDP who have tapped into this growing disaffection for the incumbent government, but it could be a force in the final stages of the campaign. The regional patterns show the Conservatives ahead in a volatile race in British Columbia with the NDP performing well. The Conservatives dominate Alberta and the Prairies and they have moved eight points up on the Liberals in the crucial Ontario race. The Quebec race is quite unsettled with the NDP reaching new heights at 25.4 points. Atlantic Canada remains a tight two-way race with the Liberals enjoying a slim advantage over the Conservatives.

When we focus on those who “absolutely certain to vote”, we end up with a result which is eerily similar to the 2008 election. All parties are very close and the Conservatives and Liberals are both at almost exactly their last election performance. This would generate almost near-clone Parliament with the Liberals and the Conservatives having almost precisely the same seats. Despite this appearance of remarkable stability, there is ample evidence that there is still room for significant twists and turns in the final two weeks. At the beginning of week four, this is a poll which is very favourable for the NDP and the Conservatives, but not very encouraging for the Liberals. Weekend polls can be funny creatures though, and we will be watching things closely as the week unfolds.

Click here for the full report: full_report_april_18_2011

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