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[Ottawa – July 9, 2009] – Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff may have been flipping the flapjacks this last week in Calgary but there’s no need to worry about a political stampede.

The two parties have hit the summer stretch in a dead heat.

“It is clear, nonetheless, that Ignatieff’s persistent attempts to woo Albertans have gone nowhere so far,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “Ontario continues to be the place where governments will be made or unmade.”

Ontarians, whose meanderings between the Liberals and Conservatives over the past months have accounted for many of the significant changes in the national polls, continue to show ambivalence about the two major parties. The Liberals have retaken a lead over the Tories of several points in the province. Yet at the same time, almost half of Ontarians say they are happy with the direction of the government of Canada, which should be a good sign for Harper’s Tories.

For the New Democratic Party, however, the Ontario numbers must be worrisome. The party’s lead over the fourth place Green Party has dropped to just a few percentage points. (The Greens are actually marginally ahead of the NDP in Quebec, though both are at extremely low levels: in the single digits.)

“We don’t yet know whether the Green Party will be capable of mobilizing this kind of popular support in an election,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “Certainly they failed in the last election to reproduce their success in the polls at the ballot box. However, if they were more successful this time, it is conceivable that the Greens would seriously challenge to win some seats in Ontario where there was a four-way race.”

There is better news for the NDP in the Atlantic provinces where they may be enjoying a revival on the strength of their recent provincial win in Nova Scotia (though the sample size is small).

Meanwhile, the Conservatives continue to consolidate their hold on the seniors vote: a challenge to the Liberals for whom this demographic has traditionally been fertile ground.

Click here for complete survey results: 0779-full-report-_july-9_

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