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[Ottawa – May 6, 2010] – A significant gap has opened between the party preferences of men and women, though it is not the gender gap that once was.

Stephen Harper’s Tories have often, though not always, appealed more to men than to women in recent years, and that pattern has re-asserted itself. There is now a dramatic, nearly ten percentage point, difference between Conservative support among men (38.0%) and women (28.1%).

“This gap, while unusually large, is not unprecedented,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “What is startling is that the Liberals, who usually have something like a mirror image of the Tories, picking up women’s votes when the Tories are losing them, show almost no gender gap at all.”

It is the NDP that is now showing a dramatic difference in support among men and women in the opposite direction to the Conservatives. The NDP is running at 19.1% among women in the poll released today, versus just 12.9% among men.

The Greens and the Bloc Québécois also appear to be somewhat more appealing to women than men, but not as dramatically so.

“Both the Conservatives and the NDP need to think hard about why they lag so badly among half the population,” said Graves. “And the Liberals must be wondering, given all the attention they have devoted to women’s issues in recent weeks, why women don’t seem to be noticing.”

Despite the gender difference, the overall levels of support by the parties remained relatively stable at the national level. Support for the Liberals, however, is beginning to sag in some of their key strongholds. They are now statistically tied with the Conservatives in Quebec and Toronto and they are lagging behind in Ontario. While the decline in Liberal fortunes in these areas has not translated in to a statistically significant drop in overall support, they are now back to where they were in the 2008 election.

Nevertheless, no party has been able to break the 33-point mark for the 18th consecutive week.

Click here for the full report: full_report_may_6

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