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[Ottawa – October 28, 2010] – Similar to the last reporting period, the Conservatives lead the Liberals by a comfortable six-point margin (33.9% to 27.8%). What is unusual, however, is the week to week volatility seen over the two-week data collection period. In the first week, the two parties were in a statistical tie. The Conservative Party’s better performance in the second week was largely a product of an upswing in Ontario.

Also interesting to note is that the fault lines in education and place of birth that emerged over the summer appear to be eroding as Conservatives are recovering among university educated and non-Canadian born.

Despite overall stability in vote intention, there were some major and puzzling movements in the second week of polling with regards to outlook on both direction of country and direction of the federal government. In a shift that is difficult to explain, both figures have plummeted to their lowest points in over a decade fuelled mostly by discontent among those outside of Conservative supporters, Quebec residents, and younger voters. Caution is necessary in interpreting the long term implications of this recent development, but typically these broad direction measures are leading indicators of future shifts in vote intention. It any case, it will be important to keep an eye on these numbers.

This week, Canadians were also asked whether they approved of Canada’s foreign policies. In short, Canadians are underwhelmed with Canada’s actions on the world stage, but there is no real sense of outrage. Results are predictably negative outside of the Conservative base, but overall, there is no evidence of major public concerns.

In the case of reputational impacts on Canada, however, the evidence is far more negative for the government. By a margin of two to one, a Canadians feel that the government’s foreign policies are having a corrosive impact on international reputation.

Click here for the full report: full_report_october_28

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