Conservatives overtake NDP in latest poll
New Forum Research survey projects Tories with 138 seats, enough for a minority win
After falling as low as third in the polls for weeks, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have regained the lead in voter support, a new survey by Forum Research finds.
Forum president Lorne Bozinoff says Monday’s announcement from the federal Finance Department that Ottawa posted a $1.9-billion budget surplus likely gave Harper a bump, given that Forum polled its respon- dents Monday and Tuesday nights — after the announcement.
“The balanced budget announcement probably helped the Conservatives,’’ Bozinoff said in an interview Wednesday.
The Conservatives have 32-percent support, compared to 30 per cent for the NDP and 28 per cent for the Liberals, according to Forum.
The Greens have 6-per-cent support, the Bloc Québécois 4 per cent and “other” 1 per cent.
The results, projected on a 338-seat House of Commons, would see the Conservatives capturing 138 seats, enough for a minority government. The NDP would win 113 seats, the Liberals 86 and the Greens one.
In Ontario, where the parties have been locked in more or less a threeway tie, the Conservatives now lead with 37 per cent, ahead of the Liberals with 31per cent and the NDP with 24 per cent.
The same Forum poll this week also found 38 per cent of Canadians believe the Conservatives are doing the right amount for Syrian refugees, and 36 per cent believe too little is being done.
But Bozinoff said he doesn’t think the Syrian refugee issue had a major impact on Harper jumping ahead this week, because opinions are split on his handling of that file.
In terms of voter support for the parties, the NDP relinquished first place this week for the first time since solidifying their lead in Forum’s June 16 poll.
The New Democrats dropped six percentage points in public support from last week, and the Liberals lost one point.
The Tories gained four percentage points.
Despite what the polling firm described as the NDP’s “sharp loss of vote share,” the bright news for the party is the Forum survey found that among the party leaders, Thomas Mulcair had the largest percentage of voter support — 30 per cent — when respondents were asked who would make the best prime minister.
Twenty-five per cent of respondents said Harper best fit that description, while 19 per cent said Trudeau, 8 per cent chose Green Leader Elizabeth May, 2 per cent said Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, while 15 per cent picked none of the above, or didn’t know.
The poll results are based and answers derived from an interactive voice response telephone survey of 1,402 randomly selected Canadian adults.
The poll findings are considered accurate plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.