Controversies leave Tories tied with NDP in approval rating

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OTTAWA -- After enduring weeks of criticism over robocalls, the F-35 and the budget, the federal Conservative party is virtually tied with the NDP in public opinion, suggests a new Ipsos-Reid poll conducted exclusively for Postmedia News and Global TV.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/04/2012 (3770 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — After enduring weeks of criticism over robocalls, the F-35 and the budget, the federal Conservative party is virtually tied with the NDP in public opinion, suggests a new Ipsos-Reid poll conducted exclusively for Postmedia News and Global TV.

But the controversies haven’t stuck to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who continues to enjoy strong approval ratings throughout most of the country.

The survey found if an election were called today, 34 per cent of Canadians polled would vote for the Conservative party, compared to 37 per cent last month and 40 per cent when the last election was held on May 2, 2011.

In contrast, 33 per cent would vote for the NDP, which is up from 29 per cent in March and 31 per cent during the election. The Liberals would receive 21 per cent of the vote, while the Bloc Québécois and Green party would receive seven and four per cent, respectively.

Ipsos Reid senior vice-president John Wright attributed the Conservatives’ declining fortunes to weeks of enduring controversy, including the robocall scandal, an uninspiring budget and last week’s auditor general’s report on the troubled F-35 stealth-fighter program.

“There’s a whole series of things that the government has had to be dealing with,” Wright said.

At the same time, Wright said, the NDP is benefiting from the excitement surrounding the selection of Thomas Mulcair as leader of the official Opposition. Still, despite trends showing the Conservatives falling in public opinion since the federal election, Wright said there is no reason to believe the government is worried.

“We have to keep in context that the government is a majority and it’s not going anywhere,” he said.

The key thing to watch is whether the NDP can expand its support outside Quebec now that Mulcair is at the helm, Wright said.

Meanwhile, 42 per cent of Canadians polled approve of the job Harper is doing as prime minister. While that represents a drop of six points from March, Wright said the number is still extremely high.

“Right now, especially at this time of the Conservatives going through the controversial elements that he has, there hasn’t been a lot sticking to him personally,” Wright said. The telephone survey of 1,008 Canadians was conducted April 3 to 5 and is considered accurate within plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

 

— Postmedia News

 

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