Anti-Harper vote shifts to NDP

Poll highlights historic change in party allegiance


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OTTAWA — The New Democratic Party has become the leading choice among Canadian voters — especially those in Ontario and Quebec — as the most favoured party to govern the country, a major new poll has found.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/06/2012 (3706 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — The New Democratic Party has become the leading choice among Canadian voters — especially those in Ontario and Quebec — as the most favoured party to govern the country, a major new poll has found.

The survey commissioned by Postmedia News also reveals Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tories are slipping in popularity and the Liberals are continuing to wane. Ultimately, the poll conducted this week by Ipsos-Reid reveals a historic shift in political allegiances, as a growing consensus forms around the NDP among those who would like to see the Tories removed from office.

According to the poll, which asked Canadians who they would vote for if an election occurred today, the NDP under Thomas Mulcair would receive 38 per cent of the popular vote, up three points since last month. (That’s also well up from the 2011 election, when the NDP finished second with 31 per cent of the vote.) The Tories would receive 35 per cent of the vote, down two points since last month (and down from the 40 per cent they attained to win a majority government last year.) Support for the Liberal party, now heading into an unpredictable leadership race that won’t include its current leader Bob Rae, is also shaky. The party would get 18 per cent of the vote, down one point from the 2011 election.

CP Voters in Quebec and Ontario are turning to Tom Mulcair's NDP in droves.

The Green party would receive about four per cent of the vote. And the Bloc Québécois, once powerful in its province, is now running second to the NDP there.

Ipsos-Reid president Darrell Bricker said the findings are part of a significant trend that shows Canadians are becoming more polarized around key issues such as the economy, the role of government and taxes.

He said left-wing, “progressive” voters are coalescing around the political voice that offers the strongest opposition to Harper’s government.

CP Support for Stephen Harper's Tories is down to 35 per cent, from 40 per cent in 2011.

“That’s what’s happening now for the NDP,” said Bricker. “We’re seeing there is an opposition emerging. People who are against Harper figure they have the best chance of defeating them, and that’s where they’re going.”

Particularly worrisome for Harper’s party, he said, is support for the NDP is not only strong in Quebec, but has also skyrocketed in Ontario, where there are many ridings.

The poll found the NDP has taken the lead in Ontario, with 40 per cent support compared with the Tories’ 34 per cent. In Quebec, the NDP is also at 40 per cent, while the Tories are in third place with 18 per cent.

The poll comes in the wake of recent controversy over the government’s massive budget bill, and as MPs head home to their ridings for the summer.

Bricker said he doesn’t ascribe the rise in NDP popularity directly to the machinations that occurred in the Commons recently. Nor is he convinced it’s necessarily because of public support for Mulcair.

Rather, he said it’s connected to the changing nature of the country and the fact the student protests in Quebec represent a broader unease with the economic policies of those in power. “Quebec has become ground zero for whatever the progressive movement is going to be in the country. People who are progressive… are now feeling the NDP is the place to be if you are a progressive.”

— Postmedia News

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