December 16, 2019

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Liberals taking off in Manitoba, according to poll

Party support in Winnipeg almost doubles since 2011

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks at the Holiday Inn South in Winnipeg.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks at the Holiday Inn South in Winnipeg.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/9/2015 (1542 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Liberal support in Manitoba has surged, putting the party neck and neck with the Conservatives and well ahead in Winnipeg, according to a new, independent poll.

The Conservatives and Liberals both enjoy the support of 39 per cent of decided voters. Liberal support has grown by 10 percentage points since June. NDP support has dropped by five points to 18 per cent.

"It's quite a jump," said Probe vice-president Curtis Brown of the Liberals. "They were roadkill last election, and here they are tied with the Conservatives."

In Winnipeg, where the Liberals hope to pick up at least three, perhaps four, seats from the Tories, the Grits are well ahead, according to Probe Research's latest poll, done for the Winnipeg Free Press. In the city, the Liberals enjoy 42 per cent of the vote, the Conservatives 33 per cent. That means the Liberals have nearly doubled their support in Winnipeg since the 2011 election.

The Liberal lead is biggest in South Winnipeg, where the party is targeting three Conservative-held seats — Saint Boniface-Saint Vital, Winnipeg South and Winnipeg South Centre. Though the margin of error is higher, Probe puts the Liberals ahead by 29 points in the southeast quadrant.

But even in rural Manitoba, long a Conservative bastion, Tory support has eroded steadily since 2011. The party currently has the support of 49 per cent of voters outside the Perimeter Highway, down 15 points from 2011. The Liberals have 33 per cent support, up a whopping 26 points from the last election.

Manitoba Liberal candidates from front left, Terry Duguid, Winnipeg South and Andrea Richardson-Lipon, Elmwood-Transcona, in back is Dan Vandal, Saint Boniface-Saint Vital and Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Winnipeg Centre.

Manitoba Liberal candidates from front left, Terry Duguid, Winnipeg South and Andrea Richardson-Lipon, Elmwood-Transcona, in back is Dan Vandal, Saint Boniface-Saint Vital and Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Winnipeg Centre.

Brown said most of the Liberals' new support is coming from New Democrats. Nearly 40 per cent of people who voted NDP in 2011 are backing the Liberals. Just 16 per cent of people who voted Tory last election are supporting the Liberals.

Brown offered two caveats to Probe's latest poll. First, he said the numbers don't offer much reliable insight into individual ridings where the real ground battles are waged, so it's dangerous to extrapolate Probe's numbers to suggest Winnipeg Centre may be leaning toward Liberal challenger Robert-Falcon Ouellette or the NDP is faring unexpectedly poorly in Elmwood-Transcona, a riding they hope to win back from the Conservatives.

Second, Brown said, like all polls, Probe's numbers are a snapshot, reflective of voters' feelings roughly a month away from election day, Oct. 19. Brown said people's choices aren't locked in, and the survey also identified 17 per cent undecided voters, a little higher than normal.

This week, another wave of national polls suggested the federal race is still a virtual three-way tie, though one poll conducted by Ekos Research suggested the Conservatives were pulling ahead with 35 per cent of the vote, roughly 10 points ahead of the other two parties.

In the Probe poll, most voters — 72 per cent — said the long campaign will not alter the likelihood they'll actually hit the polls.

Probe also gauged voter reaction to a topic that engulfed the first few weeks of the campaign, the fraud trial of Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy. Nearly half of the voters surveyed said they followed the trial and its revelations somewhat or very closely. New Democrats were far more likely than Conservatives to be paying keen attention.

Half of the voters polled said they were less likely to vote for the Tories as a result of the Duffy scandal. More than a quarter of Tory supporters agreed they were less likely to vote for Prime Minister Stephen Harper following revelations at the Duffy trial.

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

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