A two-horse race?

Two_Horse_RaceHas this become a two-horse race with the Liberal’s pony falling too far behind the pack to make a run for it this Fall?

There’s been a lot of polls that indicate, surprisingly, the NDP have taken the lead in popular opinion and the Liberals have sank to third. In fact, the distance between the NDP and Conservatives and the trailing Liberals is widening… and this has got all the pundits’ tongues wagging.

One the most compelling set of number were released by Abacus which recently polled Canadians who were undecided on their voting intentions. They found that most of these voting subset are deliberating between only two of their choices – the Conservatives and NDP – so much so, that Abacus has coined this voting group as “Blue-Orange switchers”.

Why not red voting intentions? Their polling suggests the Liberals support is waning based on a negative impression of their Leader Justin Trudeau. Just 4% had a positive evaluation of Trudeau while 72% had a negative evaluation. So, nearly three-quarters of Canadians who have not made up their minds as of yet will likely not consider voting Liberal.

By comparison, Prime Minister Stephen Harper got 52% thumbs up with this group – and 14% thumbs down. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair got 43% thumbs up and just a 4% negative rating.

So, who will these Blue-Orange switchers vote for? Abacus found 39% of Blue-Orange switchers are ready to vote Conservative, 26% would go NDP but a big chunk — 28% — are undecided. This undecided, however, have decided not to vote Liberal.

Abacus predicts the Tories and New Democrats will fight for undecided Blue-Orange Switchers in ridings in Quebec City, in factory towns in southwestern Ontario, in prairie cities like Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton and all over the increasingly important battleground of the Vancouver suburbs – Port Moody, Richmond, and Surrey (see the full polling numbers by clicking here: Abacus Poll).

Pollster Nik Nanos also is forecasting a two-horse battle with his recent numbers. On the question of a Party’s ability to produce a stable government, Canadians believe that both the Conservatives (29.4%) and the NDP (29.0%) are most likely to produce a stable federal government, one in four (24.5%) Canadians believe that the Liberals are most likely to produce a stable government after the next federal election.

On the question of who Canadians would prefer as Prime Minister: 28% said they preferred Mulcair as PM, followed by 26 per cent who said they preferred Harper and 25 per cent who said they preferred Trudeau. See the full series off questions and numbers from this poll by clicking here: Nanos Research Poll

Lastly, consider Eric Grenier’s work on the blog threehundredeight.com. (His polling analysis has been picked up by CBC, which has just made it easier to watch the horse race from the comfort of a single computer screen.)

Mr. Grenier’s analysis of all national polling numbers showed the NDP in a polling lead with 32.6 per cent support, followed by the Conservatives at 28.6 per cent, and the Liberals at 26.3 per cent support.

If an election were held today, this could translate into 127 seats for the NDP, 117 for the Conservatives, 90 for the Liberals, three for the Bloc Québécois and one for the Green Party.

BTW – you can now follow the voting preference trends on a weekly basis on CBC Poll Tracker.

It will be very interesting to see if there is any noticeable shift in September when Canadian begin to tune into the political rhetoric – and the excitement of the race.

(ed. – Photo Attribution: By John Picken [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

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