EKOS Poll: Canada's Conservatives & Liberals in Virtual Tie
Just five months ago Canada's conservative gouvernment enjoyed almost a 15 point lead over Michael Ignatieff's Liberals. The country had weathered the recession relatively well, the banking system intact and joint bail out with the United States of the auto industry assured some plants would remain in Canada.
The fortunes of the Conservative party seem to be diminishing, particularly in Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces. Canadians are split about how they feel about the direction the country is heading.
The Conservative Government has not made many friends on three issues that they were plagued with in the fall and early winter:
Canada's participation in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference was seen as weak. Prime Minister Harper left the heavy lifting to Jim Prentice, the Environment Minister.
The handling of Afghan detainees and the subsequent lashing out at Richard Colvin, a senior diplomat became the number one news item in Canada. After extensive testimonies by DND and Richard Colvin, the media, and as a result the Canadian public, believes that there has been a cover up.
Prorogation of Parliament until the completion of the Vancouver Winter Olympics also makes Canadians wonder if this has brought a cover up full circle.
Only the disaster in Haiti has taken those issues off the front page for the time being.
The latest EKOS poll indicates that the Conservatives hold a slight lead of 31.5% over the Liberals with 30.9%. This is well within the margin of error.
The NDP trails with 14.5%, followed by the Green Party with 11.5% and the Bloc Quebecois with 9.1%.
When asked how the felt about the direction the country was going, Canadians responded with 45% in the right direction and 43% in the wrong direction.
If an election were called today, Canadians would be confronted with another minority gouvernment with either Mr. Harper or Mr. Ignatieff as Prime Minister.