NDP surge keeps rolling along.
LATEST POLLS HAVE NDP SOLIDLY IN OFFICIAL OPPOSITION TERRITORY.
TORY INSIDERS SAY MAJORITY HAS SLIPPED FROM THEIR GRASP.
BLOQUISTES ENDORSE LAYTON.
TRADITIONALLY GRIT TORONTO STAR ENDORSES LAYTON.
1. Latest Angus Reid poll, in today's Star, has Tories just four points ahead of the Dippers, at 37% to 33% nationally, with Liberals dropping into the teens (19%). Confirms yesterday's Ipsos-Reid poll, with a five-point gap nationally between CPC and NDP, at 38% and 33% respectively, with Grits trailing at 18%.
In Quebec, the two polls have NDP leading, with 42% and 45%, respectively; and the BQ second, at 26% in both polls. Angus Reid has Grits third (16%) and Tories trailing, at 13%. Ipsos Reid has the reverse, Tories (15%) just ahead of Liberals (13%).
In battleground Ontario, Angus Reid has Tories maintaining strong, though slipping, lead, at 41%; NDP second, at 27%; Grits at 26%; Greens at 5%. Ipsos Reid similarly has Tories strongly ahead, at 40%, but much better numbers for Dippers (34%), and worse placing for Liberals (21%).
Here's the latest Nanos Research's three-day rolling poll: Tories, 38%; NDP, 29.6%; Grits, 23.3%; BQ, 5.2%; and Greens, 3.1% In Quebec, Nanos also has the Dippers far ahead, at 39% (these three polls have Quebec NDP support almost identical, at 39%-41%); BQ at 22.2%; Liberals at 19.1%; and Tories at 16.3%. Nanos latest numbers have Ontario a three-way tie, when accounting for the usual margin for error: Tories, 35.3%; Grits, 31.7% and NDP, 28.5%.
2. Top Team Harper officals tell Star they can't win the 23 additional seats in Ontario needed to secure a majority, and cover expected Tory losses in B.C. and Quebec. An ironic outcome of the Tories determined - and successful - anti-Iggy campaigns has been to drive Grit vote into Layton's camp, not Harper's.
"Harper dusts up Iggy for a year," a Tory source says, referring to anti-Grit TV ad campaigns soon after Ignatieff took the Grit leadership and a second wave of demonizing TV portrayals beginning in December, "but the benefactor of the collapsing Liberal vote is not Harper, it's Jack."
3. In an open letter to La Presse, biggest-circulation Quebec daily, BQ operatives Maxime Bellerose and Benoit Demuy say BQ is past its sell-by date in advancing the separatist cause in Ottawa. Pending a Quebec City initiative to put Canada through a third gruelling referendum on sovereignty - sooner than later, as the avowedly separatist Parti Quebcois is poised to oust a deeply unpopular Liberal regime led by Jean Charest - it's best for now to park our votes with the party that best represents Quebec's social-democratic sentiment.
4. I just saw a pig fly past my front-room picture window. My paper, routinely described as a Liberal Party house organ, has today endorsed Layton for PM:
"Ignatieff has spent the past few days lamenting the loss of the centre ground of Canadian politics and attacking the NDP as spendthrifts and "boy scouts" [on a tragically wrong Afghan mission the NDP has always opposed.] His party's collapse in Quebec raises the question of whether it can truly be considered a national force at this point...The Liberals have not made a persuasive case for themselves as an alternative in 2011... Voters who believe Canada should aspire to something greater than the crabbed, narrow vision offered by the Harper Conservatives should look to Jack Layton and the New Democrats on Monday."