Seismic shift to NDP.
Ekos Research poll
NDP SURGES MORE FIRMLY INTO 2ND PLACE, OFFICIAL OPPOSITION STATUS.
HARPER MAJORITY PROSPECTS ARE FADING. GRITS SLIPPING FROM SIGHT.
EKOS SEAT PROJECTION: TORIES, 131; NDP, 100; GRITS, 62; BLOC, 14.
NDP COULD FORM GOVERNMENT WITHOUT BLOC SUPPORT.
As voting trends are now moving, the NDP is in a position to easily lead a minority government, even without Bloc support. More than half of NDP seats would be won in Quebec, although NDP surge is also evident in Ontario and Atlantic Provinces, while traditional NDP stronghold in the West is holding firm. Liberals, meanwhile, have slipped to last place in their former fortress Quebec, with just 13.1% support. NDP leads in Quebec, with 38.7%, trouncing Bloc, with 25.2% and Tories, at 14.7%.
Nationally, Ekos' latest voter survey shows Tories leading but down to 33.7% among decided and leaning voters; NDP gaining, to 28%; Liberals dropping to 23.7%; Green Party slipping to 7.2%; and Bloc Quebecois down to 6.2%.
If those numbers hold on May 2, that would be the best showing, by far, in NDP history. And it would be the worst performance for the Liberals in their history, seeing the party lose official opposition status for the first time when not forming a government.
NDP inroads in Quebec, mostly at Bloc expense, threaten to reduce the BQ, which has held the majority of Commons seats in Quebec since its inception, to a Commons rump of just 14 seats.
The NDP also leads as the 2nd choice of more voters than any party in the latest Ekos survey. Which means that despite record NDP popularity, the party still has room to grow if it can make stronger gains in battleground Ontario. NDP benefits from heathcare having eclipsed the economy, Stephen Harper's high card, as Canadians' No. 1 concern. And Ontario traditionally votes for the party it feels best able to unite the country. With its lead in Quebec, that party is the NDP for the first time, and no longer the 4th-place Liberals.
The usual caveat: Popular vote notoriously does not translate into seats, given vote splits. That said, NDP are achieving close to the 29% needed to form official opposition, Tories are far short of the 39-41% needed for a majority; and Grits, if traditional popular-vote extrapolation is used, are headed for worst showing in party history.