January 15, 2015 4:00 pm
Updated: January 15, 2015 8:27 pm

Battleground(s) 2015: who’s leading in the key provinces?

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WATCH: It’s 2015 and that means another federal election is on its way. The latest poll for Global News show the federal Conservatives have jumped ahead of the Liberals. Tom Clark discusses the latest numbers.

OTTAWA —Thirty new ridings on the 2015 electoral map means 30 more seats to fight for which, of course, means all new battlegrounds to fight.

The redistribution, announced early into the Conservative majority, is the sleeper issue of the upcoming federal election, said John Wright, senior vice president at Ipsos Ried.

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“In the past, we’d be looking at a likely majority when a party had somewhere between 38 and 40 per cent,” he said in an interview. “The new seats decrease that percentage.”

READ MORE: Conservatives pull ahead of Liberals, could be on cusp on majority: poll

With the redistribution, Wright said, a four-point lead could put a party on the cusp of a majority — and that’s exactly where the Conservatives are sitting.

The riding redistribution creates six additional seats in both Alberta and British Columbia, three in Quebec and 15 in Ontario, where every party wants to win big.

“Ontario is always important because it tips,” Wright said. “What’s important is the suburbs, the 905 donut, for the Conservatives.”

Seat-rich Ontario helped propel the Conservatives into majority territory in 2011. By the end of 2014 though, the Liberals and Conservatives were polling equally across the province.

Early in to 2015, however, the Conservatives have surged ahead, gaining four points to reach 41 per cent, according to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

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Widening the gap, the Liberals lost three points, bringing the party down to 34 per cent.  The NDP lost only one point, but still trailed in third place with 21 per cent in Ontario, according to the poll.

The official Opposition, however, makes up some of that loss over in Quebec — the province that gave rise to the 2011 “orange wave” — where the party is up two points to 31 per cent.

That gain, coupled with an eight-point decline for the Liberals, means the NDP is sitting comfortably in first place in Quebec, the poll suggested.

With the Liberals down to 24 per cent of the vote in La belle province they’re behind even the Bloc Quebecois, which gained four points, climbing up to 25 per cent in this round of Ipsos Reid polling.

“Quebec is the one to watch for the NDP and Liberals because the Bloc is gaining more strength,” Wright said.

The Conservatives, who haven’t broken through in Quebec since the days of Brian Mulroney, are up three points there; that increase only gives them 18 per cent of the vote.

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, of course, can always look to Alberta for support, and this poll shows no change in their approval there, still at 58 per cent.

The Liberals, meanwhile, hold 23 per cent of support in Alberta (down one point), while the NDP gained two points to sit at 16 per cent.

The tightest race among the three main parties is in British Columbia, where the Liberals have gained six points to lead with 34 per cent. The Conservatives lost three points since the last poll, bringing them down to 30 per cent, while the NDP, also down three points, is in striking distance at 28 per cent.

The governing Conservatives also hold a solid lead in the Prairies, with 46 per cent support, compared to 33 per cent for the Liberals and 20 per cent for the NDP.

Finally, way back over in the East, the Liberals are still holding the lead they enjoyed at the end of 2014 — but it’s not all good news. Team Trudeau dropped 12 points, the poll showed, bringing them down to 41 per cent support in the Atlantic provinces.

The closest party trailing the Liberals is the New Democrats, who are way down at 29 per cent — but with a 10 point gain between polls, the Liberals might want to keep an eye out.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos Reid polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos Reid.” This poll was conducted between Jan. 6 and Jan. 11, with a sample of 1,915 Canadians and is accurate to within 2.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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