Liberals and Tories tied in latest poll of federal party support

WATCH:  A new Ipsos Reid poll for Global News shows the Conservatives are virtually neck and neck with the Liberals. Eric Sorensen breaks down the numbers and Tom Clark explains why the numbers could lead to an early election call.

TORONTO – Liberals and Conservatives are neck and neck when it comes to federal support heading into the 2015 election year, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

If the election were tomorrow, the poll suggests Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party would receive 34 per cent of the decided vote, with Stephen Harper’s Conservatives earning 33 per cent. The one-point lead is a statistical tie, according to Ipsos Reid.

“What this poll shows is the Liberals and the Conservatives are really the two main parties Canadians are choosing from; the NDP not so much anymore,” said Ipsos Reid  spokesperson John Wright.

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“It may be tight in British Columbia, but the tightest races, in fact, are in Ontario and in the Toronto region.”

British Columbia saw a three-way split, according to the poll: Tories at 33 per cent, NDP at 30 per cent, and Liberals at 28 per cent.

In Ontario, Tories and Liberals were tied at 37 per cent each, with the NDP trailing at 22 per cent, according to the survey. Liberals were leading at 46 per cent in the downtown 416 region of Toronto (with NDP at 26 per cent and Conservatives at a distant 25 per cent) but in the 905 region of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) it was Conservatives leading at 41 per cent. The poll had Liberals at 37 per cent in the 905 region, with NDP at 20 per cent.

WATCH: Federal election horserace suggests Canadians are considering change

Nationally, Thomas Mulcair’s NDP was found to have a significantly lower 24 per cent of support; Mario Beaulieu’s Bloc would get five per cent nationally—but 21 per cent in Quebec—with Elizabeth May’s Green Party trailing behind at four per cent.

“Each of the leaders has their own patch of geography in this country, and right now you can see the NDP is really not faring as well because the Bloc is eating into their support and the NDP is not picking up traction in other parts of the country,” said Wright.

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Janet Cordahi / Global News

Fifteen per cent of Canadians still aren’t sure which way to cast their ballots, according to the survey.

Political analyst Tim Powers suggested if Trudeau has had any success, it’s been in convincing Canadians that if they don’t like Harper, he’s the next best choice–a concern for the NDP.

“I think the NDP probably had their high watermark in 2011 with Mr. [Jack] Layton because the Liberal Party was in such disarray,” said Powers. “If there is a more traditional element [to the poll’s findings], it’s that the Liberals are getting their feet back on the ground, and the Conservatives are demonstrating that they have a wherewithal like the old Conservative Party of the ’70s and ’80s.”
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Wright said the wildcard will be 2015’s seat redistribution.

“Because of the demographic changes in this country, that Parliament has created another 30-odd seats,” he said. “And the Conservatives, in fact, will pick up most of those seats in the west –that’s where the immigration and where the demographics have changed the most.”

READ MORE: Several provinces to get more Commons seats to reflect population growth

Wright said geography is key in predicting election outcomes, and cautioned against polls that show Trudeau in the lead.

“Mr. Harper might be slightly behind in the percentage of votes, but in seats alone he may be much further ahead.”

A sample of 8,268 Canadians were polled online between Nov. 10 and Dec. 1, 2014. The poll is accurate to within +/ 1.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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.”

WATCH: Eric Sorensen looks at the horse race that is shaping up between the Federal Tories and Liberals based on the latest Ipsos Reid poll

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