Leaders’ debate, attack ads and a week of campaigning have little effect on voters, Ipsos poll shows

WATCH:A new Ipsos poll for Global News shows the three main parties competing in the federal election are still bunched in three-way race. Eric Sorensen looks at the numbers and challenges they pose.

One week of travel, speeches, pledges, rallies and a national debate has done little to sway public opinion on the federal election, a poll released Tuesday found.

Over all, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals gained support since the end of July, edging up three points to 28 per cent support. The Conservatives lost two points to settle in at 31 per cent support, just two percentage points behind the front-running NDP, who lost one point since the last polling period.

“Given that the Conservatives have expended a lot of ammunition in order to try to get things moving in the right direction, they haven’t really had much of an effect,” said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs.

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As for the NDP, the party seems to be having a difficult time translating popularity into votes, and the Liberals —whose leader has taken a pretty strong pummeling from attack ads —just isn’t going away, the pollster said.

“There’s very little movement,” Bricker said in an interview Tuesday. “Nothing that’s happened so far has had a big impact on the campaign one way or another, and it just shows that the potential for this campaign to be a grind is very high.”

The 42nd federal election campaign continues in a three-way race between the main parties, with very little gains or losses —which means the Oct. 19 election will be decided in the country’s seat-rich regions.

Winning in the key regions

Digging into the regions, support is spread among the three parties in four key areas of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, the Ipsos poll conducted for Global News suggests.

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“Looking over the regions shows us really how divided this country is,” Bricker said.

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives hold half the support in Alberta (the NDP have 30 per cent support and the Liberals 21 per cent) and are tied with the Liberals in Ontario, where each holds 33 per cent support, according to this poll.

READ MORE: Tories close gap, but NDP still leads poll as election draws nearer

Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats, meanwhile, hold a solid lead in Quebec with 41 per cent support over the Liberals’ 22 per cent and the Conservatives’ 19 per cent support.

The NDP also hold the lead in B.C., with 37 per cent support compared to 27 per cent support for the Conservatives and 26 per cent for the Liberals.

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All in all, little change, Bricker said.

“Even though you’ve got two new federal leaders and supposedly big changes since the last election campaign, the truth is that people have pretty well-developed views of the parties and the leaders going into this campaign, and they haven’t moved much off of that since the start,” he said.

READ MORE: Is the NDP good for the economy? New poll suggests nearly half of Canadians say yes

Overall voter support is rounded out with four per cent of poll respondents saying they’d vote for the Bloc Quebecois (the party has 16 per cent support in Quebec) and another four per cent opting for the Green Party.

Nine per cent say they remain undecided.

Time for another party to lead?

Though overall support remains somewhat stable, the poll raises a few red flags for the Conservatives.

A majority of poll respondents, 56 per cent, said they believe “things in this country are heading off on the wrong track,” compared to the 2011 election campaign, when 57 per cent of respondents said they think were on “the right track.”

READ MORE: Mulcair won’t join broadcast consortium debates unless Harper present

An even higher proportion, 69 per cent, said they believe it’s time for another leader to take over government.

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One area where Harper has very little support is in his stance on the traditional televised campaign debates; more than eight in 10 respondents (and almost six in 10 Conservative supporters) said they either strongly or somewhat agree the incumbent prime minister should participate in the consortium debates, which he’s said he won’t.

Full poll results below:

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Exclusive Global News Ipsos 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.” This poll was conducted between August 7 and August 10, with a sample of 2,022 Canadians, from Ipsos’ online panel as well as by live-interview telephone. The poll reported above is accurate to within 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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