The latest Ipsos poll, conducted exclusively for Global News between Oct. 11 and 13, found that support for the Conservatives is down two percentage points (at 32 per cent) while the Liberals dropped five points (30 per cent).
The NDP is up five percentage points since last week. If the election were held tomorrow, the party would receive 20 per cent of the popular vote.
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The NDP’s jump could be attributed to several things, including strong debate performances by Jagmeet Singh and Liberal fatigue among voters, according to Darrell Bricker, the CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs.
“There are a lot of people who are progressive voters in the country who want to vote in this election, and they take a look at Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party and say, ‘I’m kind of disappointed with your performance over the space of the last four years,’” he said.
“They were already looking for another option. And as Mr. Singh performed really well in the debates, they’re taking a serious look at him now.”
The Bloc Quebecois continued to see newfound strength in Quebec, the poll showed. If the election were held tomorrow, the party would grab 30 per cent of the vote in the province, which translates to about seven per cent of the national vote.
It’s a “re-emergence nobody expected,” Bricker said, but one that has the ability to have a “profound” impact.
“Not only on what’s going to happen in the province of Quebec in this election,” he said, “but what is going to happen in the next federal government of Canada.”
Broken down by province, the road to a winner is just as unclear.
The Liberals hold a lead over the Tories in Ontario and in Atlantic Canada, but are running a three-way race with the Tories and NDP in British Columbia. The Green Party is showing continued strength in B.C. and the Atlantic provinces, with double-digit percentage points in both. As for the Conservatives, they continue to carry a lead in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“What will determine this election, ultimately, is turnout,” Bricker said.
The number of Canadians who say they will vote on Oct. 21 is also up this week, hitting 70 per cent, according to the poll results.
Analyzed by party support, it is Bloc voters (87 per cent) and Conservative voters (81 per cent) who are the most inclined to say they’re absolutely certain to vote.
The motivation is less so for the Liberals (75 per cent), NDP (71 per cent), Greens (65 per cent) and PPC (62 per cent).
Bricker said determining election turnout is the hardest thing to predict.
“It’s what keeps every pollster in the country up at night — the differential turnout,” he said.
“It’s the idea that maybe one party’s vote is more enthusiastic than another party’s vote. So even if the overall level is up or down, it depends on how that overall turnout is comprised. Is it more Liberal? Is it more Conservative? That’s really hard to figure out.”
Looking at party commitment at the ballot box, the poll results were fairly similar.
Bloc voters are the most committed to their choice (70 per cent) followed by Conservative voters (64 per cent). There is less certainty among supporters of the Liberals (59 per cent), Greens (48 per cent), NDP (45 per cent) and PPC (44 per cent).
Overall, 57 per cent of Canadians feel certain of their choice for the ballot or have already voted.
Elections Canada reported a high volume of voter turnout during the first two days of advance polling — up 25 per cent over the same period in 2015.
Despite the turnout, Ipsos says nearly four in ten voters don’t feel locked into their choice.
Bricker said advance polling has been going up steadily over the years.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily specifically related to this campaign,” he said.
“However, the other thing is that the parties are getting much better at getting out their vote early. So some of it is probably a reflection of that. Do I think it’s an increased level of interest? It could be. But we won’t know until after the election.”
Who is best to lead?
Despite a drop in support for the popular vote, the poll found that 37 per cent of Canadians believe Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau deserves to be re-elected. This finding is consistent with last week.
The two figures “which historically track quite closely” are out of sync, said Bricker.
“It might be that people think that the government does deserve to be re-elected, but they actually want to consider another option this time,” he said.
On the other hand, the poll found 61 per cent of Canadians believe it’s time for another party to take control. About three per cent said they didn’t know either way.
As for what respondents thought about the Liberal government’s performance under Trudeau, the number of those who approved stayed consistent from last week, at 42 per cent. In contrast, 57 per cent disapprove.
“It looks like it’s going to be a very close election. When we have close elections, we can be up waiting until we see results of Vancouver Island, particularly if we’re deciding plurality of seats or a minority or majority,” Bricker said.
“But I would think that by the time we get through the province of Ontario, we’ll have a pretty good sense of what’s going to happen on election night.”
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.” These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 11 and 13, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 2,204 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. A sample of n = 1,504 was interviewed online, via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources, and respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. A sample of n = 700 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed by live-interview telephone interviewers by landline and cellphone, using random-digit dialing. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within +/ – 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.