Poll shows Liberals leading 3 out of 4 byelections

A report suggests the Ontario government is considering looking at allowing ranked-ballot voting in municipal elections. Chris Young / The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper called federal byelections on Sunday for Toronto Centre, the Montreal riding of Bourassa and the Manitoba ridings of Provencher and Brandon-Souris, and according to a poll conducted by Forum Research, the Liberals are leading in three of the four ridings.

A random sampling of public opinion shows the Liberals have strong leads in Toronto Centre and Bourassa, and have a surprising slight lead over the Conservatives in Brandon-Souris. The Conservatives are strong in Provencher, a safe bet for them.

The NDP, which has strong contenders in Toronto and Bourassa, is trailing by a wide margin in the ridings, according to poll results.

In Toronto Centre, Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland has close to half the vote with 45 per cent support compared to NDP candidate Linda McQuaig, who has 30 per cent support. The Conservatives and the Greens barely register with 18 per cent and 7 per cent support, respectively.

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The Bourassa riding shows similar results with Liberal candidate Emmanual Dubourg leading with 47 per cent support compared to NDP candidate (and former member of the band Bran Van 3000) Stephane Moraille, who only has 18 per cent support. The Bloc Quebecois candidate has 15 per cent support, while the Green candidate, who withdrew from the race the day the polling took place, has just 12 per cent support.

The Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris has the closest race, with the Liberal candidate Rolf Dinsdale and Conservative candidate Larry Maguire almost neck-and-neck with 39 per cent support and 35 per cent support, respectively. The NDP and Green candidate are both holding 12 per cent support.

Provencher is considered one of the safest Conservatives seats in the country and candidate Ted Falk has a huge lead with 56 per cent support compared to Liberal candidate Terry Hayward, who has a meek 29 per cent support. The NDP candidate has 9 per cent support and the Green candidate has 6 per cent support.

“For the Liberals to be leading in Bourassa is expected, and in Toronto Centre, it’s to be anticipated. But for a federal Liberal to be leading in Brandon‐Souris is a strange result indeed. The Justin factor seems to be working right across the country,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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The byelections have been set for Nov. 25.

Forum Research conducted the poll on Oct. 17-18 with results based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of randomly selected Canadians over the age of 18. Margin of error for Toronto Centre results are +/- 3 per cent, Bourassa results are +/- 5 per cent, Brandon-Souris results are +/- 5 per cent, and Provencher results are +/- 6 per cent.

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