Saturday, April 16, 2005

Tories Edge into Majority Status

The Canadian Globe and Mail has this story about the Canadian Liberal Party's electoral demise at the hand of Prime Minister Paul Martin and the Adscam Scandel:

OTTAWA — The Conservatives are edging toward a majority as anger with the Liberals become more firmly entrenched and Stephen Harper begins to earn the trust of Canadians, even in wary Ontario, a new poll suggests.

An Ipsos-Reid survey conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV between Tuesday and Thursday of this week — as damning testimony from the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal made headlines and election speculation heated to a boil — put the Conservatives at levels of support they have not seen since the election of 1988, when they swept the country.

The Tories' popularity rose six percentage points from April 8 to April 12, climbing to 36 per cent support among decided voters from 30 per cent. The Liberals, meanwhile, stagnated at 27 per cent and the New Democrats' popularity fell from 19 per cent to 15 per cent.

"It's all being driven by people's inability right now to trust the Liberal government," said Darrell Bricker, president of Ipsos-Reid.

The Conservatives did not register a noticeable rise in support in the first few days after testimony of Quebec ad executive Jean Brault was released to the public that swamped the Liberals in the corruption scandal over millions of dollars in federal advertising contracts. But this week, the impact was hitting home.

"It takes some time to sink in," Mr. Bricker said. "You weigh out the options. Brault comes out, and then you listen to what the opposition has to say about it, and then you listen to what the government has to say about it, and then you listen to what the editorialists have to say about it, and then a bit of a public consensus starts to form."

It is impossible to predict whether these numbers would give the Conservatives a majority government — although the Liberals have won majorities with 37 per cent of support among decided voters — but they will certainly weigh on the mind of Mr. Harper as he determines the best day to bring down the Liberal minority and force an election.

Fifty three per cent of those surveyed said they don't want an election until after Mr. Justice John Gomery releases his final report on the sponsorship program in late fall, and only 11 per cent said they want to go to the polls right now. But the Conservatives seem set to hit the hustings.

The big story of the poll is in Ontario, where the Tories have increased their support to 39 per cent from 32 per cent and are significantly ahead of the Liberals, who were the choice of 33 per cent of those polled.

An election looms over the horizon!

No comments:

Post a Comment