After trailing polls during this entire election season, badly at times, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is suddenly back on top. Latest polls, polls that reflect the recent release of enhanced universal child care benefits, have the Tories in front with 38 % of decided voters on their side. The NDP and Thomas Mulcair have 27 % while Justin Trudeau and the Liberals polled 25 %.
The Green Party had 6 %, the Bloc Quebecois 4 % and 20 % of Canadians remain undecided.
The poll was conducted by Mainstreet Research with Postmedia Network on Monday and Tuesday of this week. With 5,147 Canadians polled, Mainstreet bills their poll as “the largest ‘Federal Horserace’ telephone poll of 2015.” Company President Quito Maggi called them “remarkably strong numbers” for the Conservatives and referred to it as “Christmas in July” for the Prime Minister and his party.
Maggi noted that among those who knew of the recent universal benefit cheques the Tory support is highest. For kids 5 and under the benefit level was raised from $100 to $160 a month, parents of kids aged 6 to 17 get $60 monthly. However, Maggi says the news is not all good for the Conservatives.
“A look at undecided voters and second choice support among those who might change their mind tells a different story altogether,” he notes. “The NDP and Liberals are statistically tied among both second choice and leaning undecided voters across Canada and in Québec. When factored in to Mainstreet’s Momentum Tracker score, this gives Conservatives only a slight edge at 34% compared to 30% for both Liberals and the NDP.
“Although the numbers should be concerning to both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau,” Maggi added. “There remains growth potential for both parties. Stephen Harper is enjoying a return to support levels not seen since election day of 2011 but other numbers show he may be near a peak and the early bump from Christmas in July may not be sustainable until late October.”
A balanced budget was important to 90 % of those polled, with 49 % saying it was very important; just 5 % said it wasn’t important. Numbers were high in Ontario for the Conservatives, they have 45 % of decided voters, with Maggi attributing that to provincial Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s unwavering stance on changes to Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum policies.
The poll has a margin of error of 1.37%, 19 times out of 20.