A new poll released earlier today by the polling firm Ekos suggests a dramatically-shifting political landscape on several fronts in Canada as the 2008 election election gets under way.
The Ekos poll is now the fourth consecutive poll from four separate polling firms to be released in the past week which shows the floor appearing to literally collapse out from under the Liberal Party of Canada. The three other polling firms whose latest polls suggest similar trends are Environics, Strategic Council & Ipsos-Reid.
The Ekos poll puts the Liberals at a dismal 24% nationally, just 5% (MOE = ± 2.2% 19 times out of 20) ahead of the New Democrats who are ranked at 19%.
Of particular interest in this one poll is the rankings in the province of Quebec, and in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies.
In Quebec, the poll gives the Bloc Québecois the lowest level of support received by that party in any poll by any polling firm in nearly a year. At 26%, the Bloc is listed as being statistically tied with the Tories (at 25%) and just 5% ahead of the New Democrats who are in a strong third place in the Ekos poll at 21%.
In Atlantic Canada, the poll puts the NDP at a whopping 36%, well ahead of both the Conservatives and Liberals who stand at 30% and 29% respectively.
In the Prairies, the Ekos poll puts the NDP at 38%, ahead by a statistically insignificant margin of the Tories’ 36% and considerably ahead of the Liberals’ dismal 14%.
However, the poll is not all good news for the New Democrats. The poll puts the New Democrats in last place amongst the major parties in the vote-rich province of Ontario, behind the Greens (albeit by a statistically insignificant margin).
With all this said, it is important to close with a caveat. As I have stated many times before, when a poll of this magnitude is released, it is always a good idea for political analysts not to to get too excited. Many partisan observers often forget the fact that polls only claim to be accurate to within their own stated margin of error (± 2.2% in this case) 19 times out of 20. That means that on average one out of every 20 polls will be off in their prediction by at least their margin of error and possibly worse. This is why the Paulitics Polling Resource uses a 5-poll rolling average to base its analysis on.
Stay tuned, this latest Ekos poll will be included in the Polling Resource shortly.