Although the Conservatives are short of the committed support necessary to form a majority government, Stephen Harper has a clear advantage over Liberal Leader Stephan Dion. Forty-two percent of Canadians choose Harper as the best PM followed by Dion at 17%, Layton at 16%, Duceppe at 7% and Elizabeth May at 4% (the rest chose none of the above or were unsure). At this point in time Stephen Harper personally may be in majority territory but his party is not.
What is emerging is a situation where one leader is ahead of his party (Harper) and another leader trails his party (Dion). Of note, Harper is the second choice as the best PM among committed Liberals, New Democrats and BQ voters and the first choice as Best PM in the province of Quebec.
As shown in the previous research conducted with CPAC, Harper does well on leadership factors. From a polling perspective, Liberal ballot box support is being maintained by entrenched party support. The Conservatives are more likely to be encumbered by residual concerns on social issues (code - abortion/same sex marriage etc.).
Even with these numbers, one should exercise caution. Perceptions of leaders can turn quickly. All it would take is for one attack ad on Dion to go too far to potentially turn the numbers and change the environment.
Here is the question - Of the following individuals, who do you think would make the best Prime Minister? [Read and Rotate]
- Stephen Harper 42%
- Stephane Dion 17%
- Jack Layton 16%
- Gilles Duceppe 7%
- Elizabeth May4%
- None of them 7%
- Unsure 6%
The detailed stats by region and party affiliation are in the Support Materials Box on the right.
Interesting times. I still think things are volatile. You have to remember, In our first past the post system, with 40% support winners take all. With numbers like these we may see more of a “Harper Government” and less of the “New Conservative Government”.
Remember to rate the views of others - to allow us to recognize the opinion leaders in our national conversation.
Individuals with the top ratings make it to Nik’s Leaderboard.