LISPOP analysis finds Liberals in lead in latest seat projections

Rosalie Eid

Justin Trudeau spoke at Laurier in 2012. (File photo by Rosalie Eid)

After collecting data from numerous polls across the country, the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) suggests that the Liberal Party of Canada as of early May has enough public support to the lead the government of Canada.

LISPOP found that the seat distribution would be in favour of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals with a projection of 137 seats, with the Conservatives trailing with 120, the NDP with 72, 8 for the Bloc Québécois and one for the Green Party.

“What we have seen during that time is a consistent improvement for the Liberals. What’s interesting about this one [though] is it’s the first time that the Liberals are now ahead in the seat projections,” explained Barry Kay, a political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and a researcher for LISPOP.

“If you go back to January, the Conservatives were on a verge of a majority, but every since then… we’ve seen the Liberals going up, not just nationally but frankly in every region across the country,” he added.

According to Kay, the polls that LISPOP analyzed – which were conducted by Ekos, Ipsos Reid and Harris-Decima from April 18 to May 2 – were completed a couple weeks before the senate scandal with Senator Mike Duffy erupted, giving an indication that falling support for the Conservatives is a trend rather than a one-time blip.

“It’s not really about the senate. There’s something about people just getting tired of I think of the Harper government,” continued Kay, noting that he was just giving speculation. “If this just happened to be a particular cycle, I would just suggest that this is just a short-term blip, but there seems to be a pattern to it now, it isn’t just one place or another, it’s everywhere. And that just doesn’t happen.”

But due to the senate scandal hurting the reputation of the Conservative caucus, Kay added, “the numbers today are probably worse than they

According to political science professor, Barry Kay, the support for Harper is waning. (File photo by Nick Lachance)

According to political science professor, Barry Kay, the support for Harper is waning. (File photo by Nick Lachance)

were three weeks ago.”

The aggregation of poll data that LISPOP collected, however, does not demonstrate what will occur at the next federal election in 2015. But the Conservatives aren’t the only ones feeling the surge of the Liberal party that these polls suggest – so too is the NDP.

While the poll suggests that the NDP would gain some seats – 59 to 72 based on the findings – they would lose their official opposition status.

Kay added that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s own riding of Outremont has the potential of swinging to the Liberals.

“If I was advising Mulcair, I would tell him to run somewhere else, for example, in the next election,” Kay noted. “[But] I don’t want to make it sound like I have got truth in every riding.”

But Kay admitted that politics and public opinion, like it has in the past, has the potential to change very quickly.

“It’s said that a week’s a long time in politics and we’ve got about two and a half years really until the next federal election so a lot of things canhappen, but the most significant national thing is that the Conservatives seem to be in a kind of free fall,” he said.

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