A new survey from Ipsos Reid for Postmedia News and Global Television, has confirmed the findings of an Abacus Data poll earlier in the week: the NDP is bleeding support to the Liberals and the Tories are reaping the benefits.
The Ipsos Reid poll puts the Liberals at 26 per cent support, just behind the NDP at 30 per cent and the Tories at 34 per cent. The real news, however, is the Grits' surging fortunes. As the buzz around the party's leadership race has increased, the Liberals have jumped 8 per cent since June, almost entirely at the expense of the NDP.
The results are nearly identical to the Abacus poll from earlier in the week, which put the Tories at 36 per cent, the NDP at 29 per cent and the Liberals at 22 per cent. While the Liberals' overall support was lower in the Abacus survey, it also showed a recent spike in support.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW SLIDESHOW
The credit for the Liberal surge may very well belong to Trudeau and the charisma he has injected into Canadian politics, something Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Reid, believes is particularly important to voters on the left, according to Postmedia.
"For some reason, at this stage of the game, it looks like Trudeau’s been able to bring that back into the Liberal party and made them a threat again," Bricker told Postmedia.
But an increased Liberal threat, plus diminished NDP support, equals more victories for Harper and the Conservatives.
The NDP breakthrough in the last election and the collapse in support for the Liberals offered the possibility that Canada's centre-left was coalescing around a single party for the first time since Paul Martin won his minority government in 2004.
But just over a year after Jack Layton's death, it seems the prospect of an NDP government is rapidly diminishing.
All that would change instantly if the NDP merged with the Liberals, but both Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have ruled out uniting the centre-left.
Of course, a lot could happen between now and the next federal election that would change the vote-splitting dynamic likely to hand Harper another government.
Trudeau could fail to live up to expectations during the leadership campaign and the surge in Liberal support could recede. Then again, he may turn out to be every bit his father's son and capture enough support — from NDP, Bloc, and Green voters — to defeat the Tories.
When the next federal vote takes place in 2015, Harper will have been PM for nine years. There are already signs the party's backbenchers are beginning to resist the will of the Prime Minister's Office as their hopes of ever securing cabinet posts fade.
"[Harper] remains respected for leading the party into majority government but he is not loved and, crucially, he is no longer feared," according to the National Post's John Ivison. They may even begin to cast votes against their own party.
Party infighting, as the Liberals know all too well, can be a recipe for electoral disaster.
But it's the economy that presents the greatest risk for the Tories. Contrary to the rosy picture painted by the government, Canada's economy is projected to grow just 1.5 per cent in 2013 and 2 per cent in 2014, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the deficit for 2012 will be $5 billion worse than expected, a result of "volatile and falling world commodity prices."
Blaming the global economic situation for anaemic growth has been an effective strategy for the Tories so far, but how well will it play in 2015, eight years after the start of the financial crisis?
A convincing Trudeau win, mounting Tory infighting and a weak economy would amount to conditions for a possible change election.
But that's all hypothetical. For now, Trudeau is the best thing to happen to the Tories in a long time.
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"What's up!?" <em>Credit: CP</em>
He looks sexy in that uniform, but <em>what is with that moustache</em>!? <em>Credit: CBC</em>
Nice sweater. However, we'd like to call attention to Trudeau's blue shirt. <em>Credit: Althia Raj, The Huffington Post Canada</em>
"I like to box!" <em>Credit: CBC</em>
One of the weirdest publicity stunts ever to be performed on Parliament Hill. Even Trudeau finds it funny. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Seriously!? <em>Credit: CP</em>
Blue shirt appearance number two. <em>Credit: CP</em>
We're not going to knock a guy on his wedding day. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Keeping it classy by performing a striptease. See the full video <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/11/18/justin-trudeau-striptease_n_1101153.html" target="_hplink">here</a>. <em>Credit: Althia Raj, The Huffington Post Canada</em>
Trudeau was not having a good hair day in this picture. <em>Credit: CP</em>
*Dreamy!* <em>Credit: CP</em>
Pairing fall's two "it" colours (black and white) together. Smart sartorial decision one. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Okay... <em>Credit: CP</em>
No! Just. No. <em>Credit: Althia Raj, The Huffington Post Canada</em>
Blue shirt appearance number three. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Seriously. This moustache is killing us to look at. (Also, blue shirt appearance number four.) <em>Credit: CP</em>
Cheese. <em>Credit: Media Ball</em>
It is <em>not</em> okay for an MP or a Senator to wear this. Ever. <em>Credit: CP</em>
The weigh-in. <em>Credit: CP</em>
A possible future Prime Minister, folks. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Trudeau celebrates! <em>Credit: CP</em>
Again with the bad hair day! <em>Credit: CP</em>
There are no words. The hair. The moustache. The poorly tied tie. Why, Justin? Why!? <em>Credit: CP</em>
Blue shirt appearance number five. You bored yet? <em>Credit: CP</em>
Adorbs! <em>Credit: CP</em>
Blue shirt appearance number six. We're starting to wonder if this is the only shade he has in his wardrobe. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Holy flying fur! <em>Credit: CP</em>
Really? And you may run to be Canada's next Prime Minister? <em>Credit: Media Handout</em>
This is the Justin Trudeau hair we like. <em>Credit: CP</em>
Yay! Blue shirt appearance number seven. (That cowboy hat is appropriate, and a sartorially smart decision for the Stampede. Well done.) <em>Credit: CP</em>
Keeping it casual. Though, Justin, we suggest you get someone to tailor your jeans (they're far too big). <em>Credit: CP</em>
And, for the grand finale: blue shirt appearance number eight. You're welcome. <em>Credit: CP</em>