OTTAWA — The federal NDP has surged ahead of the Liberals and is now in a statistical three-way tie with the other parties, according to a new poll by EKOS.
The EKOS poll has the Conservatives at 30 per cent, the NDP at 29.1 per cent and the Liberals last, with 27 per cent.
EKOS president Frank Graves notes the NDP has jumped five percentage points over the last week, while the Conservatives and Liberals are down just slightly from their rolling average over the past few weeks.
“The story here appears to be one of NDP success, rather than one of a decline in their rivals’ fortunes,” he wrote in iPolitics.
But the news could forbode trouble for the Grits. The NDP and the Liberals are both competing to be seen by voters as the best option to replace Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.
The EKOS survey of 2,177 Canadians was conducted after the historic NDP win in Alberta, between May 6 and 12. It is considered to have a margin of error of 2.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The poll suggests that the NDP is leading strongly in Quebec and is just ahead of the two other main parties in B.C. A survey by Insights West also had the NDP leading in British Columbia with 35 per cent, compared with 29 per cent for the Conservatives and 25 per cent for the Liberals. That online study of 814 adult British Columbians, also conducted after the NDP win in Alberta, is considered to have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
In a preliminary poll, EKOS said the NDP seemed to be gaining strength from college and university educated Canadians voters who played a critical factor in the Alberta election. The labour vote, which was also critical in Alberta, EKOS said, is moving away from the Conservatives and is “more likely to be moving to the NDP than the Liberals.”
Graves said it would be a mistake to see the NDP’s rise as merely a bounce effect from the Alberta election.
“The past four months have shown a clear pattern of growing support for the New Democrats, lifting them up from 18 points in early February to 29 points today,” he wrote.
More Canadians told EKOS they were upset with the direction of the country, and Harper’s job approval numbers were down to the low 30s, with more than 60 per cent of respondents disapproving of the way the prime minister is doing his job.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair had the highest job approval rating, at 50 per cent, with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau right behind, at 47 per cent, though the margin of error for this survey sample makes the difference irrelevant.
Two months ago, EKOS had the Conservatives at 32.9 per cent, the Liberals at 30.5 per cent and the NDP in third place at 19.7 per cent.
Clarification: A previous version of this story included preliminary results from EKOS, it has been updated to reflect the final poll results.