Two new federal polls are painting different pictures of Liberal fortunes at the conclusion of the fall session of Parliament.
In numbers released Monday by Forum Research, Justin Trudeau's Liberals are shown to be in "comfortable" majority government territory. However, in another poll published Monday by EKOS Research, the race between Liberals and Conservatives is suggested to be neck-and-neck.
According to Forum, the Liberals have the support of 41 per cent of Canadians, up five percentage points from November. Tories are at 33 per cent support (unchanged from last month), while New Democrats are at 17 per cent, a slight dip.
In the seat-rich, battleground province of Ontario, where the 2015 federal election may be won or lost, Forum has the Liberals ahead at 42 per cent, followed by the Tories at 38 per cent and NDP at 14 per cent.
In Quebec, Liberals have 37 per cent support, followed by the NDP at 25 per cent and Tories at 19 per cent.
Trudeau boasts the highest approval rating among federal leaders at 46 per cent, largely unchanged from last month. However, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's rating has increased to 42 per cent (from 38 per cent in November), and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is down slightly to 34 per cent.
"It appears there has been a correction in Justin Trudeau's favour, and he has retaken his party's position firmly atop the polls," concluded Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff in the poll summary.
The Forum poll surveyed 1,624 adult Canadians on Dec. 10 and 11 by telephone and has a margin of error of plus or minus two per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Over at EKOS, however, things are shown to be much closer. According that firm's poll for iPolitics, Liberals are at 31.8 per cent, followed by the Tories at 30.8 per cent and NDP at 20 per cent.
In the race for Ontario, EKOS has the Liberals ahead at 35 per cent support, while the Tories have 33 per cent and New Democrats have 18 per cent.
In Quebec, Liberals (27 per cent support) are in a virtual tie with the NDP (26 per cent), while Tories are well back at 17 per cent.
The EKOS poll also has Trudeau leading in terms of approval rating but, again, it's much closer than in the Forum survey. Trudeau and Mulcair both have approval ratings of 55 per cent, while Harper sits in third place at 40 per cent.
EKOS also found more Canadians would prefer a Liberal-NDP coalition, led by Trudeau, to a Conservative minority government.
Still, EKOS Research president Frank Graves concluded the poll was a good one for the Conservatives as it showed them in "striking distance" of the lead for the first time in year.
The EKOS poll was conducted by interactive voice response between Dec. 4 and Dec. 12 among 3,726 Canadian adults. It is believed to be accurate within 1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
An Ipsos Reid poll published on Dec. 3, conducted online throughout November among 8,268 Canadians, also pointed to a tight race between Liberals and Conservatives. That survey pegged Liberal support at 34 per cent, with the Tories at 33 per cent — a virtual tie. New Democrats were shown to be at 24 per cent.
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