Skip to comments.Toronto area Liberals support down 10 percentage points
Posted on 04/28/2005 2:26:49 PM PDT by fanfan
Federal Liberal support in the Greater Toronto Area has plummeted 10 percentage points since last year's election, according to a new poll.
The numbers, released yesterday by Environics Research Group, show 41 per cent of decided voters surveyed in the 44 GTA ridings support the Liberals, down from the 51-per-cent share of the vote the party received in the June, 2004, election.
Thirty-five per cent said they would vote for the Conservative Party, up seven points from the Tories' 28-per-cent showing last June, and just six points behind the Liberals. The New Democrats had 21- per-cent support, up from 15 per cent in the election.
"Going from 51 per cent to 41 per cent is a big drop," said Derek Leebosh, a senior associate with Environics.
"The GTA is basically the Liberals' strongest area in all of Canada . . . and so to only have a six-point lead. . . . Imagine if a poll showed the Conservatives only leading the Liberals by six points in Alberta."
With a 10-point slide, coupled with increases for the Conservatives and the NDP, the Liberals become vulnerable in GTA ridings that they won by narrow margins last year, he said.
Tory and NDP strategists said the results suggest that an election, if held soon, could cost the Liberals as many as a dozen seats or more in the GTA.
"That picks up a whole ton of ridings, and puts them right on the very edge," said Peter Van Loan, the Conservative MP for York-Simcoe and the party's national caucus campaign chairman.
Mr. Van Loan said the poll suggests his party could pick up six to eight seats automatically, especially in the so-called 905 belt that once provided the bedrock of support for Mike Harris's provincial Conservatives. Another half dozen, he said, would be too close to call.
Looking just at the 905 region, the poll puts the Liberals and the Conservatives in a virtual tie, with Liberal support at 41 per cent and the Conservatives at 39 per cent. The New Democrats were far behind at 16 per cent.
Mr. Van Loan said Tory sights were set on what he said were winnable 905 ridings such as Halton, Burlington, Oakville, Whitby-Oshawa and Pickering-Ajax.
And he said in an election campaign based on allegations of Liberal scandal and corruption, the Liberal vote in the GTA could only dwindle even further.
Even 416-region ridings in Scarborough and Etobicoke could "fall like dominoes" if Conservative momentum were to build, he added.
In ridings with larger NDP votes, a three-way split could produce some surprises, he said. "It's so fluid, I think, right now."
The NDP, meanwhile, expects to benefit most in Toronto proper, grabbing seats it lost by a hair in 2004, when leader Jack Layton took Toronto-Danforth from the Liberals, the only New Democrat elected in the area despite high hopes in a handful of other ridings.
In the 416 region, according to the Environics poll, the Liberals had 40 per cent, the Conservatives 31 per cent and the New Democrats 26 per cent.
That level, said NDP president Adam Giambrone -- also a Toronto city councillor -- could mean picking up several narrowly lost seats, including the downtown riding of Trinity-Spadina, where Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno beat NDP candidate Olivia Chow -- a Toronto city councillor and Mr. Layton's wife -- by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Mr. Giambrone listed other ridings where he said the boost in NDP support could put a seat "in play," most of which were singled out as possible NDP wins last year: Davenport, Parkdale-High Park and Beaches-East York.
He said the boost in Conservative fortunes in Toronto could actually help the NDP. In some downtown ridings where the Tories are a distant third, a stronger showing by the Conservatives can take away votes from the Liberals in a tight race with the New Democrats, he said.
"The minute that Conservative vote goes up in some of these ridings, you're beginning to bleed from the Liberals . . . and it makes these a lot more winnable."
Alan Tonks, Liberal MP for York South-Weston, said it is too early to tell too much from an opinion poll, with an election yet to be called: "We're into some very turbulent times."
He said he expects the Tories to make gains in the 905 region. And he acknowledged that the controversy of the Gomery inquiry is clearly going to make campaigning tough for Liberals.
"I heard a discussion the other day . . . the Liberals around the table were talking about, well, this is going to be the kind of election that there's no point in going door to door because you're going to get so much flak that it'll just hold you back," Mr. Tonks said.
"I couldn't help but engage that discussion. I said, 'Are you guys kidding?' This is not the time when you get into your bunker mentality. This is a time when you take your budget and vision and issues to the door."
The Environics survey of 868 decided voters in the 44 ridings in the 905 and 416 area codes was conducted from April 21 to 26, before Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mr. Layton finalized a $4.6-billion deal to defer tax cuts for business and boost social spending in an attempt to shore up Mr. Martin's ailing minority government. In all, 992 people were polled; 11 per cent of respondents were undecided.
The results are considered representative of voter intentions at large within plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For results broken down by area code, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
868 residents of the Toronto area were asked which party they would support should an election be held today. June, 2004 election results April 21-25, 2005 Liberal 51% 41% Conservative 28% 35% NDP 15% 21% Other 6% 3%
SOURCE: ENVIRONICS RESEARCH GROUP
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If the Fiberals lose Toronto, they will lose. Period.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
One can only hope that the internal liberation of Canada is at hand. Most Canadians who I have met were pleasant, fun-loving, and polite. On the other hand, I never met one from Quebec...
Folks in Ontairio are nicer than those in Quebec, but they are still (for the most part) flaming Lefties.
The new thing seems to be " Not the American way, but a better Canadian way."....We love you folks, but some Canadians (read Toronto) can't handle being the little guy, so we have to pander to those losers to get the Toronto ridings.
THEN, we can can repair the US-Canada relationship. :-)
It's actually mostly Toronto, and the rust belt.(Toronto to Windsor)
Yes, Army Air corps, the Quebecois are certainly distinct.LOL
"THEN, we can can repair the US-Canada relationship. :-)"
I certainly hope so. We have, essentially, a common heritage and share a great many traits and attributes. I find it sad that so many in Canada feel compelled to define themselves in terms of "were not Americans." I am curious why those folks choose to define themselves in terms of what they are NOT (a negative position) instead of what the ARE (a positive position).
Take it from where it comes, and then discount it accordingly.
Liberals are losers where ever they are. Just think of the blue states.
Hey, we had an applicant for a position in our department (History) who is from Toronto. She seemed pleasant, but you could sense that below the surface she harboured some, shall we say, rather left-leaning views. It was not blatant, but the subtle hints were there. Oddly, her specialty was the British Imperial era from the late 19th Century to roughly the mid-twentieth Century.
Lots of hot women in Quebec though. Its the best place to enjoy "Canadian Ballet."
And then we could all party like it's 1999...
And then we could all party like it's 1999...
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Think of the sound of hand cuffs clinking and clanging as the Fiberal thieves walk into the prisons!
That, my friend, will be a glorious day for honest people everywhere!
I question the 51% figure, I'd love for it to be correct, but it seems way understated. But I've been wrong before, heck, I voted for a democrat once! (I was MUCH younger then)
You would have liked the very cute, polite, blond girl I talked to at the Quebec tourist stop in 1987. That was before I met my wife of course (if she's reading this thread).
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