Poll predicts another Liberal Party minority government in Canada

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

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Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

A new telephone poll conducted December 17 and 18 has predicted another minority Liberal Party government under Prime Minister Paul Martin in Canada's upcoming federal elections. The poll was conducted by Pollara, a Canadian public opinion and research company. Of those polled, 37% responded that they would likely vote for the Liberals, 34% Conservative, 17% New Democratic Party and 10% for the Bloc Québecois.

The results show a drop in the Liberals' initial lead, from 7 points to 3, and it puts the Liberals and the Conservatives within the polls margin of error of 3.7%. However, the report indicates that much of that decline is a result of Alberta residents increasingly in favour of the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper. Given Alberta's seat apportionment in parliament, Conservative gains on their established plurality there are not enough to have a major effect on the seat totals. Although the Green Party has announced they will be running members in every riding, their results were not reported by Pollara.

In its analysis of the results, Pollara commented that "[t]he electorate has rarely been so polarized as in this election. If only rural Canadians were voting, we would have a Majority Conservative Government. If only urban Canadians were voting, we would have a Minority Liberal Government. Women would elect a Liberal Majority, while men would select a Conservative Minority. Young Canadians, 18-24, would easily elect an NDP majority". Pollara also indicated that the Bloc Québecois would win a clear majority among voters in Québec.

Pollara conducted the study by telephone and polled 1208 people. Only those who indicated they were very likely to vote were asked what party they would likely vote for. 708 respondents were asked their potential endorsement and the poll is accurate to 3.7% plus or minus.

Canadians are scheduled to vote January 23, 2006. This early election stemmed from the ruling Liberal Party government's loss in a motion of no confidence. The Liberal government has faced strong opposition from the NDP, Conservatives and Bloc Québécois as a result of an embarrassing sponsorship scandal.

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