A few weeks ago they were dead even, but a new Forum Research poll has the federal Liberals now leading the Conservatives by a “healthy” seven point margin.
The public opinion survey found the Liberals have 39 per cent support, compared to 32 per cent for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
The Opposition NDP are at 17 per cent.
A Forum poll two weeks ago had Conservatives and Liberals at 35 and 34 per cent respectively — a tie when the poll’s margin of error is factored in — and the NDP at 20 per cent support.
Forum president Lorne Bozinoff attributed the Tories’ drop in fortunes in the latest poll to two events — former foreign affairs minister John Baird’s sudden departure from cabinet last week, and MP Eve Adams’ decision to cross the floor from the Conservatives to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals this week.
“It is clear Mr. Harper has had a very bad week, starting with the loss of John Baird, a genuinely popular minister in a government not blessed with many popular ministers,” Bozinoff said in a statement.
“In addition, while Eve Adams’ defection, which happened in the middle of our field period, can be seen as much a boon to the Conservatives as the Liberals, she is yet another partisan leaving the government with an election imminent,” Bozinoff added.
Based on the new seat distribution in Parliament, which grows to 338 for the federal election this fall, the poll results would have the Liberals capturing a 24-seat majority of 194 seats, compared to 112 for the Conservatives and 30 for the NDP.
The poll two weeks ago translated into a slim minority for the Conservatives — 145 seats to 125 for the Liberals and 61 for the NDP, factoring in the new seat distribution.
The latest Forum poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday with a sample size of 1,018 randomly selected Canadian voters, who participated in an interactive voice response telephone survey.
The results are considered accurate plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.