03.01.2010 11:27 PM

Not Good. Speaks for Itself.

Winter Olympics Cool Heat Placed on Harper:
Diversion Gives Harper’s Tories (37%) a Boost over Ignatieff’s Grits (29%)
Ignatieff Tumbles to just 21% who Believe He’d Make the Best Prime Minister, Far Back of Harper (46%) and Badly Trailing Layton (33%)

Toronto, ON – The Vancouver 2010 Games have given Olympians and Canadians alike the gift of a renewed sense of pride and patriotism, but they also have imparted on Stephen Harper a gift of his own – a diversion from the heat placed on him over the detainee issue and his subsequent decision to prorogue parliament. This diversion of attention has resulted in a boost in the polls for the reigning Conservatives, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Canwest News Service and Global Television.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper would receive the support of 37% of decided voters (up 3 points from one month ago), while Ignatieff and the Liberals have lost some ground in the polls and would now receive only 29% of the vote (down 2 points) nationally. The Liberals (40%) and Conservatives (37%) are now statistically tied in the seat-rich province of Ontario.

Jack Layton’s NDP would receive 16% of the vote (down 1 point) across the country, while the Green Party would garner 7% support (down 1 point). The Bloc rests at 9% nationally (unchanged), which represents 39% of the vote in the province of Quebec (up 2 points).

The data also reveal that the underlying fundamentals of leadership favour Prime Minister Stephen Harper over his opposition rivals. Further, leadership issues for the Liberals may continue into the future as Jack Layton has overtaken Michael Ignatieff in every category of leadership attributes studied.

Nearly one half (46%) of Canadians believe that Stephen Harper would make the best Prime Minister of Canada, an increase of 3 points since this question was last asked nearly one year ago. By comparison, fewer than half as many (21%) believe that Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition, would make the best Prime Minister, a dramatic drop of 12 points since last year. The biggest gainer is NDP Leader Jack Layton as one in three (33%) believe that he would make the best Prime Minister, up 10 points from last year, now making him second-choice among Canadians.

Stephen Harper also has a leg up on his rivals when it comes to some more specific leadership traits:

• Someone you can trust: Harper (40%, unchanged), Layton (35%, up 10 points), Ignatieff (19%, down 9 points), Duceppe (6%, down 1 point).
• Someone who will get things done: Harper (43%, unchanged), Layton (30%, up 8 points), Ignatieff (21%, down 7 point), Duceppe (6%, down 1 point).
• Someone who has what it takes to lead Canada: Harper (45%, up 2 points), Layton (29%, up 10 points), Ignatieff (22%, down 13 points), Duceppe (4%, up 1 point).
• Someone who has a vision of Canada that you can support: Harper (40%, down 2 points), Layton (32%, up 8 points), Ignatieff (24%, down 6 points), Duceppe (4%, unchanged).
• Someone who knows when to compromise for the greater good: Harper (37%, down 1 point), Layton (35%, up 10 point), Ignatieff (22%, down 10 points), Duceppe (5%, down 1 point).
• Someone who is best to manage during tough economic times: Harper (46%, unchanged), Layton (26%, up 9 points), Ignatieff (24%, down 8 points), Duceppe (5%, unchanged).
• Despite trying to shake the label of being someone who has a hidden agenda, Harper (45%, down 3 points) continues to lead in this attribute, although significantly more Canadians now believe that Ignatieff (34%, up 13 points) has a hidden agenda, while fewer feel the same way about Layton (16%, down 9 points) and Duceppe (4%, down 2 points).
• Finally, Layton (41%, up 12 points) leads when it comes to someone who is open to the ideas of others, while Harper (32%, unchanged), Ignatieff (22%, down 12 points) and Duceppe (6%, unchanged) trail.

UPDATE: …and their competitor says it’s a tie. People will pick the poll that corresponds most to their bias, I suspect.

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