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NDP support slides for first time, race tightening in federal election: poll

Last Updated Aug 31, 2015 at 10:56 am EDT

Leader of the NDP Tom Mulcair launches his Ontario Tour for Change alongside NDP MPs and candidates at a media event in Toronto on July 20 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

With just under two months to go until the federal election, the three-way race is getting tighter.

The New Democrats have been on a steady rise since May, but a new Abacus poll for Maclean’s magazine says support for the NDP has dropped four percentage points in the last two weeks to 31 per cent.

The Conservatives were up one percentage to 30 per cent, followed by the Liberals who went up two points to 28 per cent.

National voter support for the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals from January to August of 2015. ABACUS DATA
National voter support for the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals from January to August of 2015. ABACUS DATA

 

Last week, a Forum Research poll suggested the NDP were possibly in line to form a majority government, but the Abacus numbers show the party falling in Ontario.

Maclean’s magazine’ Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes said the story isn’t that the NDP is losing support, it’s that they’re losing support in the key battle ground of Ontario.

“That is the darkest part of this poll result for the NDP I would think,” Geddes told 680 NEWS.

“Over the last two weeks, Abacus has them down six percentage points in Ontario, which has to be a really worrying drop.”

Voter support in Ontario for the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals from January to August of 2015. ABACUS DATA
Voter support in Ontario for the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals from January to August of 2015. ABACUS DATA

 

All parties are within three percentage points, which means it’s a virtual tie.

The latest poll puts the NDP in a position where they have to make up ground, especially in Ontario, Geddes said, which is not good news for what had been a projected “orange crush” in the province.

“For Mulcair, the most worrying number has to be a six-point drop in NDP support over two weeks in Ontario – that unignorable battleground, accounting as it does for for 121 ridings out of the 338 seats in the House of Commons,” Geddes writes in Maclean’s.

Listen to the interview with 680 NEWS political affairs specialist John Stall below:

 

The poll, which was conducted Aug. 26-28, surveyed 1,500 voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 19.

With files from Cormac MacSweeney