It may not be surprising, but today's EKOS poll is still shocking:
Take a minute to let that sink it.
Now think about what this means:
1. The NDP are within striking distance of the Liberals. They're in first place on the Prairies and in BC. The real question is how many Canadians will grudgingly vote Liberal after hearing the four magical words "Prime Minister Stephen Harper" over and over again. At the very least, if Harper appears poised for a majority, I think we'll see some people holding their nose and voting Liberal.
2. That aforementioned majority is going to be hard to pull off. With the Bloc at 65 seats in Quebec and the NDP looking to win at least 25, the Liberals would have to fall bellow 65 seats for the Conservatives to win a majority. They'd also have to swing 35 Ontario seats their way. That's not an easy task for a leader most people outside of Alberta don't really like.
3. The Liberals are at 10% in Alberta. Good grief.
4. The Conservatives are ahead of the Liberals in Quebec: good grief. We likely haven't seen that in 15 years. With the Bloc at 50% and no federalist party over 15%, Ducceppe could sweep nearly every French riding in the province.
5. If the Conservatives really cared about finding the truth, we'd wait until Gomery's final report for an election. But, this is all about political opportunism, rather than finding out the truth. Then again, that's likely fair enough. As others have pointed out, after last spring, the Scott Reid talking point of "wait for Gomery" isn't going to be very credible.
6. Finally, these polling numbers were taken when sensationalistic front pages were splashed on every newspaper across the country. People were mad as hell when the poll was taken. I tend to think these numbers and whatever other polling numbers come out this week will be the low water mark for the Liberals. Which, at the very least, means we're not heading for another John Turner 1984 meltdown.
Monday Night Update: Ipsos paints a much less scary picture for Liberals. Considering they were down 3 points to the Tories at times during the last campaign, this clearly isn't an insurmountable gap.