Luckily, 2006 has started off with a barrage of poll numbers and, for once, they're all consistent - it's a dead heat.
(NOTE: I'm not even going to bother with the BQ numbers because it's become abundantly clear that the BQ will win around 60 seats and those numbers won't be budging at all)
(Liberals up 40-36 in Ontario)
(Tories up 38-36-19 in Ontario)
Presumably, Allan Greg and SES will have new polls out tomorrow as well. In addition to the raw numbers, there are also two positives for the Tories and one for the Grits.
-Tory support is the strongest, with 68% of their supporters sure to vote, compared to 60% for the Liberals. If you factor those numbers into the Ipsos poll, that leaves the Tories up 22.4 to 19.2 among voters who are "absolutely certain" they will be voting come rain or shine. As I've said all along, we should be paying closer attention to the weather forecast than to the polls in the week leading up to the vote. A freak snowstorm in Ontario would probably be good for an extra 4 or 5 Tory seats.
-Ipsos also has this info:
Currently four in ten Canadians agree with the statement "I'd be comfortable voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to form the government in the next election because we'll probably have another minority which will keep them in check" - 44 percent of Ontarians agree with this statement.
Just one-third of Canadians now agree with the statement "I'd be comfortable voting for Paul Martin and the Liberals in the next election because they will govern very differently next time due to the lessons they learned from the Gomery Inquiry"
-Finally, some good news for the Liberals. Fickle NDP voters seem poised to jump back to uncle Paulie's arms to stop that mean Albertan from becoming Prime Minister. 27% of NDP supporters said they'd shift to the Liberals if Harper looked like he was heading to a victory (probably leading to more Tory MPs in Saskatchewan and BC...). That's a 4 or 5% boost the Liberals could be getting again unless Layton and Harper can convince people that a Tory minority isn't the end of the world.