Even as Stephen Harper repeats his mantra that he knows best how to manage the economy, the ground is shifting under his feet. The Hill Times reports that:
The Conservatives are bleeding support from older voters, Ontarians and ethnic Canadians who helped the party win a majority government in 2011, say pollsters, noting Liberals are the ones gaining.
“The Liberals, no matter what the poll is, are still leading among older voters. The Conservatives have banked on these older voters, where law and order and economic stability are the most important issues, but in recent polls we’ve seen that the Liberal lead is just as strong among 30 year olds as it is among 60 year olds,” Eric Grénier, a polling expert who blogs at ThreeHundredEight.com, told The Hill Times. “That’s great for the Liberals because those are the people who turn out.”
According to Mr. Grénier’s aggregate of recent federal polls, the Liberal Party currently has 36 per cent support across the country, while the Tories and NDP sit at 30 and 23 per cent, respectively. Last week the site pegged support for the Liberals at 39.4 per cent in Ontario—five points ahead of the Conservatives and nearly 20 points ahead of the NDP.
Ontario, which handed Mr. Harper his majority, is turning its back on its native son:
The Forum Research poll, accurate to within three percentage points, shows that in Ontario, where the Conservatives took 44 per cent of the popular vote and 73 of the province’s 106 seats in 2011, the federal Liberals are now polling at 43 per cent support, while the Conservatives are at 34 per cent and the NDP is a distant third at 17 per cent.
The Liberals also beat out the Conservatives and the NDP among voters aged 35 to 44, 45 to 54, and 55 to 64 by double-digit margins in the recent Forum survey. Among voters older than 65, the Conservatives were the party of choice with 36 per cent support, with the Liberals trailing by two percentage points.
The Conservatives are also losing support among ethnic Canadians who helped the party win 32 of 47 seats in the GTA in 2011, the Forum Research poll shows. Exit polls from 2011 put support for the Tories at 42 per cent among ethnic voters, but the recent Forum Poll put the party’s support among ethnic Canadians at 38 per cent, while ethnic support for the Liberals was at 36 per cent. Support for the NDP among ethnic Canadians was at 15 per cent.
Overall, the Forum poll put national support for the Liberals at 38 per cent, with the Conservatives and NDP polling at 29 and 22 per cent, respectively. Another poll conducted by Nanos Research Aug. 12 to 19 with 2,000 Canadians had the Liberals and Conservatives closer at 35.3 per cent and 31.9 per cent, respectively, with the NDP polling at 22.8 per cent. The Nanos poll is accurate to within 2.2 percentage points.
A lot could change in two years. The Liberals could stumble badly. But the damage keeps piling up. The Senate debacle is only the latest mess the prime minister has created. Canadians have finally cottoned on to the notion that Stephen Harper isn't who he says he is -- and they're having buyer's remorse.