|Three new polls show the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, right, still leading the Conservatives and Stephen Harper, left, and Tom Mulcair's NDP - but the polls don't agree on the strength of that lead. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press photos)|
A flurry of federal polls over the last few days has painted a picture of Canada's political landscape as the year comes to an end. However, what that picture shows is up for interpretation.
Three polls, all conducted in early December, have been published in the last week. The first, by Léger and published by Le Devoir, a Montreal French-language daily, on Saturday pegged the Liberal support at 38 per cent of decided voters, followed by the Conservatives at 32 per cent and the New Democrats at 19 per cent.
Two polls published on Monday — an EKOS Research survey published by iPolitics and a Forum Research poll published by the Toronto Star — also each gave the Liberals a lead, but of wildly differing magnitudes.
EKOS put it at just a single point, with the Liberals at 32 per cent and the Conservatives at 31 per cent and the NDP trailing at 20 per cent. Forum, on the other hand, gave the Liberals 41 per cent support to 33 per cent for the Conservatives and just 17 per cent for the NDP.
It makes for a confused muddle as Canadians enter a year in which a federal election must be held by mid-October.
ThreeHundredEight.com's weighted averages award the Liberals 36 per cent support at the moment, against 32 per cent for the Conservatives and 20 per cent for the New Democrats. That would seem to suggest the Liberals have arrested, and perhaps reversed at the expense of the NDP, a slow decline from the 38 per cent support they had in mid-September, while the Tories are maintaining their slightly higher recent levels of support.