Going into tonight's debates, Stephen Harper has a commanding lead on Paul Martin. The latest Strategic Counsel / Globe and Mail / CTV poll (Jan. 8) shows momentum clearly in Harper's favour:
- Conservatives: 53 per cent (+30)
- Liberals: 14 per cent (-19)
- NDP: 6 per cent (-4)
- Bloc Quebecois: 6 per cent (-3)
- Greens: 1 per cent (-1)
The latest poll sample are from IPSOS Jan. 7/EKOS Jan. 7/Strategic Counsel Jan. 8.
The national seat breakdown looks like this:
- Conservatives 139
- Liberals 82
- Bloc 65
- NDP 22
These projections are pretty consistent with other projections. Going into the leader's debate, the question will be, "does Stephen Harper look like a frontrunner?" If he looks anything but, I will predict that the Liberals will be back in the race. With visibility often comes a shift in perception. When the media can no longer spin the contest and the candidates are seen in their own words, people tend to have their faith restored. The question is, can Harper keep people from that perception that momentum is no longer in the Tories' favour?