More than half of federal Liberal and NDP supporters back the ideaof their parties merging into one with the aim of of defeatingStephen Harper's Conservatives, a new poll suggests. The online survey of more than 1,000 Canadians, conductedexclusively for Postmedia News and Global Television, also showsHarper leading all party leaders when it comes to positiveimpressions, with 28 per cent of those surveyed voting favorablyfor the prime minister. By comparison, when asked whether they had positive, negative or noimpressions either way of the other leaders, just 19 per cent saidNDP leader Thomas Mulcair had left a positive impression on them,followed by interim Liberal leader Bob Rae at 18 per cent. While Harper's popularity "is a little lower than what youwould expect, it's all relative," said Ipsos Reid CEO DarrellBricker. "It's all (about), how do you compare to your majorcompetitors? And obviously (Harper) is pretty well ahead." Harper is a "well-known quantity to Canadians right now,"Bricker added. |
"There's not a lot new that they have to learnabout him." The real news, he said, is that Mulcair "isn't takingoff" and still needs to establish his personality and hisappeal with the Canadian public. "Mulcair, in spite of all of the speculation in Ottawa abouthow things have taken off for him since the leadership contest, Ijust don't see it," Bricker said. "The challenge for Mulcair is to stand up and getdefined." Sixty per cent of those surveyed said they had no impression eitherway of the NDP leader. However, only 20 per cent had negativeimpressions of Mulcair substantially fewer than the 48 per centwho had negative impressions of Harper. Overall, a majority of Canadians "agree" either strongly(19 per cent) or somewhat (38 per cent) that they consider theLiberal Party to be a "party of the past, not a party of thefuture," according to the poll.
Among Liberal supporters, 21 per cent believe their own party is aparty of the past. The poll comes as Liberals mull allowing interim leader Bob Rae torun for the party's permanent leadership. In accepting the interim leadership following the Liberals'third-place showing in last year's federal election, Rae agreed toa stipulation laid out by the board that he would not run for thepermanent leadership. Despite the promise, the board is widely expected to pave the wayfor him to run when it meets next week.
More interesting is whether any Liberal leadership hopefulcampaigns on a ticket of supporting a merger of the left,"because clearly a majority of Liberal party supporters thinkit's a good idea," Bricker said. Sixty-four per cent of Liberal supporters and 57 per cent of NDPvoters said they "strongly" or "somewhat"support their parties merging into a single party. Canadians as a whole seem divided on whether a new Liberal leaderwill make a difference: one half (52 per cent) agree thatregardless of who the party chooses as its next leader, they have"pretty much written off the Liberals." The other half (48 per cent) disagree. "Anything can happen and that's what you're still seeing.People haven't made up their minds about this yet," Brickersaid. The poll was conducted between June 5 and June 7 and involved asample of 1,010 Canadians interviewed online.
The poll has anestimated margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points,19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had theentire population of adults in Canada been polled. With files from Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News Twitter.com/sharon_kirkey.
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