Jack Layton and his surging New Democrats are poised to see their representation in the Commons increase from 36 to 60 seats, denying the Harper Conservatives their coveted majority, according to a new EKOS Research poll.
The EKOS survey, released Thursday, has the NDP tied with the Liberals – 24.7 per cent – while the Tories are at 34.4 per cent nationally. The Bloc is at 6.5 per cent and the Green Party is at 7.8 per cent.
Poll after poll has shown the NDP making significant gains – including an Ipsos Reid poll released Thursday that puts the NDP ahead of the Liberals for the first time in decades – but this EKOS poll for iPolitics also provides seat projections based on the NDP's recent and unexpected climb.
The EKOS numbers show remarkable gains for Mr. Layton, with the NDP winning 24 more seats nationally and the Tories considerably diminished, not even close to a majority government. Under the EKOS scenario the Tories would see their seat count reduced from 143 to 134; the Liberals would gain five more seats, going from 77 to 82. The Bloc Québécois would lose in Quebec – going from 47 to 32 seats.
There are 308 seats in the House of Commons; 155 seats are needed to form a majority government.
Mr. Layton's gains would come mostly in Quebec, where the EKOS poll projects the party moving from one seat to 14. It all comes at the expense of the separatist Bloc, which is projected to lose 15 seats.
The EKOS seat projections show, too, that the Conservatives would win 14 seats, three more than they have now. The Liberals would gain one more seat – up to 15.
In Ontario, meanwhile, the Tories would lose three seats while the Liberals would win four seats; the NDP would remain the same.
But the NDP would see gains in Atlantic Canada – winning five seats, one more than they have now. In Manitoba they would gain two more seats – going from three to five seats - and in Saskatchewan they would win five new seats. They have no seats in that province currently.
Remarkably, Mr. Graves is predicting another seat in Alberta for the New Democrats, bringing their count in the Tory-dominated province to two. The Liberals would gain none.
And in British Columbia the NDP would win two seats, going from nine to 11 while the Conservatives would lose three, dropping from 21 to 18, and the Liberals would also gain two more.
Mr. Graves cautions that these results are not "the final public judgment."
"It will be very interesting and important to watch what happens over the long weekend as the electorate ponder where they have arrived," Mr. Graves said in a release accompanying his projections.
The poll of 2,156 Canadians was conducted between April 18 and April 20; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The Ipos poll, conducted for Postmedia News and Global TV, puts the Harper Conservatives at 43-per-cent support, with the NDP in second with 24 per cent. The Liberals received 21-per-cent support in the poll of 1,000 Canadians, which has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.