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Liberal strongholds under threat, ballot and leadership support slipping: Nanos tracking

By Phil Hahn, Producer

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    Toronto, Ontario (CTV Network) — The federal opposition Conservatives have widened their lead over other parties when it comes to ballot support and leadership, with the minority Liberals now threatened in areas that were strongholds for them in the previous election, according to the latest Nanos Research tracking.

The latest federal ballot tracking — in which those surveyed are asked whether they’d consider voting for each of the federal parties — shows Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives leading at 35.2 per cent, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals at 27.7 per cent – more than seven percentage points behind. The two parties were statistically tied a few months ago, each hovering around 33 per cent on Feb. 10. But since then, the Liberals have been on a negative trajectory. Jagmeet Singh’s NDP, meanwhile, is sitting in third at 21.7 per cent.

Nik Nanos, CTV News’ pollster and chair of Nanos Research, says the drop in Liberal support is not being driven by a bump in Conservative numbers, which have not risen significantly since February.

“But where the change is, is in the Liberal numbers. They’re down,” said Nanos on the latest episode of CTV News Trend Line. “Whenever the Liberal numbers have anything with a two in front of it, it’s not good for (them).”

And when the NDP’s ballot numbers get into 20s, it creates a “perfect scenario for the Conservatives” because it results in the splitting of the progressive vote, said Nanos.

Poilievre, meanwhile, also holds the advantage when it comes to the question of who Canadians prefer to be prime minister. The Conservative leader is at 28.3 per cent, followed by Trudeau at 23.9 per cent.

SEAT PROJECTIONS The outlook for the Liberals gets even bleaker when you examine Nanos’s monthly seat projections.

The latest projections – for which polling data is modelled out to show which party’s positioned to win more seats if there were to be an election – show Trudeau’s Liberals down everywhere except Quebec and the Prairies (where they haven’t gone down, but remain flat).

Nanos said ridings currently either in play or at risk for the Liberals include those in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and British Columbia, which are “massively important battlegrounds.” He pointed out ridings in the Greater Toronto Area and the “905 belt” as examples of Liberal areas of strength in the last election, but where they’re now losing ground.

The GTA map on the right, above, shows a healthy amount of red, representing ridings where the Liberals were winners in the 2021 federal election. It shows the GTA remained a Liberal stronghold, with those ridings helping the party win another minority government. The map on the left, however, represents Nanos’s latest seat projections and a changing picture for the Liberals.

“The other map, if you see something that’s black, it’s the margin of victory – it’s too close to call because it’s less than two per cent,” said Nanos. “If it’s grey, it’s two to seven per cent. Check out all the ridings that are basically now in play.”

Those ridings include those in the Oakville and Mississauga areas, as well as Durham Region and Cambridge.

“Looking at this battleground, like battleground Toronto, I think the Liberals have to be thinking about their strategy and how they’re going to try to hold on, because they’re in a minority position already. Losing seats in Toronto just is fundamentally bad news for the red team. And there are some critical suburban ridings, the Mississaugas, Oakvilles, … that are in play.

Watch the full episode of Trend Line in our video player at the top of this article. You can also listen in our audio player below, or wherever you get your podcasts. The next episode comes out Wednesday, May 24.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

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