Tories surge in Ontario

Spring election more likely

A new Ipsos Reid poll conducted early this month has Stephen Harper’s Conservatives at 42 per cent in Ontario——up six points since the firm’s poll in January. That puts the Tories far ahead of the Liberals in the largest province, whose suburban ridings could be where Harper seeks to secure his elusive majority. Michael Ignatieff’s party stood at 32 per cent for the Liberals, down eight points from a month earlier. At 15 per cent in Ontario, the NDP’s support was unchanged, while the Green party’s 11 per cent was up three points. Nationally, the poll, conducted from Feb. 8-10, found the Conservatives supported by 39 per cent of decided voters, up by five points, as Liberals suffered a four-point drop to a dismal 25 per cent. The poll comes as speculation grows that the Harper minority could fall on a vote after the budget Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to table early next month. The Liberals have vowed not to vote for the budget is it continues a planned track of corporate tax cuts. That leaves open, however, the possibility of Jack Layton’s NDP voting for it to extend the life of the Tory minority.

Ottawa Citizen

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