The NDP is rapidly outdistancing the Liberals and has whittled the Conservative lead to single digits - a level of support that would see Jack Layton win 100 seats on May 2, says the latest poll from EKOS Research.
Under that scenario, the NDP would still come in second in seat count to the Conservatives, but the support of the third-place Liberals would give Mr. Layton a working majority in the House of Commons.
"We're in terra incognita here," EKOS president Frank Graves said.
The EKOS poll, conducted from April 22 to April 24, gave the Conservatives 33.7-per-cent support nationally among decided and leaning voters; the NDP had 28-per-cent support; the Liberals, 23.7 per cent; the Green Party, 7.2 per cent; and the Bloc Québécois, 6.2 per cent.
If those numbers held true on election day, it would be the worst showing in the history of the Liberal Party, and the best result by far for the NDP. A seat projection using the EKOS poll indicated the Conservatives would lose seats, dropping to 131, while the NDP would garner 100 seats, more than double its previous best result; more than half of those seats would come from Quebec. The Liberal caucus would be much reduced, falling to 62 seats. And the Bloc would be a shadow of itself, with a caucus of just 14 MPs.
The EKOS poll is showing stronger levels of support for the NDP in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces than other polls, but the trend of sharply rising poll numbers for the party is consistent with other surveys. The level of support for the Conservatives is lower than other recent surveys - and the size of the Tory lead is about half of other polls.
In Quebec, the New Democrats lead with 38.7 per cent of the vote, with the Bloc far back at 25.2 per cent, while the Conservative support pegged at 14.7 per cent and the Liberals in fourth place with 13.1 per cent.
The poll of 2,783 voters is considered to be accurate within 1.8 percentage points. As with other polls, the margin of error for regional breakdowns is much higher.