Stephen Harper's Conservatives have pulled into a neck-and-neck race with Justin Trudeau's Liberals, both nationally and in vote-rich Ontario, according to a newly released poll.
The poll, conducted for Global News by Ipsos Reid with a large sample size, comes 10 months before the next scheduled federal election.
If an election were held tomorrow, the Liberals would get 34 per cent of the vote and the Conservatives 33 per cent, according to the poll. The figures indicate the Liberals have slid four percentage points since September, while the Conservatives have seen a two percentage point gain.
Thomas Mulcair's New Democrats would receive 24 per cent of the vote nationally if a vote were held today, and don't hold the lead in any of the 10 provinces, according to decided voters in the poll. Fifteen per cent of voters remained undecided, according to the poll.
Critically, battleground Ontario remains a close race, the poll showed. The Conservatives and Liberals are tied in Ontario at 37 per cent – "a dead heat," Ipsos Reid said in a statement – ahead of the NDP at 22 per cent. The Liberals were ahead in Toronto, the so-called 416 region, with 46 per cent of the vote, with the NDP at 26 per cent and the Conservatives at 25 per cent.
However, in the 905 region, a collection of suburban communities around Toronto, the Conservatives would get 41 per cent of the vote in an election held today, according to the poll, with the Liberals at 37 per cent and the NDP at 20 per cent.
In Quebec, another vote-rich province, the poll found the Liberals at 32 per cent, followed by the NDP at 29 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois at 21 per cent and the Conservatives at 15 per cent. It was gains in Quebec that helped elevate the NDP to Official Opposition status in the 2011 election.
In British Columbia, a close race is shaping up with all three parties within five percentage points of each other. The poll found the Conservatives at 33 per cent, the NDP at 30 per cent and the Liberals at 28 per cent.
The Liberals held leads across all of Atlantic Canada, though only narrowly in PEI, while the Conservatives held leads across the Prairies, though only narrowly in Saskatchewan, according to the poll.
The Conservatives had a one-point edge over the Liberals among male voters – within the margin of error – while the Liberals had a four-point lead among women over the Conservatives. The Conservatives lead among voters over 55 years old, while the Liberals and NDP lead Mr. Harper's party among voters aged 18 to 34. The Liberals hold a narrow lead over the 35 to 54 age group, with 35 per cent to the Conservatives' 33 per cent.
The poll surveyed 8,268 Canadians over the past three weeks. It is considered accurate within 1.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The next federal election is scheduled for October of 2015.