The Liberals have caught up to the NDP in Quebec, as voters in the province increasingly see Justin Trudeau's team as the party most likely to defeat the Conservatives, according to the latest Léger poll.
The New Democrats' massive lead in Quebec has steadily evaporated during the campaign, as growing numbers of strategic voters turn to the Liberals, pollster Jean-Marc Léger said.
"A Liberal vote is now seen as the most useful way to beat the Conservatives," he said in an interview.
The Liberals and the NDP were tied at 28 per cent support each in Quebec, according to a poll done between Monday and Wednesday. The Bloc Québécois was at 23 per cent and the Conservatives at 20 per cent.
A Léger poll released in early September had the NDP solidly on top at 46 per cent in Quebec, with the Liberals at 20 per cent, the Bloc at 18 per cent and the Conservatives at 13 per cent.
The Liberals have always felt they needed a big increase from their current tally of seven seats in Quebec to challenge the Conservatives on Oct. 19.
The trouble for the NDP, which had 54 of Quebec's 75 seats at dissolution, is that they are running second in regional races. According to Léger, they trail the Liberals in the Montreal area, the Conservatives in the Quebec City area and the Bloc in more rural parts of the province.
"The NDP's problem is that they are in second place everywhere. In terms of seats, they are guaranteed to lose some," said Mr. Léger, adding that it is too early to make seat projections.
At the national level, the Léger poll found only 13 per cent of respondents believe the NDP will form the next government, compared to 28 per cent who say it will be the Liberals and 29 per cent who predict a Conservative victory.
"There are not many people in the country who think the NDP can win, so the whole notion of strategic voting no longer plays in the party's favour," Mr. Léger said.
Across the country, Léger found the Liberals in first place at 34 per cent, followed by the Conservatives at 30 per cent and the NDP at 25 per cent.
The findings come as a Globe and Mail/CTV/Nanos survey found the Liberal Party was increasingly seen as the best vehicle to bring change nationally. According to a survey of 1,000 respondents, 37 per cent of voters feel the Liberals could "deliver the greatest change from the Conservative government," compared to 25 per cent for the New Democrats.
The numbers are important as 67 per cent of the respondents agreed it is a time for a change, while 26 per cent disagreed.
Still, Nanos found the Liberals and the Conservatives ranked closely on several issues. Both parties have similar scores on which one would be least likely to make a mistake (the Conservatives at 28 per cent and the Liberals at 26 per cent), form a stable government (a tie at 35 per cent) and offer the most ethical government (the Conservatives at 17 per cent and the Liberals at 20 per cent).
The latest Nanos tracking poll placed the Liberals at 33.5 per cent, with the Conservatives at 31.6 per cent and the NDP trailing at 24.2 per cent.
The Nanos poll is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Léger polled 1,006 respondents in Quebec to obtain more precise numbers in the province, and 2,087 respondents across Canada for its national numbers. The margin of error for national figures is 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.