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A sign outside an advance polling station in Burnaby, B.C., September 10, 2021 .The five-day poll, conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV, provides a regional breakdown in support for each of the main parties and captures the mood of the electorate after the leaders’ debates.

JENNIFER GAUTHIER/Reuters

The Liberals have a strong hold on the most seat-rich region of Canada, with a 20-point lead in the Greater Toronto Area, according to a new poll that also shows the Conservatives contending with splintering support to the far-right People’s Party of Canada.

The five-day poll, conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV, provides a regional breakdown for each of the main parties and captures the mood of the electorate after the leaders’ debates. Released on Wednesday, it shows that if an election were held today, the most likely outcome would be a Liberal minority government, said pollster Nik Nanos, the founder of Nanos Research. The second most likely outcome would be a Conservative minority, he said.

With four days left in the federal campaign, the poll also highlights where the two leading parties are vulnerable. The Liberals see risks in all three major regions critical to forming government: Ontario, Quebec and B.C., Mr. Nanos said. The Conservatives’ relative strength in the rest of Ontario could encroach on the Liberals in the swath of suburban ridings bordering the GTA. As well, the Bloc Québécois are enjoying a postdebate bump, and the race is a three-way split in B.C.

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“The Liberals have a better chance today, we need to emphasize today, to form another minority government,” Mr. Nanos said. The Liberals need to worry about the trend that shows Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole gaining in the preferred prime minister rankings, he said.

The Conservatives would be in a much better position to form government after the Sept. 20 vote if it weren’t for the vote split growing on the right of the political spectrum, Mr. Nanos said. The People’s Party of Canada, led by failed Conservative leadership contender Maxime Bernier, has grown its support during this election, primarily in Ontario and B.C., the poll shows. Mr. Bernier’s party now enjoys 8-per-cent support in B.C. and the Prairies, and 7-per-cent support in Ontario.

“They’re a significant factor in a number of races and should be of concern to the Conservatives,” Mr. Nanos said.

In the GTA, the Liberals are at 47 per cent in the poll, compared with the Conservatives at 27 per cent, the NDP at 18 per cent, the People’s Party at 6 per cent and the Greens at 2 per cent. The GTA includes Toronto and the regional municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 10 to 14 and had a sample size of 261 people. The land-line and cellphone survey was done using live agents and has a margin of error of 6.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Ontario ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please

rank your top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

Liberal

Conservative

NDP

Green

People’s

47%

40%

33%

32%

30%

27%

22%

20%

18%

8%

7%

6%

4%

3%

2%

All Ontario

GTA

Rest of Ontario

The margin of error for a survey of 588 respondents (All

Ontario) is ±4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

Ontario ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your

top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

Liberal

Conservative

NDP

Green

People’s

47%

40%

33%

32%

30%

27%

22%

20%

18%

8%

7%

6%

4%

3%

2%

All Ontario

GTA

Rest of Ontario

The margin of error for a survey of 588 respondents (All Ontario) is ±4.1

percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

Ontario ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your

top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

Liberal

Conservative

NDP

Green

People’s

47%

40%

33%

32%

30%

27%

22%

20%

18%

8%

7%

6%

4%

3%

2%

All Ontario

GTA

Rest of Ontario

The margin of error for a survey of 588 respondents (All Ontario) is ±4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

In the rest of Ontario, the Liberal lead evaporates. They are at 33 per cent, the Conservatives at 32, the NDP at 22, the People’s Party at 8 and the Greens at 4. With a sample size of 327 respondents, the margin of error is 5.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

For the province as a whole, the Liberals lead in Ontario with 40 per cent to 30 per cent for the Conservatives. The NDP are at 20 per cent, the People’s Party at 7 and the Greens are at 3. With a sample size of 588, the margin of error is 4.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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In Quebec, the Liberals hold a lead at 32 per cent compared with the Bloc’s 28 per cent. The Conservatives are at 18 per cent, the NDP at 15, the People’s Party at 4 and the Greens at 3. With a sample size of 447 respondents, the margin of error is 4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Mr. Nanos noted the Liberal support is concentrated in Montreal, giving the Bloc a slight edge in the rest of the province.

Quebec ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank

your top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

Liberal

Bloc

NDP

Conservative

Green

People’s

48%

32%

30%

28%

27%

21%

21%

18%

18%

15%

14%

9%

5%

4%

3%

3%

3%

1%

All Quebec

Montreal

Rest of Quebec

The margin of error for a survey of 447 respondents (All Quebec)

is ±4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

Quebec ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your

top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

Liberal

Bloc

NDP

Conservative

Green

People’s

48%

32%

30%

28%

27%

21%

21%

18%

18%

15%

14%

9%

5%

4%

3%

3%

3%

1%

All Quebec

Montreal

Rest of Quebec

The margin of error for a survey of 447 respondents (All Quebec)

is ±4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

Quebec ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your

top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

Liberal

Bloc

NDP

Conservative

Green

People’s

48%

32%

30%

28%

27%

21%

21%

18%

18%

15%

14%

9%

5%

4%

3%

3%

3%

1%

All Quebec

Montreal

Rest of Quebec

The margin of error for a survey of 447 respondents (All Quebec) is ±4.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

In British Columbia, the lead the Conservatives enjoyed early in the campaign has shrunk, in large part because of the People’s Party. According to the poll, the Conservatives sit at 30 per cent, the Liberals at 28, the NDP at 26 and the Greens and People’s Party are each at 8 per cent. With a sample size of 300 respondents, the margin of error is 5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

British Columbia ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you

please rank your top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

30%

28%

26%

8%

8%

Conservative

NDP

Liberal

Green

People’s

The margin of error for a survey of 300 respondents

is ±5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

British Columbia ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank

your top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

30%

28%

26%

8%

8%

Conservative

NDP

Liberal

Green

People’s

The margin of error for a survey of 300 respondents is ±5.7 percentage

points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

British Columbia ballot survey

Q: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your

top two current local voting preferences?

First ranked response, five-day period ending Sept. 14

30%

28%

26%

8%

8%

Conservative

NDP

Liberal

Green

People’s

The margin of error for a survey of 300 respondents is ±5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: nanos

For all regions in the survey, respondents were asked: If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences? The percentages are made up of each respondent’s first-ranked response. A methodology report can be found at theglobeandmail.com.

While national numbers show the horse race, they can obscure the regional divisions that are critical to deciding which party forms government. The Liberals have more efficient support – meaning their base is more evenly spread out in key regions, allowing them to pick up more of the seats. The concentrated Conservative support in the Prairies, meanwhile, can skew national numbers up for the party without necessarily delivering more seats. That trend played out in the 2019 election, in which the Conservatives won the popular vote but took only 121 seats to the Liberals’ 157.

This year, the Liberals went into the election five points ahead of the Conservatives in the Nanos Research poll released on Aug. 12, but saw their lead evaporate soon after the election was called on Aug. 15. Since then the two front-runners have been neck and neck, bouncing around the low 30s.

The Wednesday poll showed the Liberals with 32 per cent nationally, the Conservatives at 31 per cent, the NDP at 20 per cent, the People’s Party at 7 and the Greens at 4. The total number of respondents across Canada was 2,113 people, meaning the poll has a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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