The federal Liberals have moved sharply ahead of the Conservatives
in Ontario, in part by siphoning off support from the New Democrats,
according to a new poll.


Liberal support in Ontario clocked in at
44 per cent while the Conservatives have 31 per cent and the NDP 14 per
cent, according to the poll, done for the The Toronto Star and La Presse by Nanos Research.


The Green party stands at 10 per cent support in Ontario.


key is the steady decline in support for the NDP with those former NDP
voters moving to the Liberals," Nik Nanos said yesterday.


Leader Michael Ignatieff narrowly leads – 33 per cent to 31 per cent –
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper among Ontario voters as the
person they favour to be prime minister, the March 13 to 18 survey


Nationally, the Liberals have the support of 36 per cent
of voters, up from 33 per cent in February, and the Conservatives 33
per cent, down from 34 per cent.

The NDP stands at 13 per cent support, down from 16 per cent last month.

national respondents, Harper is the leading choice as prime minister,
with 33 per cent support to Ignatieff's 27 per cent and Layton's 12.
The national telephone survey of 1,002 Canadians has a margin of error
of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The Ontario results have
a margin of error of 6.2 percentage points. While the survey shows the
Liberals have picked up support from all parties in Ontario since the
economy soured, it's the NDP that's bleeding the most. Its support has
been gradually dropping since it won 18 per cent of the vote in Ontario
in the Oct. 14, 2008, federal election.

The Liberals won 33.8 per cent of the vote in Ontario in the election, and the Tories 39.2 per cent.

the consolidation scenario the Conservatives should be fearful of,"
Nanos said, noting the Harper government has benefited in recent years
from centre-left voters parking their support with the NDP.

Nanos said the widening Liberal margin in Ontario is likely a result of the economic downturn.

"Ontario voters in my experience are more likely to vote economic issues and punish incumbent governments," he said.