Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre greet each other as they gather in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. A new poll says the Tories are retaining a small lead over the governing Liberals and have slightly widened the gap. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservatives retaining lead over Liberals with slightly wider gap, new poll says

A new poll suggests the Tories still have a small lead over the governing Liberals and have slightly widened the gap.

The poll conducted by Leger over the weekend says 33 per cent of respondents would vote for the Conservatives and 30 per cent would vote for the Liberals if a federal election was underway.

It’s the fourth consecutive monthly poll in which the Conservative party has maintained a lead — and the fourth since Pierre Poilievre became its leader.

Both parties were slightly down overall, with the NDP up to 21 per cent from 19 per cent in November and the People’s Party of Canada doubling its support to four per cent, up from two per cent.

The poll is based on an online survey of 1,526 Canadians taken from Dec. 9 to Dec. 11, and it cannot be assigned a margin of error because online surveys are not considered truly random samples.

Support for both the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party held steady in the poll, at seven per cent and four per cent of national voter intentions respectively.

There was no perceptible bump for the Greens despite the recent re-election of Elizabeth May as party leader on a joint ballot with co-leader Jonathan Pedneault.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held substantial leads in Atlantic Canada, where they were up nine points over the Tories, and in Quebec, where their support remained six points ahead of the Bloc.

Only 19 per cent of Quebec respondents said they would vote Conservative. Only eight per cent supported the NDP.

In Ontario, Poilievre’s party enjoys a seven-point lead over the Liberals at 36 per cent, with Liberals at 29 per cent and the NDP at 26 per cent.

The Conservatives are at 47 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan — the only places where the NDP is in second position, with 23 per cent. Trudeau’s party is in third place with just 19 per cent support. And Maxime Bernier’s PPC had its best result with nine per cent.

Tories also lead by a 15-point margin in Alberta, with Liberals and NDP just one point apart, and are besting the Liberals by a smaller, two-point margin in B.C.

The poll shows a stark age divide.

Younger voters were most likely to support New Democrats. A full third of those aged 18 to 34 said they would vote for the party, while 28 per cent would vote Liberal and 22 per cent Conservative.

Among people 55 and older, the Conservatives are ahead at 38 per cent support, compared to 32 per cent for the Liberals and just 15 per cent for the NDP.

A contrast between rural and urban voters also remains.

Conservatives are well in the lead among rural voters, with 43 per cent support over the Liberals’ 26, and among suburban voters, too, though by a much smaller margin of four points.

Liberals retain the most support in the urban demographic, with 34 per cent. In cities, the Tories, at 27 per cent, are only two points ahead of the NDP, at 25 per cent.

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