First off, the Ekos poll this week is utterly boring. Really - despite what this CBC headline states.
The topline numbers are Con 35.7%, Lib 27.8%, NDP 14.9%, Bloc 8.8%, and Green 10.1%. This pretty much a typical result we see from Ekos, though the Conservatives can be happy with the 7.9-point lead, similar to Harris-Decima's last result. What's not clear is whether or not this is Ekos correcting itself after its last poll to come more in line with other pollsters.
The Conservative lead comes mostly in Ontario, where they sit with 41% of the vote, compared to the Liberals' 34% - something in line with other pollsters. Another interesting thing to note is the rebound in the Liberal vote in Quebec, going from a miserable 18.8% in the last Ekos, to a less-miserable 21.7% in this poll, though with a clear lead over the Conservatives this time around, who've fallen from 16.2% in the province to 15.4%. The last slightly-interesting thing is the rebound for the Liberals in Atlantic Canada, who jump up from 30.2% to 40%, while the Conservatives drop from 36.8% to 30.9% - but small sample sizes could mean this is just statistical noise.
Then we go back to Angus Reid, which has topline numbers of Con - 39%, Lib - 23%, NDP - 17%, Bloc and Green - 9%, bringing AR in line with their online polling cousins Abacus.
I'm super skeptical of this poll, compared to my relative inclination last AR poll, because of the drop of those surveyed (from 6,000 last poll to 1,000 this poll), which means a drop in the margin of error - not necessarily a game changer, but it kind of skews results. There's also the fact that "Others" are up on 20% in Atlantic Canada while the parties are all below 30%, and the NDP dropped 10% in BC (from 28% to 18%). This makes kind of fuzzy where it is exactly that everyone's dropped, though to note, it's the Greens who are up everywhere.
That being said, the AR poll isn't totally out of line. Take, for instance, the 41-29 split in Ontario, which is just a small shift away from both the Conservatives and the Liberals, to the benefit of the Greens. In Quebec, the federalist parties all take a small shift upward one point from the last poll while the Bloc takes a big step down, for a split of 34-23-22-15, with the Libs on that 23%, followed by Cons. This is basically in line with other pollsters, except AR is showing a big step backward for the Bloc, something we've yet to see elsewhere. So, in general, take this poll with a grain of salt, as you should every poll, but AR polls in particular.
An interesting sidenote of the Ekos poll that they went into the field to do their second-preference polling again, showing while the NDP are the most common second choice at 18.1%, it's only because the Liberals give them 32.9% in second preference. The real fun fact comes from the idea that the Liberals are pretty much everyone's favourite second choice - including the Cons (22.2%), the NDP (31.7%), though it's closer competition with the Greens (22% chose Liberals, 22.8% chose Dippers), and less close with the BQ, though I throw doubt upon those numbers, seeing as how apparently the Green Party are Bloquistes' second most prevalent choice (16.2%, behind the NDP at 23.9%). So, yeah, take that as you will.
It's interesting compared with the last Ekos second-preference polling, though it's not actually that different. Take a look.
The conclusion drawn from this is that, while the Liberals are struggling, there is a basis behind those ideas aimed at drawing Dipper and Green support to rally behind us. Though it also says something about the new Dipper strategy of attempting to court "Layton Liberals" - but more on that later.