Nanos has the first poll results I have seen post-debate. The debate may have been won by Harper according to an Ipsos Reid poll but remember that poll was taken only after the first hour of the debate not after the entire event was completed. People need to see the how show before they will form any kind of dependable poll based conclusion. Take the Ipsos poll on debate results with a large grains of salt given the questionable methodology used.
Nanos sees Dion doing rather well with a bump in the party standings as well as in perceptions about his leadership skills. The Cons have dropped to 34% from a high of 41%. They are more than 2% points below the January 2006 election results. The Liberals under Dion are exactly where they were in the last election under Martin. The Dipper are up 1.5 points and the Bloc is not changed and the Greens are up 2 points over the 2006 election results.
This is not telling us much more. Remember Harper's votes are very efficiently concentrated in rural ridings and the rest of the players split the towns and cities. Harper could still do well in total seats. And we don't know is this is a one-time shift or a sustainable trend yet.
Stay tuned. This week will set the tone and make or break Stephen Harper's aspirations for a majority government. His last minute release of a campaign platform better be great or it will just remind voters how indifferent he is to telling them his plans - other than do nothing to help in the growing financial fallout from the American financial meltdown.
The last long weekend before the voting will be where Canadians reflect on Harper, his leadership style of bullying and do nothing about the environment and the economy and his one-man command and control governance style. Does he truly reflect the kind of Canada we are and want to become. That is where the trust, openness and honesty issues will come to bear on his political prospects.