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O'Toole and Conservatives take clear lead after debate: Nanos

The Conservatives have established a five-point lead over Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in popularity among voters, giving the Conservatives clear momentum going into the holiday weekend, according to tracking by pollsters like Nanos Research.

According to the latest nightly tracking that ended Thursday and was released this morning, ballot support for the Conservatives is 35.7 per cent, compared with 30.7 per cent for the Liberals.

"Looking at the trend, Erin O'Toole is shaping up to be a political freight train,” pollster Nik Nanos said on Friday

The latest tracking result shows the Liberals and Conservatives have essentially swapped places since the election kicked off on Aug. 15.

"When you look at the trend line the Conservatives are incrementally picking up basically every day,” said Nanos. “I think we have to say, factoring the ballot numbers, that O'Toole has been the top performer in this campaign, and O'Toole's performance on a day-to-day basis had been driving that incremental increase.”

“Tick tock for the Liberals because time is running out in this election. I know it's only Sept. 3 but before we know it we’ll be pushing into the last week of the campaign,” said Nanos.

Why the sudden change of heart? Some attribute it to a lack of support for the election. A separate Nanos poll conducted Aug. 28-30 showed that 76 per cent of Canadians found the election to be either not necessary or somewhat not necessary, while only 23 per cent said it was necessary or somewhat necessary.

A microcosm of this trend can be see in the Maritimes, where the traditional Liberal stronghold is bleeding fast. "Atlantic Canada was a red fortress and has been and traditionally is very strong for the Liberals,” said Nanos. “Right now Atlantic Canada is in play. The Conservatives will pick up seats in Atlantic Canada, the question is how many.”

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