If the federal election were held today, the NDP would win with 35 per cent support, according to an Abacus Data poll released yesterday. The Conservatives would come in second place with 29 per cent support and the Liberals would have 26 per cent support. “Belief that the NDP can win the election has grown substantially since the spring when the NDP won the Alberta election,” Abacus Data says in a statement regarding the polling results. “The NDP … is, at this point in time, winning the critical fight with the Liberals among those who most want change. Both parties should see this fight as in the early rounds, as 60 per cent or more of their supporters are not really locked in, and many open to either a Liberal or and NDP victory.” The poll, conducted online with 1,439 Canadians from Aug. 14 to 17, also shows that regionally, the NDP are doing well across Canada. In Atlantic Canada, the party has 36 per cent, second to the Liberals with 45 per cent and the Conservatives at 18 per cent. In Quebec, where the NDP has most of its incumbent seats, the party lead in the poll at 47 per cent supportcompared to the Liberals, in second place, at 20 per cent and the Conservatives at 13 per cent. Ontario is a virtual three-way tie. The poll, with an accuracy rate of 2.6 per cent 19 times out of 20, shows that the NDP leads at 32, followed by a tie between the Conservatives and Liberals at 30 per cent each. The Conservatives lead in Manitoba and Saskatchewan with 47 per cent, as well as in Alberta with 60 per cent, whereas the NDP have 26 per cent support in the Prairies and 22 per cent support in Alberta. The Liberals have 24 per cent support and 14 per cent support respectively. In British Columbia, the NDP are in a two way race with the Conservatives. The NDP had 34 per cent support in the Abacus poll, while the Conservatives had 32 per cent. The Liberals had 24 per cent support in British Columbia. “The Conservatives remain competitive but well below the levels needed to imagine another majority. The Liberals continue to show strength in Atlantic Canada, competitiveness in Ontario, and possibly slight improvement in Quebec as well,” said Abacaus Data chair Bruce Anderson and CEO David Coletto. “We believe any of the three major parties can win this election, and any of them could finish third, based on the extraordinarily loose attachments to parties these days and the very early stage we are at in the voters’ decision making process.” In case you missed it On the campaign trail yesterday, federal leaders spoke about the environment and building a sustainable economy. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May announced her party’s plan to defend coastal communities potentially affected by “risky pipelines and tanker schemes.” At a press conference in Victoria, Ms. May committed to restoring environmental laws that were recently changed or repealed by the Conservative government. “These pipelines and supertankers are premised on a risky economic strategy. We have already seen how Harper’s strategy of putting all our eggs in the bitumen basket has hurt our economy,” she said in a statement. “On top of that, one accident could cripple the entire billion dollar fisheries and tourism industry upon which our coastal communities depend. It is time to think like a country again and develop a national approach to a diversified energy strategy.” Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau also spoke about his plan to create green jobs at campaign stops in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. “After ten years, Stephen Harper has failed to deliver a sensible, credible approach to the economy and the environment,” Mr. Trudeau said in a statement, noting that his party would invest in innovative, clean technologies with $200-million annually. “Clean technologies, like those in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, create good middle class Canadian jobs, build wealth, and reduce pollution,” he said. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair also spoke about his party’s three-point plan to help provinces with wildfires and floods because of worsening climatechange.“It’s no secret that government resources and first responders are being stretched to the limit this summer, but it’s going to take more than a Conservative photo-op to protect Canadian communities,” Mr. Mulcair said, noting the plan will focus on training, equipment and disaster relief. “The NDP is taking action to ensure Canadians and their homes are safer with an effective and modern approach to coordinated disaster assistance. The NDP understands the urgent need for a strong national plan to help prevent, mitigate and respond to wildfires and floods in the face of climate change. We have the plan to undo the damage done by Stephen Harper.” In the Toronto area, Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated his party’s commitment to reintroducing the Life Means Life Act, and making it a “top justice priority” when the House of Commons returns should he form another government. “Canadians expect their government to protect them from the worst type of criminals,” Mr. Harper said in a statement which also criticized the Liberals and NDP for their “soft on crime” stance. “That’s why our government introduced Life Means Life legislation, and that’s why reintroducing and passing it will be our top justice priority this fall.” The bill, C-53, which was introduced earlier this year, would end parole for those convicted of murders involving sexual assault, kidnapping, terrorism, a police or corrections officer, or other “heinous” offence, and give Cabinet power to approve or deny parole in these instances (rather than the National Parole Board) only after 35 years. Meanwhile, Calgary-Nose Hill, Alta., candidate Ala Buzreba has stepped down from running for the Liberal Party after offensive tweets she made four years ago surfaced. “The discussion shouldn’t be focused on me and my tweets, but rather it should be about what’s best for Canadians,” she said in a Facebook post. She’s another casualty in the “naming and shaming” of candidates for their online social media activities, discussed in this week’s Hill Times. “Candidates have always gotten in trouble for stupid stuff they’ve said in the past, that’s just sort of politics. The key difference now is that things that maybe you thought were gone forever aren’t really. There’s probably a cache of them somewhere,” MediaStyle’s Ian Capstick told The Hill Times. For an updated list of nominated candidates, click here. Where the leaders are, Day 18 (all times local) Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will be in London, Ont., today to deliver remarks at Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre. He will be joined by local Conservative candidates Ed Holder, running for re-election in London West, Ont., and Suzanna Dieleman, running in London Fanshawe, Ont. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will be in British Columbia today. First up is an announcement at 10:45 a.m. in Surrey, B.C., followed by a roundtable meeting at the Aria Banquet Hall and Convention Centre at 2 p.m. Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau will be in Winnipeg and Vancouver today. Mr. Trudeau will make an announcement at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg South at 8 a.m. He will then head to Vancouver to make another announcement at Le Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver at 1 p.m. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will be with Green candidate Frances Litman, running in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, B.C., from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. to greet commuters at the corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue in Saanich, B.C. She will then attend private meetings in her riding. Meanwhile, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe will be in Montreal today, holding a press conference at 11:15 a.m. with other BQ candidates, Simon Marchand, running for election in Hochelaga, Que., and Carole Poirier, running in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Elsewhere on the agenda Senator Mike Duffy’s trial on charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery continues today at 10 a.m. in Ottawa court. Yesterday, NDP incumbent candidate Charlie Angus wrote a letter to the RCMP to ask whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff Nigel Wright would be charged with any criminal offences and whether other top PMO staff who knew about the $90,000 Mr. Wright gave to Sen. Duffy in order to repay impugned expenses would also be investigated. Assembly of First Nations regional chiefs from across Canada will be attending a Federal Court hearing in Saskatoon, Sask., today to support the nations who are against The First Nations Financial Transparency Act, Bill C-27. The nations say the government of Canada “continues to violate its treaty obligations … as evidenced by threats and attempts to impose legislation such as Bill C-27.” The hearing begins at 9 a.m.