The nation is rallying to the New Democrats. Jack Layton’s campaign is on fire. His issues — working with others in Parliament to fix Ottawa; economic security and a break for middle class families; better public health care; protecting the environment — are exactly what the people want.

Meanwhile the Liberal campaign is in flames, losing momentum rapidly. The Conservatives are only inching along. How do we know this?

Well, in the March 25th EKOS poll, the New Democrats were at 14.2 per cent. And now, a week into the campaign, in the April 1st EKOS poll they’re at 17.2 per cent — a 3.1 per cent increase in support in one week.

Meanwhile, the Liberals dropped to 26.2 per cent from 28.1 per cent during the first week of the campaign — bleeding to the New Democrats.

The Tories increased to 36.9 per cent from 35.3 per cent — nothing like Jack Layton’s rise, proportionately.

This no doubt will lead all the national network news tonight. It will be above the fold of every newspaper. It is the biggest polling move reported so far in the campaign.

Or… maybe this is a poll varying inside its margin or error, more or less. Like the other polls we’ve seen so far — some of which are being breathlessly analyzed despite much recent discussion about the credibility of doing so.

But you can’t have it both ways, fellow poll analysts. If a two-point drop in one national poll is national news, then so is a three-point increase.

This article was originally published in the Globe and Mail.