UPDATE 1-Trudeau would win next Canadian election for Liberals, poll shows

Fri Mar 8, 2013 4:30pm EST
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* Liberals fell to third place in last election

* Trudeau's father was longtime prime minister

* Some question Trudeau's experience for office (Adds comment by Conservative minister Kenney, paragraphs 11-12)

OTTAWA, March 8 (Reuters) - The Liberals would return to power in the next Canadian election if, as expected, they choose the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to head the party, according to an opinion poll released on Friday.

The Forum Research poll showed the Liberals with Justin Trudeau as leader would be able to replace the Conservatives in power, albeit with a minority government, if an election were held today.

The center-left Liberals governed Canada for much of the 20th century, but fell to third place in the 2011 election. That left them behind the left-leaning New Democrats for the first time in history as the Conservatives turned their previous minority government into a majority one.

The Forum poll showed the Liberals under Trudeau would take 39 percent of the vote if an election were held now, compared with 32 percent for the Conservatives, and 20 percent for the New Democrats.

An election is not due until 2015, and the Conservatives have not yet ground Trudeau through their formidable advertising machine, making it impossible to predict if the poll figures will hold.

"Justin Trudeau continues to solidify his position at the top of the pops," the National Post newspaper, which ran the poll, quoted Forum President Lorne Bozinoff as saying.   Continued...