Liberals build on polling lead

Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:30pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's opposition Liberals have built on their slim lead over the governing Conservatives, but neither party would be assured of clear victory if an election were held today, a poll released on Thursday showed.

The Ekos survey had Liberal support rising to 35.0 percent in the period May 29-June 9 from 33.5 percent in May 7-28. The Conservatives dropped to 30.3 percent from 32.3 percent.

"Neither party seems assured of victory in any election in the near future. Moreover, the prospects of a majority Parliament remain remote even after three consecutive minorities," Ekos said in a statement.

"The current numbers and evolving trends, however, increasingly favor the Liberals."

The Conservatives won October's general election with a strengthened minority, but still must rely on the support of at least one opposition party to survive a vote of confidence and stay in power.

There are at least two such opportunities this month but the Liberals, the largest opposition party, have not decided whether to pull the plug.

The New Democratic Party stood at 15.1 percent, the Green Party, which has no seats in Parliament, at 10.4 percent, and the separatist Bloc Quebecois, which runs only in Quebec, is at 9.2 percent, the poll found.

A random sample of 6,259 Canadians responded to Ekos's automated telephone survey, giving a margin of error of 1.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

 
<p>Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 9, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>