Conservatives ahead of rivals: polls

Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:33pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Conservatives are well ahead of their main rivals and would most likely win a majority government if an election were held now, according to a poll released on Monday.

The Ipsos-Reid survey for Canwest News Service put the Conservatives at 40 percent in popular support, with the Liberals, the top opposition party, trailing far behind at 25 percent.

The Liberals have been falling steadily since early September, when they vowed to try to bring down the minority Conservative government over its handling of the economy.

"The Liberals, these days, just have no traction at all," said Ipsos Reid Chief Executive Darrell Bricker. The left-leaning New Democrats were at 13 percent in public support.

In Canada's electoral system, a party needs around 40 percent of the popular vote win a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons.

The poll was taken last week as the Liberals repeatedly attacked the Conservatives on the grounds that they have been using an economic stimulus program for partisan purposes.

The Ipsos Reid survey of 1,003 adults was conducted from Oct 22 to 24 and is considered to be accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

A poll by Environics released later on Monday put the Conservatives at 38 percent public support, compared with 26 percent for the Liberals and 16 percent for the New Democrats.

The survey of 2,000 adults was conducted from Oct 15 to 21 and is considered accurate to within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a news conference at the Beauce-Appalaches college in St-Georges de Beauce, October 23, 2009. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger</p>