Canada's Conservatives, Liberals tied in new poll

Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:04am EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Liberal Party are tied for support and there is little chance of an election any time soon, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

The Nanos Research survey put the Conservatives at 34.7 percent public support, down from 35.6 percent a month ago. The Liberals were at 34.6 percent, up from 33.9 percent, while the left-leaning New Democrats were up 1.4 points at 17.8 percent.

The poll was the latest in a long series to show neither of the two main parties has been able to gain a significant advantage since the start of 2010.

Pollster Nik Nanos said the minority Conservative government had not received a significant boost from either last month's Winter Olympics or the March 4 federal budget.

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he wants to focus on the economy rather than an election, some opponents suspect he would be prepared to go to the polls if a large enough gap opened up.

"An immediate election is unlikely in the short term, unless there is a new political revelation which could rock the government or the Liberals. The next realistic election windows include the fall of 2010 or early 2011, prior to the next federal budget," said Nanos.

The Conservatives, who won a strengthened minority in the October 2008 election, have been in power for just over four years.

The Nanos survey of 804 decided adults was conducted between March 6 and 12 and is considered accurate to within 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

 
<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 9, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>