Conservatives slip, Liberals gain: poll

Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:00am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The opposition Liberals are closing the gap in popular support against Canada's governing Conservatives, a poll published on Tuesday showed, but neither party has enough support to form a majority government,

The Ipsos Reid poll, conducted for Postmedia News and Global Television from August 4 to 9, gave the Conservatives, whose minority government is led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the support of 34 percent of voters, down 1 point from last month.

The Liberals had the support of 31 percent of voters, up 2 points and rising for a second straight month as leader Michael Ignatieff continues a cross-country tour.

The left-leaning New Democrats would receive 15 percent of the vote if an election were to be held now, unchanged from last month, while the Green Party would get 9 percent, down 1 point.

The race between the Conservatives and Liberals continues to be "razor-thin" in Ontario, Canada's most populous province, with support at 36 percent and 35 percent, respectively, the poll showed.

Under Canada's first-past-the-post electoral system, a party typically needs at least 40 percent of public support to capture a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives won a strengthened minority in the October 2008 election but neither they nor the Liberals have been able to gain a strong grasp on voter support.

Ipsos Reid surveyed 1,000 Canadians by phone. The poll's margin of error was 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)