* C$ rises to C$0.9491 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0536,
* Markets eye rising NDP in election campaign
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar firmed slightly against a broadly weakened U.S. dollar on Friday morning but stayed locked in a tight range over an uncertain political climate heading into the May 2 election.
The federal election has created headwinds for the currency in recent days as support for the left-leaning New Democrats unexpectedly surged.
Canada's ruling Conservative Party is still leading the campaign but only by a few points, according to a poll released on Friday. [ID:nN29143540]
Investors were also awaiting monthly growth figures due at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT), but the focus is clearly on Monday's election, and overseas trading was quiet with volumes crimped by a holiday in Britain for the royal wedding.
"The only thing I think is going to be market moving is the election on Monday night. I think the NDP can play a spoiler role in the Canadian dollar rally," said Firas Askari, head of foreign exchange trading at BMO Capital Markets.
"If they are the official opposition, then I think people will take some Canadian dollar bets off the table."
At 8:11 a.m. (1211 GMT), the Canadian dollar CAD=D4 stood at C$0.9491 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0536, up from Thursday's North American finished at C$0.9510 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0515.
The U.S. dollar stayed under heavy pressure on expectations U.S. monetary policy will stay loose, while stocks paused for breath and a strong commodities rally tailed off. [MKTS/GLOB]
However, Askari said he didn't expect the Canadian dollar to meaningfully join in the U.S. dollar selloff -- and break through C$0.9450 -- until the election is over. (Editing by Padraic Cassidy)