May 14, 2015 / 3:18 PM / 3 years ago

Canada's left-leaning New Democrats jump into national lead -poll

OTTAWA, May 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP), which stormed to victory in a provincial election in conservative Alberta this month, has vaulted from third to first place in national support, a public opinion poll showed on Thursday.

The NDP displaced the Liberals in the 2011 election as the official opposition to the governing Conservatives, but the Liberals have been ahead of the NDP in most national polls since Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, became Liberal leader in 2013.

The new survey by polling company Ekos puts the NDP at 29.2 percent support, the Conservatives at 28.6 percent, and the Liberals at 27.6 percent. Ekos said the results are preliminary with more details coming later.

Being competitive with the Liberals is critical for the NDP as it vies to be the main alternative to the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in the Oct. 19 federal election.

The federal New Democrats, who have pledged to raise corporate tax rates, eliminate preferential treatment of stock options and introduce cheap national day care, got wind in their sails when their provincial counterparts overthrew the Progressive Conservatives, in power for 44 years, in oil-rich Alberta on May 5.

Ekos polled 1,362 voters May 6-10. (Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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