OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s Liberals took a handsome lead in an opinion poll released on Friday, climbing ahead of both the ruling Conservatives and the left-leaning New Democrats, the second largest party in the current Parliament.
The Liberals would receive 35 percent of the vote if an election were held today, nearly twice their showing in the 2011 election, and they lead in the three key battleground provinces, according to the Ipsos-Reid poll for CTV News.
The next federal election is due in October 2015.
Support for the Conservatives fell to 29 percent, the lowest since the last election. The Conservatives won a majority of seats in Parliament in 2011 with 39.6 percent of the vote.
Support for the NDP fell to 26 percent from the 30.6 percent they won in 2011.
The Liberals have rebounded in polls since April, when Justin Trudeau, the 41-year-old son of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, took over as party leader.
Trudeau says he wants more action to curb climate change. He supports the Keystone XL oil pipeline to the United States but opposes another pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast; and he wants to legalize marijuana.
In elections on Monday to fill four vacant seats in the House of Commons, the Liberals failed to score any upsets. But they held onto two seats and displaced the NDP to come in second in two races in the province of Manitoba.
Ipsos Reid said “the steady slow drip of bad news” from a scandal about Senate expenses was obscuring any other message the Conservatives tried to deliver.
In late October, Ipsos had found the Liberals and NDP tied at 31 percent and the Conservatives at 30 percent. The latest poll surveyed 1,014 Canadians in an online panel from November 25-27. Ipsos considers it accurate to within 3.5 percentage points.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Paul Simao