April 15, 2008 / 1:06 PM / 10 years ago

Conservatives see poll lead fade

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s ruling Conservatives are losing support and although they are still ahead of the opposition Liberals, they do not have enough support to win a majority government, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands to speak during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 9, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

The Strategic Counsel survey for the Globe and Mail newspaper put support for the Conservatives at 36 percent, down two percentage points from a poll done by the same firm in mid-March. The Liberals gained three points to 30 percent.

Under Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system, a party needs to capture around 40 percent of the public vote to stand a reasonable chance of winning a majority of the 308 seats in the federal Parliament.

Strategic Counsel said the Conservatives were paying the price for repeatedly criticizing the Liberal government in Ontario, Canada’s most populous and powerful province.

The poll said 45 percent of Canadians believed it was somewhat likely or very likely the country would head into recession before the end of the year.

The Strategic Counsel poll of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between April 10 and 13 and is considered accurate to within 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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