May 25, 2008 / 5:11 PM / in 10 years

Liberals slightly ahead in new poll

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s main opposition Liberal Party is slightly ahead of the ruling Conservatives in popular support, a new poll said on Friday, but The Liberals have nowhere near the support they need to be sure of winning the next election.

<p>Liberal leader Stephane Dion (R) speaks at the start of a caucus meeting with deputy leader Michael Ignatieff on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 2, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

The Nanos Research survey put the Liberals at 34 percent, two percentage points down from a poll done by the same firm in early April. The Conservatives were down three points at 33 percent.

The results mirror a number of polls done by various firms in the last six months showing neither party able to maintain a firm lead over the other. The Conservatives won power in January 2006 with 36 percent of the popular vote.

Under Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system, a party needs around 40 percent of the vote to win a majority of the 308 seats in the federal Parliament. The Conservatives now have 127 seats and the Liberals have 96.

Nanos Research surveyed 1,004 adult Canadians from May 7 to 11 and based its results on the 847 who said they were committed voters. The poll is considered accurate to within 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway

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