January 25, 2010 / 3:13 AM / 9 years ago

Canada's Conservatives hold slim opinion poll lead

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s Conservatives held a slim lead over its main rival in an opinion poll released on Sunday amid voter discontent over a government decision to suspend Parliament until March.

Protesters rally against the federal government's prorogation in Dundas Square in Toronto, January 23, 2010. REUTERS/Adrien Veczan

The Ipsos-Reid poll, published in an online edition of the National Post newspaper, gave the Conservatives 34 percent voter support, compared to 31 percent for the opposition Liberals. Conservative support is down from 37 percent in November, while Liberal support has climbed from 24 percent.

The paper quoted pollster Darrell Bricker as saying the fall in support for the Conservatives reflected anger over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to suspend Parliament until March 3, instead of allowing the legislative session to resume on Monday as previously scheduled.

Several thousand opponents held rallies across Canada on Saturday and a Facebook group, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament, has attracted more than 215,000 members.

Parliament will now resume with a March 3 policy speech, followed by a federal budget on March 4.

The Conservatives hold only a minority of seats in Parliament and need the support of at least one other party to stay in power.

The latest poll would translate to another minority government if a vote took place now.

Ipsos-Reid polled 1,000 Canadian voters between Tuesday and Thursday last week. It considers its results accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Reporting by Janet Guttsman; Editing by Eric Walsh

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