September 14, 2010 / 2:02 AM / in 7 years

Canada's ruling Conservatives have slim lead

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s ruling Conservative Party holds a narrow lead in an opinion poll published on Monday, but does not have enough support to be sure of winning a new federal election.

<p>Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to supporters at a Conservative Party barbecue, in London, Ontario, September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Geoff Robins</p>

The Ipsos Reid poll for Postmedia News and Global Television gave the Conservatives the support of 34 percent of voters, compared to 31 percent for the Liberals, the largest opposition party.

The poll was published on the Website of the Times Colonist newspaper in British Columbia.

Both tallies are unchanged from the previous Ipsos poll a month ago.

Under Canada’s first-past-the-post system -- in which the candidate with the most votes in an electoral district is elected -- a party typically needs the support of about 40 percent of voters to win a majority in Parliament.

The Conservatives have a minority of seats in Parliament and need support from at least one other party to stay in power. An election is due in 2012 but could take place earlier if opposition parties join forces to vote out the government.

Ipsos Reid considers its survey, taken September 8-12, to be accurate to within 3.1 percentage points 95 percent of the time.

Editing by Paul Simao

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