October 19, 2010 / 6:21 PM / in 7 years

Conservatives' support slips a bit

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Public support for the federal Conservatives has slipped slightly and the party is almost tied with its main rival, ensuring that an election held now would result in deadlock, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces funding for the high-tech sector at the Alberta Centre for Advanced Microsystems and Nanotechnology Products (ACAMP) following a tour of their facilities in Edmonton October 8, 2010. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber</p>

The Harris-Decima survey for Canadian Press put the Conservatives’ popular support at 32 percent, down one percentage point from a poll done by the same firm a month earlier. The opposition Liberals were steady at 30 percent.

Last week two polls showed the Conservatives pulling ahead of the Liberals, indicating they had a chance of winning another minority government in an election widely expected in the first half of next year.

The Harris-Decima poll covers the period last week when the government lost a high-profile bid to win a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council.

“We’re in a situation where none of the political parties have (managed) to capture the public’s imagination in any way sufficient to cause any kind of electoral realignment,” said Harris-Decima pollster Allan Gregg.

Under Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system, a party needs around 36 percent of the vote to win a workable minority in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives came to power with a minority in early 2006 and won a strengthened minority in October 2008, which means they need the support of opposition legislators to govern.

The survey of 2,020 adults was conducted between October 7 and 17 and is considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway

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