April 1, 2011 / 12:04 PM / in 7 years

Conservatives edge closer to majority

TORONTO (Reuters) - Support for the Conservative Party edged closer to a coveted majority before the May 2 federal election, according to a poll released on Friday.

<p>Conservative leader and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper pauses during a campaign rally in St. John's March 31, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

The Nanos Research tracking poll of results over three days of surveys put support for the Conservatives at 39.4 percent, up 0.3 percentage points and 7.7 points ahead of the opposition Liberals. Liberal support slipped 1 point from Thursday’s tracking poll to 31.7 percent.

Under Canada’s electoral system, a party needs around 40 percent of the vote to win a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons.

Among the other parties, the left-leaning New Democrats garnered 16.1 percent support, a 0.2 percentage point gain, while support for the Bloc Quebecois was at 8.5 percent, marginally down from 8.7 percent. The Green Party held 4.4 percent of support, up from 3.7 percent.

The poll was a random telephone survey that Nanos conducts daily throughout the campaign, with the latest coming from a random sample of 953 decided Canadians surveyed between March 29 and March 31, with an accuracy of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Support for all the parties has generally stayed within the margin of error, Nanos said.

Reporting by Solarina Ho

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