April 20, 2011 / 12:33 PM / in 7 years

Conservatives keep steady lead over Liberals

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Conservative Party stayed close to winning a majority government, widening its lead over its Liberal rivals, while both parties lost some support to the New Democrats, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

<p>Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to a crowd during a campaign event in Richmond, British Columbia April 17, 2011. REUTERS/Ben Nelms</p>

The Nanos Research tracking poll of results for three days of surveys showed support at 39.1 percent, slightly down from 39.8 percent on Tuesday. The poll showed the Liberals have 28.4 percent of the vote, down from 30.2 percent on Tuesday.

Support for the New Democrats rose to 19.8 percent, from 17.3 percent on Tuesday.

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

The Conservatives had a minority in the last Parliament and needed support from at least one other party to stay in power.

The federal election is scheduled for May 2.

The daily Nanos tracking figures are based on a three-day rolling telephone sample of 1,012 decided voters and are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Results from the last three days of polling are as follows:

Poll Release Date April 19 April 18 April 17

Conservatives 39.1 39.8 39.8

Liberals 28.4 30.2 29.8

NDP 19.8 17.3 17.4

Bloc Quebecois 7.7 8.6 8.6

Green Party 3.9 3.1 3.4

Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Bill Trott

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