April 25, 2011 / 11:49 AM / in 7 years

Election poll shows Conservatives pushing ahead

TORONTO (Reuters) - The ruling Conservative Party widened its lead heading into the May 2 election, with the trailing Liberals and New Democrats in a statistical tie, according to a poll released on Monday.

The Nanos Research tracking poll of results for three days of surveys put support for the Conservatives at 39.2 percent, up from 38.6 percent in a Nanos poll released on Sunday.

Support for the Liberals slid slightly to 25.6 from 25.9 percent in Sunday’s poll.

The left-leaning New Democrats, who have seen their support jump since the mid-election leadership debates, have 23.6 percent of decided voters behind them from 23.2 in Sunday’s survey.

Given the poll’s statistical margin of error, the Liberals and NDP are statistically tied.

Nanos said the separatist Bloc Quebecois, which runs candidates only in Quebec, continues to fall. The NDP moved to first place with 30.2 percent support, with the Bloc at 27.4 percent. That is also a statistical tie given the margin of error for the provincial survey.

Under Canada’s electoral system, a party traditionally has needed to win about 40 percent of the national vote to win a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. But a majority also is possible if the gap between the front-runners is more than 10 percentage points.

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

The national daily Nanos tracking figures are based on a three-day rolling telephone sample of 1,023 decided voters and are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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

Poll Release Date April 25 April 24 April 22

Conservatives 39.2 38.6 37.8

Liberals 25.6 25.9 26.1

NDP 23.6 23.2 23.7

Bloc Quebecois 6.5 7.2 7.4

Green Party 3.6 3.7 3.5

Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Vicki Allen

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