June 21, 2011 / 3:58 PM / in 6 years

Tories, Liberals up in post-election poll

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Conservatives have strengthened their hold on public opinion in the weeks since they won a majority government in the May 2 general election, a Nanos poll showed on Tuesday.

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives on stage with his wife Laureen Harper to speak at the Conservative Party convention in Ottawa June 10, 2011. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle</p>

The Liberals, which were reduced to third place in the election for the first time in Canadian history, also saw their numbers rise slightly.

The Conservatives campaigned on reducing the budget deficit without raising taxes, and rose to 41.8 percent popular support from the 39.6 percent they got in the election in what pollster Nik Nanos said could be considered “akin to a honeymoon effect”.

He said the Conservatives have a comfortable lead in Ontario, the most populous province, and all provinces to the west of it.

The left-leaning New Democrats, who vaulted over the Liberals in the election to become the official opposition, fell to 28.0 percent support from 30.6 percent but hold a commanding 16-point lead in Quebec, where most of their members of Parliament now are from.

The Liberals, whose leader resigned after the party’s disastrous election showing, have bounced back to 22.3 percent support from the 18.9 percent they won on election day.

The separatist Bloc Quebecois was nearly wiped out in Quebec by the New Democrats in the election, and its support fell further in the Nanos poll, to 3.4 percent support from 6.0 percent.

Nanos said Prime Minister Stephen Harper also led the other party leaders on leadership questions.

Canada’s next federal election is in 2015.

The telephone survey covered 1,211 Canadians from June 16-19. Its subsample of 983 committed voters is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Peter Galloway

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