Liberals gain on Conservatives in Canada

March 10, 2009 at 10:49 AM
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OTTAWA, March 10 (UPI) -- Canadian voter support for the minority Conservative party is stalled, but the Liberals are gaining ground to within 4 percentage points, a national poll says.

The Ipsos Reid poll of 2,002 decided voters conducted for the Canwest News Service found Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives steady at 37 percent support, and a 2 percentage point gain to 33 percent for opposition leader Michael Ignatieff's Liberals

The socialist New Democratic Party posted 12 percent support, the separatist Bloc Quebecois at 10 percent and the Green Party with 8 percent, the poll said.

Since Ignatieff, a former human rights professor at Harvard University, became Liberal leader on Dec. 10, the party's poll standings have increased by more than seven points, the report said.

The Conservatives had 38 percent of the popular vote when they won re-election in October, but that rose to 46 percent during December's parliamentary crisis when an opposition coalition threatened to bring down the government with a non-confidence vote.

The poll had a 2.2 percent margin of error, the report said.

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