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Canada's opposition Liberals take slight poll lead
July 30, 2009 / 2:40 PM / 8 years ago

Canada's opposition Liberals take slight poll lead

OTTAWA, July 30 (Reuters) - Canada’s opposition Liberals have regained a slight lead in public opinion over the ruling Conservatives, but neither party has enough support to be sure of winning an election if one were held now, a weekly poll showed on Thursday.

The Ekos survey for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp put the Liberals at 34.1 percent support, up from 32.5 percent last week. The Conservatives were at 32.5 percent, down from 32.8 percent.

A string of polls by different companies show the two parties have been virtually tied for months, with neither able to hit the 37 percent level of support that would give them a good chance of capturing at least a minority government.

The Conservatives won a strengthened minority in last October’s election but quickly started to bleed support as the economic crisis hit and the Liberals chose a new leader.

The Liberals say Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- who relies on the support of other parties to govern -- has not acted quickly enough in the recession to help the most vulnerable.

Despite the near deadlock, there is growing speculation that the Liberals will try to bring down the Conservatives when Parliament resumes in September. The latest Ekos poll shows they would have mixed hopes of success at best.

“The (Conservatives) would probably narrowly lose an election if it were held right now,” Ekos President Frank Graves said in a statement.

“But the voters don’t see any compelling reason to have an election just to replace a fragile Conservative minority with a fragile Liberal minority.”

The Ekos automated telephone survey of 2,675 decided adult voters was conducted between July 22 and July 28 and is considered accurate to within 1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)

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