Canadian poll shows Trudeau Liberals far ahead

Reuters News

4/14/2013 7:21:09 AM - Reuters News

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's new Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau, would lead his party to a crushing election victory if a vote were held now, according to a poll released on Tuesday that put Liberal support substantially higher than other recent surveys have shown.

The Forum Research poll, the first conducted since the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was elected party leader on Sunday, has the Liberals at 43 percent and the Conservatives at 30 percent. That amount of support would give the Liberals a solid majority government.

The Conservatives, in power since 2006 and plainly concerned about the 41-year-old Justin Trudeau's popularity, came out on Monday with attack ads questioning his judgment and experience.

The Forum numbers would have been enough for the Liberals to win 170 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, instead of the paltry 34 seats they won in the 2011 election. The next election is due in October 2015.

Other polls have been less rosy for the Liberals, although all show a strong improvement over their 2011 results. An Ekos poll released on Sunday had the Liberals at 29.1 percent support, compared with 28.8 percent for the Conservatives. But they lagged 25.7 percent to 33.8 percent if only likely voters were included.

A Nanos poll released on Friday gave the Liberals 35.4 percent support, compared with 31.3 percent for the Conservatives.

The Conservatives have lost some ground to the Liberals, but most of the new support has come at the expense of the left-leaning New Democratic Party, which won the second highest number of seats in the 2011 election with 30.6 percent of the vote. Forum has support for the NDP down to 19 percent now.

In the last election both the Liberals and the NDP campaigned on higher corporate taxes and on a cap-and-trade system to curb carbon emissions.

Forum's automated telephone poll of 1,764 people was taken on April 14. That sample size that should be accurate to within 2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Peter Galloway)