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A detail from an EKOS poll released Jan. 26, 2011. (dbonello)
A detail from an EKOS poll released Jan. 26, 2011. (dbonello)

Harper holds single-digit polling edge as House resumes Add to ...

Political rhetoric may be running high but the latest polls suggest no party is enjoying the kind of support that would spawn the desire for an election.

A new survey by Abacus Data suggests the Conservatives have an eight-point lead over the Liberals, down slightly since early December.

That poll said the Tories had the support of 35 per cent of decided voters, compared to the Liberals who have the support of 27 per cent. The online survey of 1,100 randomly selected voters was conducted between Jan. 21 and 24.

The numbers in the Abacus poll were echoed in a broader EKOS Research survey conducted between Jan. 13 and 26. It suggested the Conservatives have the support of 35.4 per cent of decided voters and the Liberals have the support of 27.9 per cent. The NDP were at 14.8 per cent, the Greens at 9.8 per cent and the Bloc at 9.7 per cent.

The random sample of 4,622 Canadians is expected to reflect the broad opinions of Canadians within 1.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

EKOS president Frank Graves said the results leave the outcome of a looming election very much in doubt. His numbers also suggest that Canadians are showing a moderate upswing of confidence in both the direction that the country and the government are taking. But, among those surveyed, it was Conservative supporters who were the most leery of an election.

The poll results come on the same day the Conservatives quietly killed the two attack ads they released just 24 hours prior that used clips of a speech by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff that were taken out of context. The internet links to the ads indicate the content has been "removed by the user."

The ads had been broadly condemned by Canadians of all stripes. Gerry Nicholls, the former head of the National Citizens Coalition, said they looked like they had been "dreamed up in about five seconds, by a bunch of drunken frat boys."

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