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Liberal MP Justin Trudeau announces he will seek the leadership of the party Tuesday, October 2, 2012 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Liberal Party of Canada enjoyed a bounce in its popularity after the once-dominant party kicked off a leadership race that has been a one-man show featuring MP Justin Trudeau, according to a new poll by Nanos Research Inc.

In a survey released Sunday, the three leading parties were tightly grouped, with the Liberals edging ahead of the New Democrats with 30.1 per cent of support compared to 27.9 per cent for the NDP. The Conservatives continued to hold down the top spot with 33.3 per cent.

The Liberals – who have embarked on a national rebuilding project – jumped 5.5 percentage points from their September showing, powered by strong gains in Ontario and British Columbia.

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The Nanos poll surveyed 1,000 Canadians by telephone between Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, and is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points.

Pollster Nik Nanos said the bump in the polls coincided with the emergence of the Montreal MP, who is a son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, as the prohibitive front-runner in the leadership race.

"I think what this shows is that the focus on the Liberal leadership race and the declaration of Justin Trudeau has been good, but it's been good in Ontario and British Columbia," Mr. Nanos said.

"It's quite interesting that Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau – two of the names bandied about a lot – are both based in Quebec, but the Quebec numbers have not changed for the Liberals."

In Quebec, the NDP – which is led by former provincial environment minister Thomas Mulcair – remains solidly in front with 35.7 per cent of support, followed by 25 per cent for the Liberals. The province has become an NDP stronghold after the party was propelled to official opposition status by electing 58 MPs there in the 2011 election.

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