Canada Conservatives maintain slight lead – poll

* Neither of main parties could win election now: poll

* Opposition leader Ignatieff has poor personal ratings

OTTAWA, May 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Canada’s ruling Conservatives
are still slightly ahead of the main opposition Liberal Party,
but do not have enough support to win an election now,
according to a poll released on Tuesday.

The Harris-Decima survey for the Canadian Press put the
Conservatives at 32 percent popular support — up three points
from a poll by the same firm three weeks ago — while the
Liberals were up one point at 28 percent. The left-leaning New
Democrats were down three points at 17 percent.

The Conservatives and Liberals have been locked together
for much of the year, with neither party attracting enough
support to win even a stable minority government.

The Conservatives, who have been in power since early 2006,
won a strengthened minority in October 2008.

Their support has remained largely stable, despite a series
of controversies. Harris-Decima pollster Allan Gregg said one
reason could be the lackluster performance of Liberal leader
Michael Ignatieff, who has largely struggled since taking over
the party in December 2008.

The survey said 26 percent of Canadians had a positive
impression of Ignatieff while a full 52 percent had a negative
impression. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was viewed
unfavorably by 51 percent while 42 percent approved.

“Opposition leaders usually do not evoke strong negative
feelings, so it’s very unusual,” said Gregg. The Conservatives
portray Ignatieff — a former academic and broadcaster — as a
snob who is out of touch with ordinary voters.

The Harris-Decima survey of 2,007 adults was conducted from
May 6 to 16 and is considered accurate to within 2.2 percentage
points, 19 times in 20.
Investment Analysis

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

Canada Conservatives maintain slight lead – poll