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article imageCanadians cast their ballots today, polls show Conservative lead

By David Silverberg     May 2, 2011 in Politics
Today, Canadians will head to the polls to vote in a race between two parties many thought would not go head-to-head this year: the New Democrats is six points behind the leading Conservative Party, according to a recent Nanos Research poll.
Across the country, Canada is voting in an election called six weeks ago. Advance voting began a week ago.
The ruling Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is enjoying a first-place position according to recent polls. The NDP, led by Jack Layton, is in second while the Liberal Party (captained by Michael Ignatieff) slumped to third.
CTV News predicts a wholesale change in the alignment of Canadian political parties tomorrow: "If the Conservatives win another minority government but are unable to gain the confidence of the House of Commons, it's possible that the New Democrats and Liberals could join up and form an NDP-led coalition."
The Nanos polling group also studied party leaders during the campaign based on voter responses to questions of which leader they thought showed the most trustworthiness, competence and vision. As reported in the Globe & Mail, "Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton ended the campaign in a virtual dead heat, with Mr. Harper at 95.3 , Mr. Layton at 87.3 – double where he was at the beginning of the campaign – and Mr. Ignatieff languishing at 34.1."
Polls close today in Ontario at 9:30pm, Newfoundland at 8:30 p.m., and they close in B.C. at 7:00. During the gap, the Globe & Mail reports on an age-old Elections Canada rule "that no one can transmit election results to a province whose polls haven’t closed."
But in the age of social media, Elections Canada is practical about the difficulty of being able to enforce the law. "Spokesman John Enright emphasized its investigations are complaints-based only, and the Election Commissioner decides whether cases are worth investigating.
'He considers the public interest as to whether or not he’ll pursue the matter.'"
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