OTTAWA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Canada's ruling Conservatives would gain a majority if an election is held now, as a new poll put them19 percentage points ahead of major opposition the Liberals.
The poll, released by Ipsos Reid company Saturday, put Stephen Harper's Conservatives at 45 percent, compared with 26 percent for the Liberals. The New Democrats (NDP) had the backing of 12 percent.
Under Canada's first-past-the-post electoral system, a party needs around 40 percent of the popular vote to gain a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons.
The result came after the Liberals selected its new leader Michael Ignatieff, as the party prepares for a possible showdown with the Conservatives when the budget is tabled late January.
Ignatieff has said that if the budget is not in the best of the country's interest, the Liberals will topple the government, with the support of two other oppositions.
Harper's minority government was returned to power in Oct. 14 elections with 37.6 percent of the vote.