Early voting begins in Canada ahead of general election

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Stephen Harper's party currently holds a substantial lead in opinion polls

Related Stories

Early voting has begun in Canada, ahead of the 2 May election to select a new federal government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party holds a wide lead over rivals, recent polling suggests.

A Nanos Research survey of about 1,000 voters put the Conservatives on 37.8%, the Liberals on 26.7% and the New Democratic Party on 23.7%.

Mr Harper's minority government was forced into an election after a non-confidence vote in parliament.

The vote came after Mr Harper's government was found to be in contempt of parliament because of its failure to disclose the full costs of anti-crime programmes, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets from the US.

Mr Harper has told Canadian voters the Liberal Party, the largest opposition party, led by Michael Ignatieff, cannot be trusted to handle the economy.

Mr Ignatieff has accused Mr Harper of deceit, and also says that Canadians have no confidence in his ability to look after the nation's finances.

'Greater access'

More than 4,000 advance polling facilities are expected to be active across Canada from noon until 2000 local time in each district on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Elections Canada spokesperson Grace Lake told CTV that early polling was designed to give Canadians a more convenient option when they exercise their right to vote.

With the prospect of another minority government looming, record numbers of Canadians are expected to vote in the election.

A Canadian political party needs roughly 40% of the vote to win a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. Winning a majority is also possible if the gap between the front-runners is more than 10 percentage points.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.