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Ignatieff gets small bump in leadership poll

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff steps off the campaign bus Saturday, April 30, 2011 in Paris, Ont.

Paul Chiasson/ The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson/ The Canadian Press

It may be a case of far too little and way too late, but Michael Ignatieff's leadership scores enjoyed a modest one-day improvement as the federal election campaign entered its final weekend, while those of both Stephen Harper and Jack Layton declined.

Nanos Research has been daily tracking voter attitudes toward the party leaders since the campaign began. Over the past five weeks, one-day results have had far less significance than trends over time.

But with the Liberals facing the prospect of serious losses and third-place status when voters go to the polls Monday, any sign that people might be reconsidering is welcome news for Mr. Ignatieff.

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His score among voters polled April 29 was 45. It had previously languished below 40.

Both Mr. Harper and Mr. Layton remain far ahead: Mr. Harper leads with a score of 95, having been 100 the day before, while Mr. Layton - whose score also dropped slightly- is close behind at 81.

So the gap between the two-front runners and the Liberal leader remains wide. But not quite as wide as it was.

The score is a compendium of voter responses to questions of which leader they prefer on matters of trust, competence and vision.

On the issues front, health care remains ahead as it has been through most of the campaign, but jobs and the economy is trending upward and has closed the gap to within four percentage points. About thirty per cent of Canadians identified health care as their most important concern, followed by jobs and the economy at 26 per cent.

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About the Author

John Ibbitson started at The Globe in 1999 and has been Queen's Park columnist and Ottawa political affairs correspondent.Most recently, he was a correspondent and columnist in Washington, where he wrote Open and Shut: Why America has Barack Obama and Canada has Stephen Harper. He returned to Ottawa as bureau chief in 2009. More

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