OTTAWA — A new poll suggests Justin Trudeau's Liberal party has only a narrow lead over the Opposition Conservatives among decided voters.

The online survey from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found 33 per cent of decided voters who were polled intend to cast their ballot for the Liberals, while 30 per cent say they plan to vote for the Conservatives and 19 per cent for the NDP.

Leger executive vice-president Andrew Enns said those numbers suggest the Liberals would likely remain in government should Trudeau send Canadians to the polls, though it's still unclear whether they would be able to win a majority.

"These numbers put the Liberals in the driver's seat to form a government," he said.

"A majority government is still a bit of a question mark."

The poll suggests the Liberals hold a six-point lead over the Conservatives among decided voters in Ontario, but are in tight race with the Bloc Québécois in Quebec, and in a three-way race with the Conservatives and NDP in British Columbia.

The Liberals lead in Ontario with 37 per cent of voters intending to choose them, ahead of the Conservatives with 31 per cent and the NDP with 20 per cent.

The online survey of 1,518 adult Canadians was conducted from July 2-4. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random. Decided voters accounted for 1,246 of the total number of people polled.

The poll found that 42 per cent of total respondents say they are satisfied with the Trudeau government while 53 per cent say they are not.

New Leger poll show Liberals in slight lead over Conservatives. #cdnpoli

Enns said people were satisfied with the Canadian governments, including provincial governments, during the first few months of the pandemic, but that started changing last fall.

"Since the end of the summer of 2020, governments have taken some heat in terms of how they've been managing the pandemic," he said.

He said the federal government faced criticism over the initially slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year, but that has changed with vaccination rates going up rapidly.

The survey also found that only 22 per cent of total respondents said Trudeau is the federal party leader who would make the best prime minister of Canada, while 17 per cent chose NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and 16 per cent chose the Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole.

"Something that sometimes gets lost as a result of pandemic is that the federal Liberal government is entering well into its sixth year of being in office," said Enns. "For all governments there's a bit of a shelf life. For all for all leaders, all prime ministers, there's a bit of a shelf life."

The poll found 48 per cent of respondents say economic recovery is the most important issue to be debated during a potential election, while 19 per cent say it's rebuilding the health-care system and 13 per cent say its providing universal basic income for low-income Canadians. Twelve per cent said climate change and eight per cent said reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

"The pandemic has exposed some gaps in the health-care system that are going to require some action, which means money, resources, to address," he said.

"I think health care and climate change are still issues that are going to insert themselves in this campaign in some form or fashion."

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on July 6, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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