The Conservatives have widened their lead over the Liberal Party, a new poll suggests, as federal election speculation continues.  

The EKOS poll, commissioned for the CBC and released Thursday, shows the Tories with 35.1 per cent support, followed by the Liberals with 29.9 per cent. The New Democratic Party followed with 16.5 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois with 9.6 per cent and the Green Party with 9 per cent.

The Conservative lead increased slightly from last week’s poll, which saw the Tories with 34.2 per cent of support and the Liberals with 30.8 per cent. The NDP rose from 14.8 per cent, the Bloc slipped from 10 per cent, and the Green Party slipped from 10.1 per cent.

Respondents were asked which party they would vote for if a federal election were held tomorrow.

Ontario continues to look like a tight race for the Conservatives and Liberals. As well, there appeared to be little change in Quebec, with the Bloc still on top with 39 per cent, followed by the Liberals (27 per cent) and the Tories (16 per cent).

The Liberals' vow to try to bring down the government at their first opportunity has fuelled election speculation. But the NDP said on Wednesday it will align itself with the Conservatives in order to pass a Tory plan to extend employment insurance for long-tenured workers — a move that could rule out an election in the near future.

The poll also found that party platform plays a major role in how many Canadians vote.

Around 42 per cent of those polled said that was the most important factor in determining which party they would vote for. Twenty-two per cent said party leader was the most important factor and 19 per cent placed most importance with the local candidate. About 19 per cent said none of the above.

The survey of 3,164 people was conducted by telephone between Sept. 9 and Sept. 15, 2009 and has an error margin of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Both landline and cellphone users were included.