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(EKOS)

The resumption of Parliament last week hasn't given a significant boost to any of the federal political parties, according to new polling data from EKOS.

After a two-month break since Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament, politicians returned to work for last week's speech from the throne and the unveiling of the federal budget.

According to the EKOS poll, which was released exclusively to the CBC, the Conservatives continue to have a 2.3 percentage point lead over the Liberals, which they have sustained for five consecutive weeks.

The Conservatives had the support of 31.9 per cent of those polled, while the Liberals had the support of 29.6 per cent.

NDP support came in at 16 per cent. The Green Party drew 11 per cent support, while the Bloc Québécois had 9.1 per cent support.

Since the beginning of 2010, none of the parties has been able to sustain consistent support among one-third of voters, which shows that support continues to be weak for both the Conservatives and the Liberals.

The Conservatives' support slipped during the Afghan detainee issue and the prorogation of Parliament, but the Liberals were only able to a make a small gain from the Tories' decline. As in past weeks' polling, Conservative support continue to come primarily from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It is also stronger among men and Canadians aged 65 or older.

Liberal Party support comes mostly from Atlantic Canada and Ontario, but in both regions Liberal support is within the margin of error with the Conservative support. Liberal support also comes from those with university-level educations.

Moving in right, wrong direction?

Canadians continue to be split in their opinion about whether the government is moving in the right or wrong direction.

While 46 per cent feel that the government is moving in the right direction, another 44 per cent believe it is going in the wrong direction.

Those who think that the government is moving in the right direction tend to be Conservative supporters, those living in the West, men and Canadians older than 65.

Those who feel that the government is moving the in the wrong direction tend to be supporters of all other political parties, those in Quebec, and those with university-level education.

The results of the poll by EKOS are based on a telephone survey conducted between March 2 and 9. It involved 2,467 respondents. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.97 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.