Canadian Election Poll:

According to Saturday data from CPAC-SES Nightly Tracking Pollthe current Canadian national election race is "neck and neck. The Conservatives draw 34% and the governing Liberals have 32%. The further-left New Democratic Party attracts 17%, while the Bloc Quebecois is at 11%. The Greens are at 6%, and undecided is 17%.

The CPAC-SES polling shows strong regional differences. In "Atlantic Canada", the Liberals are very far ahead. The Bloq Quebecois has an enormous lead in Quebec.

"Western Canada" also has a clear favorite, the Conservatives, who lead by 16%.

The batteground is Ontario, where the Liberals and Conservaties each have 37%, while the NDP pulls 21%.

In national elections, Ontario has often delivered the key votes to put the Liberals over the top. Yet in provincial elections, Ontario has sometimes chosen conservative governments.

The NDP, while generally to the left of the Liberals on fiscal policy, is sometimes supportive of gun-owner rights. The Liberal leadership, although not all Liberal M.P.s, has been extremely hostile to the notion that gun owners even have "rights", and has promoted the view in U.N. fora that U.S.-style gun policies are a violation of international human rights law.

NDP leader Jack Layton told Saskatoon's The StarPhoenix: "We find that there's a broad agreement that (the registry) hasn't been well set-up. It's been totally mismanaged and many people agree that it's got to be fundamentally changed." The StarPhoenix writes that Layton "says the registry punishes people who own guns even if they have legitimate reasons." The paper also reports that Layton favors adding handguns to the controversial national registry. (Legally-owned Canadian handguns have been nationally registered since 1934, in their own registy.)

Layton continued: "The way it's [the long gun registry's] been set up, it leaves gun owners wondering if the federal government thinks that merely because they have a long gun they are criminal and that's not right."

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper argues for abolishing new registry of long guns, while increasing mandatory sentences for some gun crimes, and creating a new five-year mandatory minimum for breaking and entering with the intent to steal a gun.