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Canada's Conservatives set for outright win

Canada's Conservatives set for outright win
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Voting has ended in the most unpredictable Canadian general election in years.

Although the poll appeared to be too close to call, provisional results place Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives on the verge of winning an outright majority.

An effective campaign has catapulted the left of centre New Democrats into its best ever position. Led by Jack Layton they appear to have displaced the Liberals as the second biggest party while still snapping at the Conservative’s heels.

In the process they seem to have taken the Quebec separatist vote, while stealing support from Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals who are languishing in third place.

However with most of the votes counted Harper and his Conservatives look to have got well above the 155 seats needed for an absolute majority.