A spending deal with a small left-wing party has boosted support for Canada's beleaguered Liberals, although results from two opinion polls published on Saturday would still lead to a minority government.
The Liberals, in power since 1993, are struggling to defend themselves against allegations of kickbacks and wasted tax dollars during a sponsorship campaign in the 1990s to win federal support in the French-speaking province of Quebec.
Facing a minority in Parliament and needing support from at least one other party to stay in power, they this week sealed a deal with the left-wing New Democratic Party that will delay planned corporate tax cuts and boost government spending in return for NDP support for the federal budget.
"The political alliance between federal Liberals and New Democrats is helping push Prime Minister Paul Martin's government onto the comeback trail," said the Toronto Star, which published an opinion poll by Ekos Research Associates.
"Overall, it seems that most of the dramatic trends witnessed at the beginning of April have now reversed."
The Ekos poll of 1,212 Canadian voters, showed that 32.5 percent backed the Liberals, compared with 30.5 percent for the opposition Conservatives and 19 percent for the Liberals' new political allies, the left-wing New Democratic Party.