Canadians say PM should attend royal wedding: poll

30th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A majority of Canadians say Prime Minister Stephen Harper should interrupt his election campaign to attend Prince William's wedding in London, according to poll results released Tuesday.

The Abacus Data poll showed 59 percent of Canadians want the conservative leader to attend Britain's biggest royal wedding for 30 years, even if it's just days before the May 2 election.

Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, marries Kate Middleton on April 29 at Westminster Abbey in front of 1,900 guests.

Harper and his wife Laureen had accepted the wedding invitation but later canceled after the collapse of his minority government last Friday.

Opposition parties backed a vote of no-confidence in Harper's government, triggering Canada's fourth election in seven years.

"Unfortunately, due to the election campaign Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen are unable to attend the royal wedding," Harper spokeswoman Nina Chiarelli said in a statement to AFP.

"Both the Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper send their best wishes to the future newlyweds," the statement added.

Sixty-four percent of women surveyed said Harper should attend the wedding, compared to 55 percent of men.

Among voters under 30 years old, 67 percent support Harper attending.

Seventy-two percent of fellow conservatives said Harper should witness the historic event in London.

The poll of 1,000 people was conducted between March 24-28 and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

Canada will be represented at the wedding by Governor General David Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II's representative in Canada, and his wife Sharon.

The royal wedding is Britain's biggest since William's parents Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana married in 1981.

William and Kate are to visit Canada from June 30 to July 8 on their first official trip outside Britain as newlyweds.

© 2011 AFP

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