Stephen Harper
Stephen HarperReuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a staunch supporter of Israel, is facing the possibility of being unseated in an upcoming October election, The Toronto Star reports.

According to a new Forum Research poll released on Monday, the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada has surged to a double-digit lead in public support, gaining more distance over the other federal parties than they have at any time in the past two years.

About four in 10 Canadians surveyed (39 percent) said they would cast their ballot for the NDP if an election were held today.

Harper’s Conservatives fell from neck-and-neck status with the NDP last week to 28 percent of voter support Sunday, while the Liberals were steady at 25 percent.

Projected onto an enlarged 338-seat House of Commons, the survey results indicate the NDP would command a solid minority of 160 seats, 10 short of a majority.

The poll, conducted hours after Harper kicked off a marathon campaign for the October 19 election, reveals that the NDP, under Thomas Mulcair’s leadership, has turned its flagging fortunes around.

Last December, noted the Star, even though it was the official opposition, the NDP was a distant third, trailing with 17-percent support. The Liberals, under Justin Trudeau, were dominant at that point, with 41 percent.

The Liberals have since gone from a comfortable lead to a three-way tie for third place in the course of a year, poll results show, according to the report.

Harper continued to stand up for the Jewish state during last summer’s conflict in Gaza. The Canadian leader called on Canada’s allies and partners to recognize that Hamas’s terrorist acts “are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.”

He also blamed Hamas for the heavy loss of civilian life in Gaza during the fighting.