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Support for Quebec independence from Canada continues to slip nearly a year after the narrow defeat of a sovereignty proposal in a referendum in the majority French-speaking province, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Leger & Leger poll, commissioned by the Globe and Mail and the Journal de Montreal newspapers, put federalists ahead of separatists by 51.2 to 48.8 percent when asked the same question as posed in the referendum.

This was a slight change from the 50.6 to 49.4 percent split in September and was within the margin of error. But it contrasted with consistent post-referendum leads for the separatists in every monthly Leger poll prior to September.

The poll found support for separation even weaker if a tougher question were posed than the one put to voters in the referendum -- in which voters were asked whether Quebec should become sovereign after having made an offer of political and economic partnership to Canada.

The poll surveyed 1,005 voters between Oct. 10 and 17 and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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