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By David Akin, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

OTTAWA — A new poll says most Canadians think Prime Minister Stephen Harper should shelve his re-election campaign and get himself to Westminster Abbey next month for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which many believe will be the social event of the decade.

Harper and his wife Laureen received an invitation to the exclusive affair and accepted, but then had to cancel because of the federal election campaign.

The royals get hitched on April 29. The election campaign ends on May 2.

“Due to the election campaign, the prime minister will unfortunately not be able to attend the royal wedding,” Harper’s chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Tuesday. “The unfortunate reality is given that the three opposition parties have plunged the country into a reckless and opportunistic election, the prime minister will not be able to attend the wedding, but he does send his best wishes to the soon-to-be newlywed couple.”

The Tories may want to rethink that idea, particularly if they want a photo op that will impress the one group of voters — women — the Conservatives have had trouble winning over.

Abacus Data Inc. says 64% of the women they surveyed last week said Harper ought to go to the wedding. Overall, 59% of those surveyed said the Harpers should head to London.

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Good Decisions Require Good Data.