Harper has said that since none of the three opposition parties support him, a new mandate is needed for the country to overcome its current economic challenges.

His plan to call an early election also appears to be a strategy to counter the possibility that the opposition parties could have brought down the government with a 'no confidence' motion in the next scheduled parliamentary session on September 15.

Minority government

Harper's party needs 28 seats to form a majority government in Canada's parliament.

Analysts say the Conservatives stand a better chance of winning an early election rather than risk a poll as the country's economy worsens.

The Conservatives currently hold 127 of the Parliament’s 308 seats, while the Liberals have 95. Bloc Quebecois is the third most powerful party with 48 seats.

Harper has said that the Conservatives stand little chance of winning a majority and has said that another minority government is the likely outcome of the next election.

Recent polls show the Conservatives leading among voters, with an Environics Research survey finding that 38 per cent of Canadians would vote for the Conservatives.

The same poll found that and that 28 per cent would vote for the Liberals.