January 1, 2019

By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

As 2018 wraped up we asked Canadians to tell us how likely and how desirable a series of possible events would be in the coming year. Here’s what the results revealed:

HOPES FOR 2019

• Almost everyone hopes for a scientific or technological breakthrough that can accelerate progress in the fight against climate change (90%) and a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy (87%). We asked the question both ways, to see if there would be a difference in response and found only a 3-point gap. In Alberta, 87% would like to see a breakthrough in the fight against climate change and 76% would like to see a breakthrough that accelerates a shift from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy.

• 8 out of 10 Canadians hope 2019 sees Donald Trump leaving the office of President, including 70% in Alberta, and 67% of current CPC voters.

• Two out of three people hope that the year sees the renewal of construction on the TMX pipeline expansion. This includes 60% in BC, 87% in Alberta, 70% in Ontario, but just 41% in Quebec. 71% of Liberal voters and 49% of NDP voters would like to see construction on the pipeline this year.

• A majority, albeit a somewhat modest majority, would like to see the Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. In Ontario, 79% would like the Leafs to win, but neighboring Quebec finds only 41% share this hope.

• 42% would like to see more right-wing governments elected around the world, and 40% would like to see Andrew Scheer become Canada’s Prime Minister. In Alberta, 58% would like to see Mr. Scheer become PM.

• Only 39% would like to see 2019 be the year that Charles becomes King and only 3 in 10 would like to see Britain leave the EU. A majority (57%) of Conservatives would prefer not to see Brexit happen.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2019

• A majority (56%) believe TMX construction will happen and that Britain will leave the EU (55%).

• While 80% would like Mr. Trump out of office, 41% think it will happen. One in two people thinks there will be more right-wing governments elected around the world.

• 4 in 10 expect to see a scientific or technological breakthrough that helps speed the fight against climate change and 35% expect to see the same thing in terms of a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

• About one in three (35%) expect Mr. Scheer to become PM (76% of Conservative voters) and a similar number expect Charles to be crowned King.

• Only 28% expect the Leafs to break their 50-year drought this year. In Ontario, 65% do not believe this will happen.

UPSHOT

The results to these questions reinforce our findings throughout the last couple of years on energy and climate issues – people want progress in the fight against climate change and believe in the need for a shift to renewables – but they also want Canada to participate sensibly in the energy markets that exist today, including getting more Canadian oil to new customers.

The political rhetoric implies that large swaths of centrist, Liberal, BC or eastern voters are dug in against the TMX project but the reality in our polling tells a different story. A modest majority in Quebec are against the project, but everywhere else majorities support completing this pipeline. A majority of Liberal voters and half of NDP voters do as well.

For years we’ve also seen a belief that the biggest solutions to the climate and carbon challenges may be found in scientific and technological discoveries to come. This underpins support for policies that include pricing pollution but also incentivizing research into clean technologies.

The responses to the questions about Mr. Trump are remarkable – both in the unusual strength and consistency across partisan lines of antipathy to the US President and in the expectation among 4 in 10 that his Presidency will end sometime in the next 12 months.

Leaf fans may feel more supported by the hopes of other Canadians this year, but in any event, expectations appear to be modest. Hope may spring eternal, but Toronto fans aren’t getting ahead of themselves just yet.”

METHODOLOGY

Our survey was conducted online with 2,000 Canadians aged 18 and over from December 13 to 18, 2018. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are the only research and strategy firm that helps organizations respond to the disruptive risks and opportunities in a world where demographics and technology are changing more quickly than ever.

We are an innovative, fast-growing public opinion and marketing research consultancy. We use the latest technology, sound science, and deep experience to generate top-flight research-based advice to our clients. We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and exceptional value.

Contact us with any questions.

Find out more about how we can help your organization by downloading our corporate profile and service offering.

Good Decisions Require Good Data.