Canadians are concerned proposed capital gains tax changes will impact access to physicians

From April 30 to May 1, Abacus Data conducted a public opinion survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 Canadian adults. The survey was commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association to assess public reaction to the federal budget which was released on April 16.

We find that Canadians are concerned about the impacts of the capital gains tax change on access to healthcare, particularly family physicians. The objectives of the survey were to:

  • Measure public perceptions about access to healthcare and primary care in Canada.
  • Gauge familiarity with the budget and reaction to the capital gains tax change proposal.
  • Assess perceived impact of these changes on the healthcare system in Canada.

Executive Summary

  • Awareness and Opposition to Capital Gains Tax Changes: Approximately 58% of Canadians are aware of the proposed capital gains tax changes in the recent federal budget, with only 1 in 4 feeling the changes are a good idea. Opposition is at 35% which suggests many Canadians remain open to a conversation on the proposal.
  • Potential Healthcare System Strain: The survey indicates a widespread belief that the capital gains tax changes would negatively impact the healthcare system, including increasing wait times for family physicians and possibly leading to fewer family physicians in practice.
  • Interest in Revising Proposed Changes: After being shown information on the compensation of physicians, including family physicians across Canada and the potential impacts of these changes, we find support for reversing or revising the changes for healthcare providers who run community-based clinics rises to 6 in 10 Canadians.

Capital Gains Tax Changes

When respondents are shown information on the capital gains tax and the changes put forward, about six in ten Canadians (58%) say they are very or somewhat aware of the capital gains tax changes proposed as part of the budget announcement on April 16. Older Canadians and those more familiar with the budget in general are most aware.

Initial reaction to the proposal is mixed. 24% of Canadians think the proposal is a good idea, 24% think it is an ok idea, while 35% are opposed, and 18% are unsure.

When asked which of three possible outcomes people would like most, 29% want the federal government to reverse the proposal entirely, 20% want to see an exemption for healthcare providers who run community-based medical clinics, and 20% want the proposed changes passed. 7% say they do not care either way and 24% are not sure what the government should do.

Note, this reaction is based on pre-existing views as the survey had not yet mentioned the position of physicians and the CMA on the tax changes.

Potential Healthcare System Strain

Respondents were then informed about the CMA’s position and concern about the impacts to physicians and healthcare.

The survey finds widespread belief that the tax changes would have negative impacts on the healthcare system and access to primary care providers and specialists. 54% to 64% of Canadians believe outcomes like longer wait lists for family physicians, fewer physicians becoming family physicians, or family physicians stepping away from their practice would definitely or probably happen.

Canadians are most concerned about the impacts on wait times, which are already a top issue. 29% say these changes will definitely result in longer wait lists for family physicians.

Only about 1 in 5 Canadians felt these outcomes are unlikely.

Interest in Revising Proposed Changes

After being provided additional context on the compensation and retirement model for physicians in Canada we re-asked questions on support/opposition for the proposed changes.

When we re-ask what the federal government should do with the proposal on capital gains taxes (after sharing additional context and information) – 33% want the proposal reversed and stopped entirely (up 4 percentage points from the initial asking), 28% want healthcare providers who run community-based clinics exempted (up 8 percentage points), while 16% want the proposal passed by Parliament (down 4 percentage points).

76% of Canadians with an opinion about the policy proposal said they would like to see government reverse the proposed tax change in some form, including exempt healthcare providers who run community-based clinics.

What This Means

Only a minority of Canadians would like to see the proposed capital gains tax changes move forward as is, as there are growing concerns about the impact on healthcare quality and access.

Our polling indicates a significant portion of the Canadian public is wary about the implications of this tax change on healthcare access and capacity. Healthcare remains one of the top issues in Canada, second to the cost of living and inflation, with access to care being one of the biggest challenges.

Many Canadians think fewer physicians, including family physicians, is a probable result of these changes and express concern about what this means for the healthcare system.

Access the full report HERE

La population canadienne craint que la proposition de modification de l’impôt sur les gains en capital nuise à l’accès aux médecins

Les 30 avril et 1er mai, Abacus Data a sondé l’opinion publique en questionnant un échantillon représentatif de 1 500 adultes dans tout le Canada. C’est l’Association médicale canadienne qui a commandé le sondage pour prendre le pouls de la population après le dépôt du budget fédéral le 16 avril dernier.

Les résultats montrent que le pays s’inquiète des conséquences que pourrait avoir un changement d’imposition des gains en capital sur l’accès aux soins de santé et, plus précisément, à un médecin de famille. La visée du sondage était triple :

  • Mesurer la perception du public quant à l’accessibilité des soins de santé et des soins primaires au Canada.
  • Jauger le degré de familiarité de la population avec le budget ainsi que sa réaction à la mesure fiscale proposée.
  • Apprécier la perception générale de l’incidence de cette mesure sur le système de santé canadien.

En bref

  • Sensibilisation et opposition aux modifications de l’impôt sur les gains en capital : Environ 58 % de la population a connaissance des modifications proposées à l’impôt sur les gains en capital dans le dernier budget fédéral, et une personne sur quatre estime qu’il s’agit d’une bonne idée. En ce qui concerne l’opposition, on se situe à 35 %, ce qui porte à croire que la population reste ouverte à ce que la proposition soit rediscutée.
  • Constriction possible du système de santé : Selon les résultats, l’opinion largement répandue est que le système de santé sera mis à mal par ces modifications avec, entre autres, des temps d’attente plus longs pour avoir accès à un médecin de famille et, ultimement, une possible baisse du nombre de médecins de famille en activité.
  • Intérêt à l’égard d’une révision de la proposition : Une fois les personnes interrogées mieux renseignées sur la rémunération des médecins – y compris des médecins de famille partout au Canada – et sur les conséquences éventuelles de la proposition, nous avons constaté que l’idée d’une annulation ou d’une révision des modifications pour les prestataires de soins de santé à la tête d’une clinique communautaire trouvait alors appui chez six personnes sur dix.

Modification de l’impôt sur les gains en capital

Une fois mieux renseignées sur l’imposition des gains en capital et les modifications proposées, environ six personnes sur dix (58 %) ont déclaré être très bien ou quelque peu au fait de la mesure annoncée avec le budget le 16 avril. Les personnes âgées et les personnes généralement plus familières avec le budget sont les plus avisées.

La réaction initiale est partagée : 24 % des personnes interrogées pensent que la proposition est une bonne idée, et 24 %, une idée correcte, tandis que 35 % s’y opposent et que 18 % sont hésitantes.

Concernant l’issue souhaitée, nous avons proposé trois éventualités aux personnes interrogées : 29 % d’entre elles aimeraient que le gouvernement fédéral revienne entièrement sur sa proposition, 20 %, qu’une exemption s’applique pour les cliniques communautaires, et 20 %, que les modifications soient adoptées. Les personnes ayant déclaré être indifférentes à l’issue de la situation représentent 7 %, et celles incertaines de ce que devrait faire le gouvernement, 24 %.

À noter que cette réaction s’appuie sur les opinions préexistantes des personnes interrogées, puisque la position des médecins et celle de l’AMC ne leur avaient pas encore été communiquées.

Constriction possible du système de santé

Nous avons ensuite informé les personnes interrogées de la position et de la réserve de l’AMC concernant l’incidence des modifications sur les médecins et les soins de santé.

Selon les résultats, l’opinion largement répandue est que le système de santé et l’accès aux prestataires de soins primaires et aux spécialistes seront mis à mal par les modifications fiscales. De 54 % à 64 % de la population pense qu’il est certain ou probable que les modifications auront des conséquences : listes d’attente plus longues pour un médecin de famille, diminution du nombre de médecins qui opteront pour la médecine familiale et départ des médecins de famille qui exercent la médecine en cabinet.

Ce sont surtout les délais d’attente – un enjeu déjà majeur – qui préoccupent les gens, dont 29 % affirment que la mesure proposée se traduira assurément par une attente plus longue pour consulter un médecin de famille.

Seulement environ une personne sur cinq pense que ce scénario est improbable.

Intérêt à l’égard d’une révision de la proposition

Nous avons fourni aux personnes interrogées davantage de contexte sur le modèle de rémunération et de retraite des médecins au Canada, puis les avons à nouveau questionnées sur leur appui ou leur opposition aux modifications proposées.

Lorsque réinterrogées (et mieux informées), 33 % des personnes souhaitent que la proposition soit révisée ou entièrement supprimée (une hausse de quatre points de pourcentage), 28 %, que les cliniques communautaires en soient exemptées (une hausse de huit points), et 16 %, que le Parlement adopte la proposition (une baisse de quatre points).

Parmi les personnes ayant un avis sur la question, 76 % ont déclaré vouloir que le gouvernement revienne de quelque façon sur sa proposition, notamment en exemptant les prestataires de soins de santé des cliniques communautaires.

En conclusion

Seule une faible partie de la population canadienne souhaite voir la proposition de modification de l’impôt sur les gains en capital être adoptée dans sa forme actuelle, car les possibles conséquences sur la qualité et la disponibilité des soins de santé préoccupent de plus en plus la population.

D’après notre sondage, la majorité appréhende les implications d’une telle mesure sur l’accessibilité et la capacité du système de santé. Notons que, derrière le coût de la vie et l’inflation, la question des soins de santé, et surtout de l’accès aux soins, reste l’un des plus grands enjeux au Canada.

De nombreuses personnes penchent vers la probabilité qu’une diminution du nombre de médecins, dont les médecins de famille, résulte de ces modifications et se préoccupent des répercussions sur le système de santé.

Access the full report HERE

Methodology

The survey was conducted with a representative sample of n=1,500 adult Canadians.  May 6 to 8, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 BC’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This survey was paid for by the CMA.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

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.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

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

As BC United collapses, NDP now has a fight on its hands – The Writ

Now, Premier David Eby and the NDP is one bad campaign away from going down to defeat as the B.C. Conservatives take advantage of the collapse of B.C. … Source: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.thewrit.ca/p/as-bc-united-collapses-ndp-now-has&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjc1Y2Q2YWMwOGE3YWEyZTk6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AOvVaw2O8EDxIl6a1Gk9as6jD4h6

Ford's Tories dip slightly but still lead Liberals and NDP, survey shows – Toronto Star

But the Abacus monthly tracking survey for the Star, shows the number of undecided voters has shot up. Source: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/fords-tories-dip-slightly-but-still-lead-liberals-and-ndp-survey-shows/article_214e29b0-1768-11ef-b102-1f4c325224e2.html&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjc1Y2Q2YWMwOGE3YWEyZTk6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AOvVaw31ltW3O5EYsAfkIZzK_3k0

Abacus Data Ontario Poll: Ford PCs lead by 13 over Crombie Liberals

From May 10 to 15, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a survey of 1,000 eligible voters in Ontario exploring several topics as part of our regular national omnibus surveys.

Every month, with our media partner the Toronto Star, we track how Ontarians are feeling about their political choices and add new topics based on current events and discussions. In this edition of the survey, we continue to explore impressions of party leaders and perceptions about Doug Ford’s government along with our usual trackers.

Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs continue to lead over Bonnie Crombie’s Ontario Liberals, by 13 percentage points (2 points down from our last survey).

If an election were held today, 39% of committed voters in Ontario would vote PC. The Ontario Liberals are at 26%, with the Ontario NDP closely behind at 22%, and the Greens at 9%.  

These results are consistent with our survey last month and changes are within the margin of error of the survey. But we do see an increase in those who are undecided. 28% of respondents are undecided, up 7 points from last month.

Our data also reflect federal vote intentions in Ontario. For the Ontario PC and Liberals, support for the federal Conservatives and Liberals is slightly higher than their own. In contrast, the Ontario NDP and Greens poll slightly higher than their federal counterparts.

Regionally, the Ontario PCs are also ahead across the province. They lead by 12 points in Toronto, 20 in the GTHA, 13 in southwestern Ontario, and 14 in eastern Ontario.

Interestingly, the rise in support for PCs in eastern Ontario last month seems to have been short-lived. Support for the PCs in the region went down 10 points since last April, while the Ontario Liberals gained ground (rising by 8 points).

The Ontario PCs also lead in almost all demographic groups. They are well ahead among men (at 46%) and among those 30 to 44 and 60 and over. Among women, however, the PCs and Liberals are in a tight race, with Liberals leading over the PCs by 1 point. Last April, PCs were 7 points ahead the Liberals in this demographic.

The slight drop in support for the Ontario PCs is also reflected in party leader impressions. 31% have a positive view of Premier Ford, with a net score of -8. This represents a 1-point drop since last month.

In contrast, impressions of Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner have improved. NDP leader Marit Stiles has a net score of +6 (up 5 points from last month) and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner has a net score of +5 (up 8 points). Ontario Liberal Party leader, Bonnie Crombie, enjoys about equal positive and negative views.

When asked specifically about Ford’s government, approval of the government’s performance is largely unchanged, while 39% disapprove. Overall, this still represents a small improvement for the Ford government.

The Upshot

Since our last survey, little has changed across the province, as the Ontario PCs lead over the Liberals and the NDP, and Premier Ford remains relatively popular. In fact, disapproval for the Ford government went down 4 points since last month, to the lowest point since June 2023.

The small surge in support for the PCs in eastern Ontario, which may have reflected the announcement of a deal with the City of Ottawa, did not last. The PCs saw a 10-point drop, benefitting the Liberals, whose support improved by 8 points. Time will tell if the Liberals can hold on to this change, as well as among women, where the PCs also lost ground to the Liberals.

For Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles and Ontario Green leader Mike Schreiner, while perceptions have improved, these did not have an effect on vote intentions.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted with 1,000 eligible voters living in British Columbia from May 6 to 8, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched BC’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

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.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

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

Federal Conservatives lead by 18 in British Columbia

From May 6 to 9, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a survey of 1,000 eligible voters in British Columbia exploring their views on federal politics and government as part of a larger survey. A few days ago we released results on views towards provincial politics.

The federal Conservatives lead by a significant margin in British Columbia. The Conservative Party has the support of 44% of committed voters, 18 points ahead of the NDP, in second place, and 26 points ahead the Liberal Party, in third place. The Greens placed in fourth with 8% of committed voters. In comparison with the 2021 election results this represents an 11-point gain for the Conservatives, a 3-point gain for both the NDP and the Greens, and a 9-point drop for the Liberals.

Among those who identified as Liberal voters in the 2021 election and were asked about their current voting intentions, 62% expressed that they would vote for the Liberal party again if the election were held at the time of the survey. In contrast, 95% of those who identified as Conservative voters expressed their intent to vote for the Conservative Party again, while 78% of self-identified NDP supporters stated they would do the same.

The Conservatives also lead in both Metro Vancouver and Interior/Northern BC, with the support of 46% in both regions. In Vancouver Island, the NDP is slightly ahead of the Conservatives by 2 points, and well ahead of the Liberals by 25 points.

Demographically, the Conservatives are well ahead among men, with 50%. This lead, however, shrinks among women where the support for the Conservatives is only 8 points ahead of the NDP (compared to the 28-point difference among men), and where Liberals are only 7 points ahead of the Greens.

The Conservatives lead across all age groups in BC. They have a 12-point lead among those 18 to 29, a 16-point lead among 30 to 44 year olds, a 17-point lead among 45 to 59 year olds and a 28-point lead among those aged 60+.

Leader impressions: An unpopular Prime Minister

Support for the Conservatives likely reflects the unpopularity of Prime Minister and Liberal Party Leader, Justin Trudeau. When asked for party leader impressions, Prime Minister Trudeau is by far the most unpopular leader. Among British Columbians, 55% have a negative impression and, conversely, only 22% have a positive impression (the lowest percentage among party leaders), for a net score of -33. This mirrors the latest national average, where 58% have a negative impression of the Prime Minister (for a net score of -34).

In comparison, both the NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and the Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre have about equal numbers viewing them favourably and unfavourably. Among British Columbians, 37% have a positive impression of both party leaders, while 30% have a negative impression of NDP Jagmeet Singh and 32% have a negative impression of Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre. Notably, Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, enjoys mostly neutral impressions and about equal positive and negative views.

Overall, Jagmeet Singh is the most popular party leader with a net score of +7 while Pierre Poilievre’s is +5. Elizabeth May, who represents a B.C. district, is at +4.

Regionally, negative impressions of Prime Minister Trudeau worsen in Interior/Northern BC, where the Prime Minister is by far the least popular leader with a net score of -40 (60% hold negative views), 6 points below the national average. Similarly in Metro Vancouver and in Vancouver Island, Prime Minister Trudeau has a net score of -34 and -23, respectively.

For reference, both NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre have a net score of +2 (31% hold negative views) in Interior/Northern BC. In Metro Vancouver, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre is the most popular leader with a net score of +10, while NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is the most popular party leader in Vancouver Island, where he has a net score of +16.

The unpopularity of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is perhaps most noticeable in the accessible voter pool for the Liberals. When we ask people if they would consider voting for each of the main political parties, 53% say they are open to voting for the Conservatives, 39% for the Liberals, and 51% for the NDP. The Conservatives and the NDP have about equally sized accessible voter pools

For the Liberals the pool of accessible voters is not only smaller than for the Conservatives and the NDP, but 61% of people surveyed said they would not consider voting for the Liberals. This represents the smallest pool of accessible voters for the three major parties, and only 2 points larger than that of the Greens.

The Upshot

The federal Conservatives are in a strong position, leading in all groups in British Columbia, and mirroring the general popularity of the party across Canada. This is also positive news for the Conservatives in British Columbia, where the party lost 4 seats in the 2021 federal election.

For the NDP, our data show a mixed bag. Among most groups, with the exception of those on Vancouver Island, the NDP trails behind the Conservatives by considerable margins. Across the province support for the NDP is 18-points behind the Conservatives. Impressions of the NDP leader, however, are generally positive. Our latest survey in BC provincial politics found a similar mixed bag, as the NDP remains ahead – and Premier Eby has a net favourable impression – but in a tighter race with the BC Conservatives.

Finally, for the Liberals, who were able to capture the most seats in British Columbia in the 2021 federal election, the results of our latest survey show the party in a challenging position and may be heading to a result more similar to what the party got prior to the Paul Martin years. The Liberals trail behind the NDP among young British Columbians, a key demographic, and among residents of Metro Vancouver, where the Conservatives had previously struggled to find support. Impressions of the Prime Minister are also overly negative, as the Liberals’ accessible voter pool falls below 50%.

Methodology

The survey was conducted with 1,000 eligible voters living in British Columbia from May 6 to 8, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched BC’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

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.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

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

BC NDP leads by 6 over the BC Conservatives as the gap closes from 18 to 6-points

From May 6 to 9, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a survey of 1,000 eligible voters in British Columbia exploring their views on provincial politics and government. This survey was a standalone survey in which questions about provincial politics came before any questions about federal politics. Stay tuned for results on the federal political questions.

If an election was held at the time of the survey, the BC NDP would likely win another majority government although the 18-point lead we measured in November of 2023 has closed to six points over the BC Conservatives.

The BC NDP has the support of 40% of committed voters, a four point drop from November. The BC Conservatives are second with 34%, up 8 while the official opposition BC United is at 13%, down 4. The BC Greens are at 10%, up one from our earlier survey.

Regionally, the BC NDP is ahead by 6-points in Metro Vancouver, by 15-points on Vancouver Island, and statistically tied with the BC Conservatives in the Interior and North.

Interestingly, the BC NDP is ahead by 15 points among those aged 45 and over, is tied with the BC Conservatives among those aged 30 to 44, and trail the BC Conservatives by 7 among those under 30.

The BC NDP leads by 11 among women (42% to 31% for the BC Conservatives) and a marginal 2-points among men (39% to 37% for the BC Conservatives).

Why is the NDP and Premier David Eby in such a dominant position?

British Columbians are generally more optimistic about the direction of their province than Canadians in other provinces. In our survey, 31% of British Columbians feel the province is headed in the right direction which is 6-points higher than how Canadians feel about their own country.

When asked about economic conditions in the province, 16% describe the economy as excellent or good, 33% describe it as acceptable, while 51% describe it as poor or terrible. There is a strong correlation between perceptions about the economy and vote intention. NDP supporters are far more likely to feel positive about the economy than those supporting the Conservative Party.

When we ask about incomes relative to the cost of living, we find widespread concern about incomes keeping up with the cost of living. 65% of British Columbians report their incomes falling behind the cost of living. There is little difference in views between those voting NDP or Conservative.

In terms of leader impressions, Premier Eby is by far the most popular provincial party leader. 40% have a positive impression (up 1 from November) while 27% have a negative view (up 2). In comparison, BC United Leader Kevin Falcon is net -15 with 19% positive and 34% negative. BC Greens Leader Sonia Furstenau is +2 with 24% positive and 22% negative while BC Conservative Leader John Rustad is -3 with 25% positive (unchanged from November) and 29% negative (up 2 from November). Despite a significant increase in support, BC Conservative Leader John Rustad’s personal image has not change much since the end of last year.

When we ask people to rate the three issues facing the province, the cost of living, housing, and healthcare are the top three issues. And they are the top three issues for all party supporters.

However, NDP supporters are more likely to rate housing, healthcare, and climate change as a top issue while Conservative supporters are more likely to rate the cost of living, drug addiction, taxes, and the economy as a top issue.

To anticipate how the ballot question in October might impact vote intentions, we cross vote intention by top issue.

The NDP has a big lead among those who rate housing, healthcare, reducing poverty, and climate change as a top issue. The Conservatives lead among those who rate taxes, the economy, and drug addiction as a top issue.

The NDP and Conservatives are statistically tied among those who rate the cost of living as a top issue.

Finally, when assess the desire for change among the electorate, we find that 47% of British Columbians definitely want a change in government. Another 21% say they want change but it’s not that important to them. In contrast, 20% say they definitely want to see Premier Eby and the BC NDP re-elected while another 12% want the government re-elected but say it’s not that important to them.

When we compare these results to the final weeks of the 2022 Ontario election, the 2021 federal election, and the 2015 federal election, we find the intense desire for change is somewhat lower than in Ontario, and substantially lower than in the 2015 federal election. In fact, the results almost mirror the results in the 2022 Ontario provincial election – an election in which Doug Ford and the PC Party were easily re-elected.

The Upshot

According to Abacus Data founder, Chair & CEO, David Coletto: Since November, we find a substantially shift in vote intentions. NDP support is down slightly while the BC Conservatives gave gained 8-points. The NDP is still ahead, but it’s a much tighter margin.

The NDP remains in a strong position, despite widespread concern about the cost of living and the direction of the province. Premier Eby has a net favourable impression – rare among incumbents in Canada right now and the NDP is seen as the best party to handle healthcare, housing, and poverty and it is tied with the Conservatives on the most salient issue – the cost of living. The NDP also has more support among older voters who are also more likely to vote.

The BC Conservatives have likely benefited from both the popularity of the federal Conservatives and also the difficult economic situation. But it’s leader John Rustad is no more known than he was at the end of last year. This lack of familiar is both a weakness and an opportunity.

BC United and Kevin Falcon continue to drop support and are now well back in third place and Mr. Falcon is the most unpopular leader in the province.

What looked like an easy NDP victory at the end of last year now looks more uncertain now.

Methodology

The survey was conducted with 1,000 eligible voters living in British Columbia from May 6 to 8, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched BC’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

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.

We were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in 2019.

Contact us with any questions.

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

9 in 10 Canadians have seen misinformation on health and health care, and most think that is here to stay.

As we continue health month, we would be remis if we didn’t explore Canadians’ relationship with health care news and media. Last fall we worked with the Canadian Medical Association on the launch of the CMA Health & Media Annual Tracking Survey to explore the health news media ecosystem in Canada. Below are some of our findings from the study.

The following data is from a survey commissioned by the CMA and conducted by Abacus in September 2023. The survey was conducted online with n=2,500 Canadians 18+ (including an oversample of Gen Z). The full report can be found here.

Health information is one of the most frequently accessed types of news in Canada. Nearly all Canadians say they see content or information about health or the health care system in Canadian news at least occasionally.

Canadians are also quite interested in consuming news about health and wellness. Aside from local news it’s one of the most sought-after topics of content when scrolling on phones or watching the news. Unlike other topics, interest in health and wellness is strong across all generations.  

Perhaps then unsurprising that so many Canadians say they frequently encounter misinformation in health news. Nearly all Canadians say they’ve seen health misinformation- with the majority saying they consume health misinformation occasionally.

And the more health information you consume, the more frequently you encounter misinformation related to health and health care news. 

Encountering misinformation isn’t avoidable- Canadians believe there is an abundance of misinformation on health and health care. In fact, three quarters of Canadians say there are equal amounts of accurate and inaccurate health-related information online. This could include inaccurate stories about health care experiences or inaccurate information about symptoms or treatments.

Based on some analyses of content online, Canadians aren’t too far off in their estimates. According to several studies, the volume of misinformation varies from 20-60% on a number of health topics.

Beyond the obvious, health and health care misinformation has several negative consequences. 4 in 10 Canadians (40%) say they’ve experienced mental distress or increased anxiety from health-related misinformation. One in three (35%) have delayed seeking appropriate medical care or treatment. Over a quarter (29%) have avoided effective treatments due to misinformation.

Given the volume and prevalence of misinformation- most Canadians feel inaccurate content about health and health care is here to stay.

In this environment, the presence of misinformation becomes a problem when Canadians are not able to determine what is true and what is false. Solving the problem requires equipping the public with skills to navigate this environment.

Most Canadians feel they are already doing a good job at navigating health related misinformation. 59% say it is easy for them to determine whether health related information is true or false, another third say it is difficult.  

Younger Canadians (Gen Z especially) who’ve spent more time online practicing their misinformation skills are the most confident in their ability to determine fact or fiction.

Continually equipping Canadians with skills to properly decipher health and health care information will be important going forward.

One thing helping Canadians navigate towards reliable information is access to the right sources. By a large margin, the biggest signal Canadians use to determine accuracy is the content’s author. This is more important than where they accessed the information, frequency of mentions, and how many views the content has, combined.  

And when it comes to which authors to trust, health care professionals (physicians especially) are the most trusted authors of accurate information related to health and the health care system, followed by those in the wider medical community, like government health and health care organizations, associations, academics, and hospitals.

THE UPSHOT

Ensuring Canadians have access to content they trust will be critical to navigating an environment with a great deal of misinformation. As most predict the volume of misinformation to grow, Canadians will be looking to strengthen their access to reliable content and turning to the sources they trust to determine what information they can rely on. Building and maintaining access to some of the most trusted authors of health-related information will be an important part of the solution. We’re excited to partner with the Canadian Medical Association to work on tracking this environment year-over-year to keep a pulse on this ever-changing environment.

METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted online with 2,500 Canadians (including oversample of Gen Z) from Sept. 19-26, 2023.

  • Gen Z (18- to 26-year-olds)
    • Millennials (27- to 43-year-olds)
    • Gen X (44- to 58-year-olds)
    • Boomers (59- to 75-year-olds)

The survey was fielded in both official languages.  The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 1.96%, 19 times out of 20.

The data was weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population.

Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

For context, during the survey some major news stories were:

  • Growing tensions between Canada and India
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing Canadian Parliament
    • A focus on health care during the provincial election in Manitoba
    • Lingering concerns following the e.coli outbreak in Alberta daycares

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

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.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

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

Abacus Data Poll: Conservatives lead by 21 as the budget fails to change opinions

From April 25 to 29, 2024 Abacus Data conducted a national survey of 1,500 adults exploring several topics related to Canadian politics and current events as part of our regular national omnibus surveys.

In this edition of our Canadian politics tracking, we report on our usual metrics along with a deep dive to assess what, if any, impact the federal budget had on political opinions.

This survey was conducted entirely after the federal budget was released on Tuesday April 16 and is different from other polls in that it measures impact a week or more after Canadians had time to be exposed to and assess the budget.

The key takeaways from this survey are:

1- There has been no movement in the polls in favour of the Liberals over a week after the federal budget was announced.

2- Younger Canadians familiar with the budget are more likely to say their impression of the government improved as a result of the budget, but this has yet to materialize in any real change in vote intention or impressions of the Prime Minister or the federal government.

3- The Conservatives now have the largest lead we have ever measured for them at 21% and lead in every region of the country (except for Quebec where they are tied for second with the Liberals) and across all demographic groups.

4- The two things most remembered about the budget was its focus on housing and the proposed changes to the capital gain tax.

Vote Intention: Conservatives lead by 20 over the Liberals

If an election were held today, 44% of committed voters would vote Conservatives with the Liberals at 23%, the NDP at 17% and the Greens at 4%. The BQ is at 33% in Quebec.

There has been no significant change in any of the party vote shares since our latest survey, but at 21-points, this Conservative lead represents the largest we have ever measured for the party.

Regionally, the Conservatives are well ahead in the Prairies, lead by 19 in BC and 19 in Ontario. In Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives are 21-points ahead of the Liberals while in Quebec, the BQ is slightly ahead with the Conservatives and Liberals tied for second at 28%.

Learn about the game-changing tool from the Abacus Data team that makes it possible to estimate polling results to the riding level for improve advocacy and government relations.

Demographically, the Conservatives lead among all age groups still. For the Liberals, there has been no real change in vote across any age group, specifically among younger Canadians – a key audience for the recent pre-budget announcements. More on this below.

Although there has been no change in voting intentions, we do see a big shift in the accessible voter pool for the Liberals. When we ask people if they would consider voting for each of the main political parties, 53% say they are open to voting Conservative (unchanged from last week) and 37% are open to voting Liberal (down 4 from two weeks ago) while 40% are open to voting for the NDP. The NDP now has a larger accessible voter pool than the Liberals.

No major shifts in other metrics.

Beyond vote intention, the budget and events since have not had any impact on other perceptions and impressions related to Canadian politics.

There has been no shift in perceptions about the direction of the country. The federal government’s approval rating has become slightly worse. And there’s been no shift in those who feel it’s time for a change in government although those who want change and don’t think there’s a good alternative is down to 29%, the lowest we’ve measured it. This suggest more polarization on the change vs. re-elect opinion.

Impressions of Justin Trudeau are static. 58% have a negative impression of the Prime Minister and 24% have a positive view for a net score of -34.

In contrast, impressions of Pierre Poilievre has seen a slight improvement in his image with 40% viewing him positively and 34% negative for a net score of +6.

Feelings about NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have worsened slightly since the last survey. Today 31% have a negative impression compared with 35% who have a positive one for a net score of -4.

We also ask people whether their impression of each leader is getting better or worse over the past few weeks. Given the budget announcements were happening while this poll was in field, this is a good measure to capture whether any positive momentum was being generated by the announcements.

Overall, nothing has really changed from our last survey suggest the budget has had no impact on anything.

Find out more about the The Three Threads and how the Abacus Data team looks
at polling for public affairs and advocacy.

Best Prime Minister and Expected Winner

For the first time in our tracking, we asked Canadians who they would prefer to be Prime Minister. Pierre Poilievre leads Justin Trudeau by 20-points and leads in every region or province in the country, including in Quebec.

Almost half of Canadians continue to expect the Conservatives to win the next federal election. Those thinking the Liberals will win is down 3 from March.

Top Issues and the Party Best Able to Handle Them

The issue landscape is very much what it was earlier this year. The cost of living, housing, and healthcare at the top issues followed by the economy, immigration, and climate change and the environment. There has been no notable shift in issue salience since February.

When we ask those who selected an issue as a priority which party they think is best able to handle that issue, we find the Conservatives well ahead on the cost of living, housing, the economy, and immigration. The NDP is ahead on inequality and poverty, while the Liberals lead on climate and the environment. The three parties are tied on healthcare.

Since February, the Liberals have seen modest improvements on healthcare, housing, and inequality but the Conservatives have gained as much or more on the same issues. The NDP has seen drops in all of the issues.

Deep Dive on the Federal Budget

4 in 5 Canadians said they heard something about the budget with about 4 in 10 saying they are at least somewhat familiar with it. Younger Canadians, of note, report being more familiar but also more likely to have heard nothing about it.

In an open-ended question, we asked those familiar with the budget to share one thing they remember about it. Housing and the capital gains tax were the two most cited items, by far. This budget was very much defined by efforts to improve housing and the change to the capital gains tax.

When we ask people whether the budget would have a positive or negative impact on several areas, the general perception was negative. Only about 1 in 5 Canadians thought the budget would have a positive impact on economic growth and housing while half or more those it would have a negative impact on the cost of living, taxes they pay, or government debt.

The results are slightly more positive among Canadians aged 18 to 44 who were familiar with the budget.

Finally, when we ask Canadians where the budget leaves them with a more positive or more negative impression of the government overall, 25% report more positive feelings, 54% report more negative ones, while 20% say the budget had no impact on their views.

Of note, younger Canadians familiar with the budget were far more likely to say it left them feeling good about the budget than older Canadians. But this view was not overwhelmingly positive.

KEY INSIGHT:

Among Canadians aged 18 to 44 who were familiar with the budget and said it made them feel better about the government overall, 50% would vote Liberal today, 25% Conservative, and 14% NDP. 6% are undecided. This is some evidence that if more younger Canadians become familiar with the budget, it could increase support for the Liberals. But the impact is quite small since more still say the budget has made their view of the government worse

One way we can better assess the impact of this budget is to compare these results with a similar survey we conducted back in 2021 following that year’s federal budget.

What’s clear from the comparison is that more Canadians are familiar with Budget 2024 than they were in 2021 but the react is far more negative. This is almost entirely because of how people feel about the government overall today. In April 2021, 41% of Canadians approved of the federal government’s job performance and Justin Trudeau’s net favourable rating was -5. Today, the comparable measures are 25% and -34.

When we isolate Canadians aged 18 to 44, the results are very similar. Familiar with the budget is somewhat higher today than in 2021 – remember the 2021 budget was all about childcare so younger audiences were the target then too.

One final comparison to assess the effect of the budget and the weeks of pre-budget announcements. Remember, Trudeau started announcing measures on Easter Monday, more than two weeks before the budget was formally announced.

In the table below, I report results of four key metrics – Liberal vote share, Liberal accessible voter pool size, federal government net approval, and Trudeau’s net impression score.

Compared with March 20, the last survey we did before the budget announcements started, the Liberal vote share overall is unchanged and is unchanged among Gen Z and Millennials. The Liberal voter pool is 4-points smaller overall and 6-points smaller among Gen Z and Millennials. The government’s net approval rating is slightly worse off and Justin Trudeau’s net impression is unchanged overall and down slightly among Gen Z and Millennials.

Based on this – with almost two weeks to digest the budget – there has been no improvement in how Canadians feel about the government or the Prime Minister and the Liberals remain 21-points back of the Liberals.

The Upshot

According to Abacus Data CEO David Coletto: “The results from our latest survey clearly illustrate the challenging position the Liberal Party and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau find themselves in following the federal budget. Despite attempts to sway public opinion, there has been no discernible improvement in their poll numbers, with the party stuck in a deep hole not seen since before 2015.

Despite concerted efforts to frame the recent federal budget around generational fairness, aimed at garnering support among younger Canadians, the anticipated shift in sentiment has not materialized (yet?). Our data shows that while younger Canadians who are familiar with the budget did indeed respond more positively compared to their older counterparts, this has not translated into any discernible change in support for the party or its leader among these critical cohorts.

As Trudeau’s approval ratings continue to stagnate, Pierre Poilievre has emerged as a more popular figure, his favorability growing as the Liberal leader’s wanes. This shifting dynamic presents a formidable challenge for the Liberals, who are now grappling with the reality of a deeply entrenched negative perception. The challenge for Trudeau is immense, as reversing these sentiments appears increasingly difficult amidst growing dissatisfaction. The stark contrast in the trajectory of the Liberals compared to the rising Conservatives underscores a significant realignment in Canadian politics, one marked by a major shift in how younger generations view their political choices at the moment.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from April 25 to 29, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 +/- 2.6%, 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.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

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.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

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

Bridging the Gap: Addressing Healthcare Confidence and Accessibility in Canada 

From April 11 to 16, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a nationwide survey involving 2,302 Canadians aged 18 and above to explore their sentiments regarding the Canadian healthcare system, particularly their confidence in accessing healthcare when necessary. The findings from this study underscore a mounting apprehension among Canadians regarding the accessibility of our healthcare system, particularly given the rapid growth and aging of the Canadian population. The concern over future access to healthcare is increasingly prevalent among many Canadians and is a matter that cannot go overlooked. 

This article marks the beginning of our forthcoming series dedicated to health and wellness in Canada, serving as Part 1 of our in-depth exploration. Commencing in May, our team will embark on a thorough investigation into the landscape of health and wellness across the country, delving into the topics that hold the greatest significance for Canadians. Through this comprehensive examination, we aim to shed light on the pressing concerns and priorities within the realm of health and wellness. 

Satisfaction with the Healthcare System 

One-third of Canadians rate their provincial healthcare system as poor (35%), while two-fifths consider it good (39%). Ontarians are notably more positive, with 44% rating their system positively, in contrast to Atlantic Canada where 52% view it negatively. Those planning to vote Liberal in the next federal election are more likely to rate their healthcare system as good (52%), as are those who think the country is on the right track (58%) 

Concerns with Accessibility of Healthcare Services 

In general, Canadians have varying perspectives on the availability of healthcare services in their provinces. Specifically, 33% express contentment with the current accessibility of healthcare services, while 39% indicate dissatisfaction. Notably, residents of Atlantic Canada are notably more likely to be dissatisfied (57%), while Ontarians report the highest satisfaction levels (37%).  

Politically, individuals intending to support the Liberal party in the upcoming federal election exhibit the highest satisfaction levels with healthcare access (47%), whereas those voting for the NDP show lower satisfaction levels (25%). Lastly, residents in rural areas display the highest dissatisfaction levels, with 47% expressing discontent with healthcare access in their regions. 

Confidence in Canada’s Healthcare System  

In general, one-third of Canadians express confidence in our healthcare system today (35%). Confidence is lowest among those who live in Atlantic Canada (19% agree), and those who intend to vote for the Conservative party in the next federal election (30% agree). Conversely, those planning to support the Liberal Party in the next federal election show a notably higher level of confidence in Canada’s healthcare system (50%) as well as individuals who believe Canada is on the right track are significantly (57%). 

When considering the role of government, only 30% of Canadians believe their provincial government prioritizes healthcare funding and resources, while 27% perceive the federal government as prioritizing healthcare funding. Residents in Atlantic Canada are significantly less likely to believe that the federal government (17% agree) and their provincial government (21% agree) prioritize healthcare funding. Nationally, Liberal party supporters are markedly more likely to trust the federal government’s prioritization of healthcare funding (44%) than Conservative party supporters (21%).  

Concerns about Future Healthcare Access in Canada 

Access to healthcare is a pressing concern for many Canadians, particularly regarding future accessibility. A substantial 52% express significant worry, with a staggering 96% expressing some level of concern. This worry is particularly pronounced among older Canadians, with 59% of those 60 and above expressing extreme concern. Additionally, residents of Atlantic Canada are notably worried, with 65% indicating concerns about future healthcare access. 

Healthcare Accessibility Amidst Demographic Shifts 

Concerns about the future accessibility of healthcare services in Canada are exacerbated by a widespread lack of confidence in the healthcare system’s ability to adapt to an aging and expanding population. Shockingly, less than 1 in 10 Canadians express confidence in the system’s capacity to meet these evolving needs, with a staggering 31% indicating they have no confidence at all. 

Across the country, those who live in Atlantic Canada express the lowest levels of confidence, with 45% noting that they are not confident in the ability of the healthcare system to meet the needs of a changing population. Politically, there’s a noticeable divergence in confidence levels. Those intending to vote for the Conservative party in the upcoming federal election are substantially more likely to express doubts, with 38% indicating a lack of confidence, compared to only 17% among those intending to vote for the Liberal party. 

Navigating Canada’s Healthcare Challenges 

Within Canada’s healthcare system, numerous pressing challenges require immediate attention. A significant 58% of Canadians highlight workforce shortages as a critical issue, closely followed by excessive wait times, identified by 57% of the population. Additionally, concerns about the aging population prominently rank, with 35% of citizens recognizing it as a major challenge, alongside 34% acknowledging the impact of a rapidly growing population. 

Overall, these results underscore the multifaceted nature of healthcare challenges in Canada, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address workforce shortages, reduce wait times, and effectively manage the implications of demographic shifts. 

Addressing the Awareness Gap: Public Discourse on Healthcare Accessibility in Canada 

Amidst growing concerns about healthcare accessibility, exacerbated by demographic shifts, 40% of Canadians perceive a lack of public awareness and discussion on this critical issue. This concern has escalated alongside record levels of immigration and changing demographics. However, many Canadians feel that healthcare accessibility remains underrepresented in public discourse. 

The insufficient attention to healthcare accessibility underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and proactive measures to meet Canada’s evolving healthcare needs. Ignoring these concerns risks compromising the effectiveness and inclusivity of the healthcare system. 

THE UPSHOT 

The latest findings underscore a strong concern among Canadians regarding the future of our healthcare system, accompanied by a perception of inadequate public discourse on this vital issue. This mounting concern coincides with record levels of immigration and shifting demographics, yet healthcare accessibility remains conspicuously absent from public conversations. 

When we examine the top concerns of Canadians, healthcare consistently ranks among the top three, trailing only behind the pressing issues of the cost of living and housing affordability. This underscores its paramount importance to Canadians today. Access challenges in healthcare, whether manifested through appointment difficulties, procedural delays, or prolonged emergency room wait times, loom large in the minds of Canadians. 

While government discourse often centers on affordability and the broader cost of living, the challenges within healthcare have regrettably been sidelined in recent political discourse, notably in the recently released federal budget. 

Canada’s unprecedented growth and aging population contribute to a sense of scarcity, wherein Canadians contend with constrained access to resources, including healthcare, that were previously taken for granted. The perceived lack of attention to healthcare accessibility highlights an urgent need for heightened awareness and proactive measures to address Canada’s evolving healthcare landscape. Failure to address these concerns may impact the effectiveness and inclusivity of our healthcare system. 

Methodology 

The survey was conducted with 2,302 Canadian adults from April 11 to 16, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 +/-2.04%, 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.  

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc. 

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/  

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.  

We were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in 2019. Find out more about how we can help your organization by downloading our corporate profile and service offering. 

Contact us 

Abacus Data Ontario Poll: Ford PCs ahead of Crombie Liberals by 16

From April 11 to 16, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a survey of 995 Ontario adults exploring several topics as part of our regular national omnibus surveys.

Every month, with our media partner the Toronto Star, we track how Ontarians are feeling about their political choices and add new topics based on current events and discussions. In this edition of the survey, we explored perceptions about Doug Ford’s government along with our usual trackers.

This survey was done entirely after the provincial budget released on March 26 and is a good test of the impact that it and other decisions since then have had on public opinion in the province.

We begin by examining the current political landscape in Ontario.

Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs lead by 14 percentage points over Bonnie Crombie’s Ontario Liberals.

If an election were held today, 41% of committed voters in Ontario would vote PC with the Ontario Liberals at 25%, the Ontario NDP at 21%, and the Greens at 7%.

All of these results are consistent with what we found last month and all change is within the margin of error of the survey.

Regionally, the PCs lead in every region of the province. They are ahead by 16 in Toronto, 12 in the GTHA, 21 in southwestern Ontario, and 29 in eastern Ontario. The increase in support in Eastern Ontario could be related to the recent announcement of a new deal with the City of Ottawa.

The PCs also lead among men (by 24) and women (by 7) and across every age group. Over time, we have noticed that the PCs have become more popular among younger Ontarians. This mimics what we have seen at the national level with Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives and something we think is directly tied to the popularity of Poilievre among younger Ontarians.

When it comes to the Ford government overall, 1 in 3 Ontarians approve of the government’s job performance while 43% disapprove. This is largely unchanged from last month.

Impressions of the four main party leaders are stable since last month. 1 in 3 have a favourable view of Premier Ford compared with 42% who have a negative impression for a net score of -7 slightly improved from last month.

Marit Stiles has a net score of +1, while Bonnie Crombie is -4 with 28% positive and 32% negative a slightly deterioration in views towards her.

The Upshot

According to Abacus Data CEO David Coletto: “Little has changed in public opinion in Ontario since the provincial budget was released on March 26. The Ford PCs continue to have a sizeable lead over the Crombie Liberals and Stiles NDP. While the provincial government’s approval rating is that high (it is six points higher than the federal Liberal government is nationally), it hasn’t impacted people’s vote intention at the moment.

Ford is relatively popular for an incumbent in their sixth year in office and having to manage the impact of inflation and the housing crisis. He is still an asset to his party as his personal popularity is greater than his government’s approval rating.”

Looking to conduct polling or market research in 2024? Have budget left to spend before the end of March? Send Yvonne an email to connect with the Abacus Data team today!

Methodology

The survey was conducted with 995 Ontario adults from April 11 to 16, 2024. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically 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 +/- 3.1%, 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.

This survey was paid for by Abacus Data Inc.

Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here:  https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

ABOUT ABACUS DATA

We are Canada’s most sought-after, influential, and impactful polling and market research firm. We are hired by many of North America’s most respected and influential brands and organizations.

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.

And we are growing throughout all parts of Canada and the United States and have capacity for new clients who want high quality research insights with enlightened hospitality.

Our record speaks for itself: we were one of the most accurate pollsters conducting research during the 2021 Canadian election following up on our outstanding record in the 2019, 2015, and 2011 federal elections.

Contact us with any questions.

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