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By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

We recently completed a national survey with a sample of 2,000 Canadian adults from April 4 to 9, 2022. Most of the interviews were completed prior to the federal budget released on April 7.

Yesterday, we shared some data on how Canadians might react to Pierre Poilievre’s campaign narrative. Today, we look at the broader political opinion environment.

MOOD OF THE COUNTRY & GOVERNMENT APPROVAL

The mood of the country is little changed from last month, with 39% thinking the country is headed in the right direction, and 46% think it’s off on the wrong track. Canadians continue to see the situation in the US and around the world as worse than Canada’s context: just 26% feel the US and the world are heading in the right direction.

Approval of the federal government is also steady with 41% approving (+1) and 44% disapproving (+2). Approval is up 3-points since early February and in line with levels observed throughout much of last year.

Net approval (approve – disapprove) is – 3 nationally +2 in BC, -28 in Alberta, -6 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, -2 in Ontario, -2 in Quebec, and +16 in Atlantic Canada.

Among those who voted NDP in 2021, 38% approve of the federal government’s job performance compared with just 14% among those who voted Conservative.

LEADER IMPRESSIONS

Since last month, Justin Trudeau’s personal image has slid a bit to levels we saw in February. With 36% positive impressions and 45% negative Mr. Trudeau’s net score is –9. Among Liberal voters, 76% have a positive impression of Mr. Trudeau while 31% of NDP and 22% of Green Party voters feel positive about him. 79% of Conservative Party voters have a negative view of the PM.

Positive impressions of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh exactly the same as last month. Today, he enjoys a positive impression among 41% and finds negative impressions among 28% for a net score of +13.

79% of NDP voters have a positive impression of Mr. Singh as do half of Liberal voters (54%). 1 in 5 Conservative voters have a positive view of him while 57% view him negatively.

Today, 23% have a positive impression of interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen (+1 since last month) while her negatives are at 30% (unchanged) for a net score of -7. Mr. O’Toole finished his time as leader with a net favourability of -25.

VOTING INTENTION

If an election were held now, the Liberals would be marginally ahead of the Conservatives in the popular vote – 33% to 31%. The NDP is at 18% nationally while the BQ is at 8%, the People’s Party is at 5%, and the Greens at 4%.

Compared to our results at the end of March, Liberal vote is up 2, Conservatives down 2, NDP up 1. Compared to the election result last November, Liberals have gained a point and Conservatives have lost three points.

BC: Conservatives are at 32%, and the Liberals at 31% and the NDP at 27%.

Alberta: 51% would vote Conservative compared with 23% for the NDP, 15% for the Liberal Party, and 5% for the People’s Party.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan: The Conservatives lead with 38% followed by the Liberals at 28%, NDP at 23%, and the People’s Party at 7%.

Ontario: The Liberals lead by 4 over the Conservatives (38% to 34%) with the NDP in third at 17%. The People’s Party is polling at 7% in Ontario. In Toronto and the GTHA (where 58% of the population lives), the Liberals are at 43%, the Conservatives at 33% and the NDP at 16%.

Quebec: We see the BQ and Liberals basically tied (37% to 34%) with the Conservatives at 15%, the NDP at 9%.

Atlantic: The Liberals are well ahead of the Conservatives (45% to 26%) with the NDP in third at 15%.

 

UPSHOT

According to Bruce Anderson: “With a war in Ukraine, rising inflation, a Liberal-NDP alliance, and a sixth wave of the pandemic, there is no shortage of factors that could cause the political mood of the country to shift – but so far opinions continue to trade in a fairly narrow range. While voting intention numbers don’t reveal it, Liberals will note that the disapproval numbers for the government and negative opinions of Mr. Trudeau have been notching a little bit higher in the first quarter of 2022 than through most of 2021. This could be a signal that fatigue with the incumbents has been creeping upward a bit, but it could also be a reaction to inflation and the stubbornness of the pandemic and the steps people are required to take to adapt to it”

 

According to David Coletto: “The political opinion environment has remained fairly stable despite many events competing for the public’s attention and concern including the invasion of Ukraine, the Liberal-NDP agreement, another COVID wave, interest rate increases, strong macro-economic indicators (unemployment rate), and rising inflation. If an election was held today, we would likely see a similar result to the last election. So far, little has happened that has fundamentally shifted the public’s preferences or impressions. We will continue to monitor the opinion environment as the Conservative leadership race unfolds and as Ontarians gear up to vote in the upcoming provincial election.”

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METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted with 2,000 Canadian adults from April 4 to 9, 2022. 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 +/- 2.1% 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

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

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