By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto
We recently completed a national survey with a larger than normal sample size of 5,200 Canadian adults completed from February 17 to 22, 2022. Here is what we found:
PUBLIC MOOD & GOVERNMENT APPROVAL
The mood of the country is unchanged from our last reading, with 34% feeling the country is headed in the right direction and 52% thinking it’s on the wrong track.
Approval of the federal government has also held steady with 39% approving and 46% disapproving. Disapproval is almost exactly what it was two weeks ago but is still higher than it has been for all of 2020 and 2021. Net approval is 0 in BC, -22 in Alberta, -20 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, -2 in Ontario, -11 in Quebec and -14 in Atlantic Canada.
Net approval among 2021 Liberal voters is +65, -67 among Conservative voters, and -15 among NDP voters. Among those who are fully vaccinated with a booster, the net approval rating for the federal government is +3, it is -8 among those with 2 shots and no booster, while among those who are not fully vaccinated, the government’s net approval is -53.
INVOKING THE EMERGENCIES ACT
We find significantly more support (57%) than opposition (30%) for the federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. Support is a lot higher than opposition among Liberal voters (79%-13%) NDP voters (63%-23%), and BQ voters (59%-32%). Conservative voters are more split, with 40% supporting the move, and 50% opposing.
A majority in every region of the country supports invoking the Emergencies Act including 62% in BC, 53% in Alberta, 53% in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 58% in Ontario, 53% in Quebec, and 52% in Atlantic Canada.
We saw no evidence that support for the Emergencies Act being invoked fluctuated over the six days of polling.
Justin Trudeau enjoys a positive impression among 35% and negative impressions among 46%, for a net score of – 11. This is largely unchanged from earlier this month. We are writing a more detailed essay on Mr. Trudeau’s image over his years in the public eye in Ottawa.
Today, 20% have a positive impression of interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen (+2 since Feb 8) while her negatives are at 32% (+4) for a net score of -12. Mr. O’Toole finished his time as leader with a net favourability of -25.
Jagmeet Singh enjoys a positive impression among 39% and finds negative impressions among 26% for a net score of +13, similar to our results earlier this month.
In Quebec, BQ Leader Mr. Blanchet is 36% positive and 31% negative for a net score of +5. Mr. Trudeau is -14 in Quebec, Ms. Bergen is -23.
ACCESSIBLE VOTER POOLS
Today, 50% would consider voting Liberal, 46% NDP, and 41% Conservative, largely unchanged from earlier this month although the NDP accessible voter pool is down 3.
27% would consider voting Green, 20% would consider voting for the People’s Party while 41% would consider voting BQ in Quebec.
If an election were held now, the Liberals and Conservatives would be deadlocked at 31% each with the NDP at 20%, the BQ at 8%, and the People’s Party at 6%. The Greens would earn 3% of the vote. Compared with the 2021 election, the Liberals are down 2, the Conservatives are down 3, and the NDP is up 2.
• BC: Liberals are at 33%, the Conservatives at 30% and the NDP at 28%. The Liberals lead by 8 over the Conservatives in Metro Vancouver but are third on Vancouver Island and in the Interior.
• Alberta: 49% would vote Conservative compared with 21% for the NDP, 21% for the Liberal Party, and 7% for the People’s Party. In Edmonton, the Conservatives are at 44% followed by the NDP at 26% and the Liberals at 23%. In Calgary, the Conservatives are at 50% with the Liberals at 22% and the NDP at 21%.
• Manitoba and Saskatchewan: The Conservatives lead with 39% followed by the NDP at 26%, the Liberals at 22%, and the People’s Party at 7%.
• Ontario: The Liberals lead by 3 over the Conservatives (35% to 32%) with the NDP in third at 22%. The People’s Party is polling at 7% in Ontario. The Liberals lead the Conservatives by 12 in Toronto, 8 in the GTHA, while the Conservatives are ahead in the Southwest region of the province 34% to 27%.
• Quebec: We see the BQ ahead of the Liberals (38% to 30%) with the Conservatives at 20%, the NDP at 8%.
• Atlantic: The Conservatives and Liberals are tied (32% to 31%) with the NDP at 24%.
The high-profile blockades and occupation of Ottawa, the continuation of the pandemic, and the invocation of the Emergencies Act are not conditions one would expect to see strengthening Liberal Party support – it’s probably more remarkable that Mr. Trudeau’s party has remained as competitive as it has. Voters aren’t elated about the situation in Canada, but they continue to see worse conditions elsewhere, and their frustration level with the federal incumbents is holding pretty steady, for the moment. The Emergencies Act was not an unpopular choice, and may have more of an effect in dividing Conservatives than drawing voters to their position.”
After two more weeks of occupations, blockades, and the invocation of the Emergencies Act, views of the federal government and the Prime Minister have remained fairly steady after a negative turn earlier this month. Negative views of the Prime Minister have hit a 24-month high. We haven’t seen almost half the country hold a negative impression since the middle of the SNC-Lavalin controversy.
At the same time, negative impressions of Conservative leader Candice Bergen have increased suggesting that no political leader or party has benefited from this tumultuous period in Canadian politics so far.
The Liberals and Conservatives are deadlocked nationally. None of the major parties have seen their accessible voter pools increase over this period and while the Prime Minister’s negatives have increased, a plurality doesn’t believe he should step down because of the blockades and protests that happened across Canada.
What we do see, however, is a strengthening of the relationship between vaccination status and political opinion. If only those who are fully vaccinated with a booster (58% of the population) voted, the Liberals would likely win a majority government (LPC 35%, CPC 29%, NDP 22%). If only those not vaccinated (1 or no shots) voted, the Conservatives easily win a majority (CPC 38%, PPC 21%, LPC 13%, NDP 13%).”
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The survey was conducted with 5,200 Canadian adults from February 17 to 22, 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 +/- 1.4%, 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.
Abacus Data follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements that can be found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/
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