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By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto

We completed a national survey of 1,500 Canadian adults from February 4 to 8, 2022.

Here’s a snapshot of our findings.

PUBLIC MOOD & GOVERNMENT APPROVAL

The mood of the country has soured further since our last wave of research roughly a month ago. Today, 34% feel the country is headed in the right direction (down 8 over two months and the lowest since April 2021) while 50% think it’s on the wrong track, up 7.

Approval of the federal government has dropped from 44% a month ago to 38% this month and disapproval has risen from 40% to 45%. Net approval (approve – disapprove) regionally is -4 in BC, -40 in Alberta, -19 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, +5 in Ontario, -12 in Quebec, and +1 in Atlantic Canada.

LEADER IMPRESSIONS

Justin Trudeau enjoys a positive impression among 36% and negative impressions among 46%, for a net score of – 10 compared to his net score of -2 a month ago. His negatives are the highest we have registered  Mr. Trudeau’s favourability is +24 among voters who self describe as left of centre, -14 among those on the centre, and -47 among those on the right.

Today 17% have a positive impression of Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen while her negatives are at 28% for a net score of -11. Mr. O’Toole finished his time as leader with a net favourability of -25.

Jagmeet Singh enjoys a positive impression among 41% and finds negative impressions among 25% for a net score of +16, similar to our results last month.

In Quebec, BQ Leader Mr. Blanchet is 36% positive and 28% negative for a net score of +8. Mr. Trudeau is -14 in Quebec, Ms. Bergen is -27.

VOTING INTENTION

If an election were held now, the Liberals would win 33% of the vote (their 2021 election result), the Conservatives would win 30% (4-points lower than their share in the election and down two from earlier this month), and the NDP 19% (1-point higher than the 2021 result). The BQ is at 8% nationally while the People’s Party is at 6% and the Greens at 3%.

• BC: Liberals are at 36%, the Conservatives at 30% and the NDP at 24%.

• Alberta: 54% would vote Conservative compared with 20% for the NDP, 14% for the Liberal Party, and 8% for the People’s Party.

• Manitoba and Saskatchewan: The Conservatives lead with 39% followed by the Liberals at 27% and the NDP at 21% and the People’s Party at 11%.

• Ontario: The Liberals have a 4-point lead over the Conservatives (36% to 32%) with the NDP in third at 20%. The People’s Party is polling at 8% in Ontario.

• Quebec: We see the BQ ahead of the Liberals (37% to 32%) with the Conservatives at 16%, the NDP at 12%.

• Atlantic: The Liberals lead with 41% compared with 23% for the NDP, 23% for the Conservatives, and 7% for the People’s Party.

UPSHOT

According to Bruce Anderson:“These numbers will be sobering for the Liberals but well short of warming for the Conservatives. People are frustrated about the pandemic and the sense of unease and friction in the country is naturally going to create expectations of the government to ease tensions and disappointment in the government when that isn’t happening.

There are two separate issues neither of which are positive for the incumbents right now – people want a plan to return to life as normal and feel that the vaccination level is high enough and the Omicron threat low enough that it is time to move in that direction. The government sometimes can sound like it is arguing against that fervent desire, simply by virtue of having to defend the role of science rather than emotion in setting policy.

The second issue is the question of how our Capital could have been blockaded and occupied, and our border passages shut down by protests, without a rapid response to assert law and order and protect the rights of everyone affected by these events. These developments have been startling to many people and naturally make people wonder if all levels of government could have been and should have been better prepared to head off these problems more quickly. One saving grace politically for the Liberals is the fact that so far the Conservatives seem unable to take a consistent and firm position – and offer unsettled voters an alternative that they could gravitate towards.”

 

According to David Coletto: “As the Freedom Convoy continues to occupy Ottawa and disrupt trade and movement at several border crossings, Canadians are watching and reacting to the events. We see negative pressure on the Prime Minister’s personal numbers as his negative hit a 12-month high. The new Conservative Leader, Ms. Bergen, is largely unknown but starts with a net negative impression – a less than positive introduction to Canadians.

The protests along with rising inflation, a potential war in Europe, and an ongoing pandemic have Canadians on edge. Increasingly, none of the political options on offer are particularly appealing. I suspect the pressure will build on the Prime Minister to be more engaged on these problems. For the Conservatives, tensions within the party and a leadership race will divert its attention from the national crises.

As Canadians react, we are seeing their willingness to consider either party decline, creating an opportunity for the NDP, BQ, People’s Party and the Greens to offer a compelling alternative to the two mainstream parties.”

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METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from February 4 to 8, 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 +/- 2.6%, 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.

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.

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