By Bruce Anderson & David Coletto
Our latest nationwide public opinion survey shows little movement over the last couple of months. Since 2022 began, the Liberals have been tracking between 30% and 33%, and so has the Conservative Party. The most recent results find the Conservatives with 33%, Liberals 31% and NDP at 19%. Since the year started, the NDP has been tracking between 17% and 20%. Patterns are similarly flat for the BQ and the Green Party.
These results in every case, are not materially different from the result each party had on Election Day last fall. Regional patterns continue to show a tight three-way split in BC, large advantages for the Conservatives on the Prairies, a modest Liberal lead in Ontario, a tight battle between Liberals and BQ in Quebec, and a wide Liberal lead in Atlantic Canada.
Accessible voter pools for each of the three main parties are not changing. 52% say they would consider voting Liberal, 47% NDP, and 43% Conservative. The Conservative number is identical to the number we saw 6 weeks ago.
Today 41% of Canadians think the country is headed in the right direction, while 42% think it’s off on the wrong track. Our last three readings have seen an average of 40% indicating “right direction” which is up from the 34% levels we were picking up in February.
Views about the state of the world remain much more negative. Only 24% feel that the US and the world are heading in the right direction.
Approval of the federal government is steady with 41% approving and 42% disapproving (+2). Approval is up 3-points since early February. During the Trucker Convoy, government approval was net -7, today it is net -1.
Public impressions of leaders reveals similar improvement for Justin Trudeau if we look back to that February period, where his net rating was -11, today it is -5. There is no movement for Jagmeet Singh, he remains the most popular national party leader. The interim Conservative leader is tracking steady at a -9 net score.
Among Canadians in general, the Conservative leadership race has not had much impact on public opinion so far. Impressions of the candidates are essentially unchanged from mid-April.
Among Conservative voters, Pierre Poilievre remains the most popular candidate, followed by Jean Charest. The other candidates are much less well known, although all find more positive than negative opinion.
Among CPC voters, each of the candidates finds more positive opinions compared to our mid-April reading, although the shift is just 1% for Mr. Poilievre, and 3% or more for each of the others.
Among all Canadians, when asked which candidate best reflects their values and ideas, Jean Charest comes out on top with 30% followed by Pierre Poilievre at 27% and Patrick Brown at 20%. Among current and accessible Conservative voters, the answer to that question tilts decidedly towards Poilievre.
According to Bruce Anderson: “Economic challenges so far are not affecting political preferences and the same is true for the Conservative leadership race. The Trudeau government is in roughly the same position it was in when it won the election last fall and appears to have weathered a rough winter with the pandemic and the related protests about vaccine mandates. Overall the picture resembles a country that has other things than national politics on its mind, as summer comes into view and life starts to feel more normal.”
According to David Coletto: “For many months now, public opinion about federal politics has been quite stable. The Conservative Party’s leadership race hasn’t yet had much impact on wider impressions while the federal government’s approval rating and impressions of the Prime Minister have stabilized and returned to the norm we’ve measured for the year prior to the trucker occupation and protests in February. Inflation, rising interests and the corresponding economic worries they might bring have not yet had any meaningful impact on people’s views or intended political choices.
Pierre Poilievre continues to be the most popular Conservative leadership candidate by a wide-maramong those who support the party today ”
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The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from May 3 to 6, 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.
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/
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