Class and the Vote: The Conservatives are winning over everyone

With a large lead overall, the Conservative Party has held the largest vote share by age, gender, region and income for some time now. But what about the relationship between federal vote and self-described class? Two weeks ago, I shared some data on perceptions around class in Canada. Today, I dig a bit deeper.

The findings below are from an online survey of n=1,500 gen pop adults in Canada from April 11th to 16th. This survey was paid for by Abacus Data.

Before we get into the data, a quick reminder of the federal polling numbers at the time of this survey (undecideds removed).

  • CPC: 43%
  • LPC: 23%
  • NDP: 18%
  • BQ: 7%
  • Green: 5%

And the majority of Canadians consider themselves middle class (41%). Very few say they are upper middle/upper class.

The main takeaway is that Conservatives lead among all classes. 39% of the lower class would vote Conservative, 47% of the working class, 41% of the middle class and 48% among the upper middle/upper class. Perhaps unsurprising, the NDP does best with those who self-describe as lower class. While the Liberals may do best with the middle class, they don’t fare so well among those working hard to join it.

The Bloc are most popular among the middle class- but far more individuals consider themselves middle class in Quebec, compared to other regions of the country.

Digging deeper, the findings get more interesting. When we look at childhood classes, we see much clearer leads for certain political parties. The Conservatives pick up a notable lead among individuals who say they grew up in the working class (49%), but they are far less popular among those who say they grew up in the lower class (32%).

Those who grew up lower class are much more likely to be voting NDP (33%), than other classes (13% among upper middle/upper).

When it comes to class mobility- the Conservatives lead across the board again. There is also a near perfect relationship between class mobility and Liberal vs NDP voting behaviour. Individuals who’ve experienced negative mobility (moving to a lower class) are more likely to vote NDP, while those who have ascended the class hierarchy become Liberal voters. The Conservatives still lead in both segments by a sizable margin.

The higher the class, the more positive the impression of Justin Trudeau. Impressions for Justin Trudeau are highest among the upper classes, and lowest among the working and lower classes. Trudeau has a net negative impression among all classes.

Among the middle class, the target of the federal budget, impressions are net negative (note: this survey was fielded ahead of the official federal budget release but in the midst of several budget announcements). 

When it comes to impressions of leaders, Pierre Poilievre performs best across the board. For Poilievre, impressions are highest among the working class and upper classes.

The only class where Poilievre does not lead on impressions is the lower class. The lower class feels most positive about Jagmeet Singh. And it is one of the only classes where Singh has a positive impression. For Singh, impressions are most positive among the lower and middle classes, and lowest among the working and upper classes.


While self-described class is about income, wealth, and financial stability it is also about identity. Looking at vote and leader impressions it appears as though Pierre Poilievre and the Conservative Party have done best at representing the values and ideals for a number of classes. The Liberal Party has done best with upper classes and the NDP with lower classes.

In 2015, Trudeau and the Liberals successfully spoke to Canadians in the middle class and those aspiring to join it. Today they are only able to capture a quarter of those votes, and they struggle with those who feel they are falling behind. The Conservatives and Pierre Poilievre are now the party of the middle class and class mobility.

Winning the next election will mean connecting with the two biggest classes- the working class and the middle class. We have already seen many signals from all parties looking to show they identify or at least represent these groups, and we will continue to watch to see which party can do it best as we get closer to an election.


The survey was conducted with 1,500 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 +/- 2.53%, 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:


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