Trudeau vs. Poilievre: Who do Canadians trust more to handle things plus Conservatives lead by 13

From September 28 to October 5, 2023, Abacus Data conducted a national survey of 1,985 adults exploring several topics related to Canadian politics and current events as part of our regular national omnibus surveys. In this survey, we oversample Alberta to 500 respondents.

Note, this survey was completed prior to attack in Israel.

If an election were held today, 39% of committed voters would vote Conservatives with the Liberals at 26%, the NDP at 18% and the Greens at 4%. The BQ is at 33% in Quebec.

Since our last survey, the Conservatives are down 2 while the Liberal and NDP vote share is steady.

Regionally, the Conservatives remain well ahead in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The Conservatives lead by 11 in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. In Quebec, the BQ is ahead by 6 over the Liberals.

Other questions we track have also remained relatively stable.

Only 27% of Canadians approve of the job performance of the federal government, down 2 since our last survey, and the lowest we have ever measured. 55% disapprove.

Justin Trudeau’s personal image remains overly negative with 27% have a positive opinion of him compared with 55% with a negative view. Both are largely unchanged from last wave.

Pierre Poilievre has about equal numbers of people have a positive and negative view – 36% positive and 35% negative.

Jagmeet Singh, who faces the NDP convention this weekend, has 34% positive and 32% negative.

Singh is viewed more favourable by women than men, and has a much higher net favourable rating among those aged 18 to 29 than among other age groups.

Among NDP supporters, 81% have a positive view of Mr. Singh, while 1% have a negative view. Mr. Singh is also well liked among most Liberal supporters. 46% have a positive view compared with 13% who have a negative one. In contrast, Conservative generally dislike the NDP leader. 15% have a positive view compared with 60% who have a negative one.

Trudeau vs. Poilievre

In this survey, we asked a new set of questions to gauge how Trudeau and Poilievre compare head to head on several policy areas. Trudeau has an advantage over Poilievre on two items – dealing with climate change and making childcare more affordable. In both cases, more people think Trudeau is better able to handle those issues than Poilievre.

But on every other item we tested, Poilievre easily beats the Prime Minister. Most striking, when it comes to dealing with the prospect of Donald Trump as US President, 37% think Poilievre is better able to handle that compared with 28% who think Trudeau is.

On other issues, like managing the economy (Poilievre +15), building more housing (Poilievre +18), and making life more affordable (Poilievre +17), Mr. Poilievre has a clear advantage over the Prime Minister.

The Upshot

According to Abacus Data Chair & CEO, David Coletto: “It doesn’t appear that the events over the past three weeks – Zelenskyy’s visit, the House of Commons honouring someone who fought in a Nazi unit, and the news surrounding India and the murder of a Canadian Sikh leader – have had much impact on political opinions.

The Liberals remain well behind the Conservatives in vote intention. More Canadians have a positive impression of Poilievre than any other major party leader and the government’s approval rating, while no worse than a month ago, is certainly no better.

Change remains in high demand and the Liberals have been unable to reverse the drop in approval that they experienced over the summer.”

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The survey was conducted with 1,985 Canadian adults from September 28 to October 5, 2023. 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 +/- 2.2%, 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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