Amid Building Election Speculation, Liberals (35%) Pad Lead Over Conservatives (28%)

Double-Digit Lead for Liberals over Tories in Ontario a Key Strength; Modest Bloc Lead in Quebec Still Blocks Path to Majority

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, March 8, 2021 – With the arrival of large shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine imminent, the federal Liberals – whose fortunes seem to rise and fall with the vaccination effort – have once again grown their lead over the Conservatives to 7 points, up from 3 points last month according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Liberals under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would receive 35% of the decided popular vote, up 2 points since last month. Conversely, opposition party leaders are struggling for airtime with all the focus on the Prime Minister, provincial premiers, and their fight against COVID-19. The federal Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole, would receive 28% of the popular vote (down 2 points), while Jagmeet Singh and the NDP would receive 16% of the national vote (down 4 points). National support for the Green Party under Annamie Paul registers at 10% (up 2 points), while 7%, down 1 point, (32% in Quebec) would vote for Yves-Francois Blanchet and the Bloc Quebecois. Two percent (2%) would vote for some other party. Two in ten Canadians either don’t know (14%) who they would vote for or wouldn’t vote (5%).

The Liberals have a strong lead in the seat-rich provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, but the Bloc poses a challenge in Quebec:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (45%) have a double-digit lead over the Conservatives (32%), while the NDP (12%) and Green Party (9%) are further behind.
  • In Quebec, the Bloc (32%) maintains a modest lead over the Liberals (28%), which makes the path to a majority government more difficult. The Conservatives (13%), NDP (13%) and Green Party (9%) are further behind.
  • In British Columbia, the Liberals (35%) have a solid lead over the NDP (24%) and Conservatives (23%), while the Green Party (17%) is not far behind.
  • In Alberta, the Tories (41%) lead the NDP (23%), Liberals (22%) and Greens (10%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Tories (41%) hold a similar advantage over the NDP (27%) and Liberals (23%), with the Green Party (3%) well behind.
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (38%) are ahead of the Conservatives (33%), NDP (14%) and Green Party (14%).

The Liberals also have the advantage among key demographic groups, while the Conservatives don’t hold an advantage among any of these segments, which underscores their current troubles:

  • Among women, the Liberals (40%) are the party of choice, followed by the Conservatives (28%), NDP (16%), Greens (10%) and Bloc (5%).
  • Among men, traditionally a core segment for the Tories, the Liberals (31%) have a slight lead over the Tories (27%), with the NDP (16%), Greens (11%) and Bloc (10%) further behind.
  • The Conservatives are also struggling among another core constituency – those over the age of 55. Among this segment, the Liberals (42%) have a nine-point lead over the Conservatives (33%), NDP (9%), Greens (8%) and Bloc (6%).
  • Among those aged 35-54, the Conservatives (31%) and Liberals (31%) are tied. The NDP (14%), Bloc (13%) and Green Party (10%) are clustered together, well behind.
  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (30%) and NDP (30%) are tied in the lead, while the Conservative Party (17%), Green Party (14%) and Bloc (3%) are further back.

The Prime Minister’s approval ratings continue to be strong and are holding steady.  Thinking about the overall performance of the Prime Minister in response to the COVID-19 crisis, 55% approve (12% strongly/43% somewhat) of his performance (up 1 point). As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the provincial premiers have a higher approval rating (63% approve – 20% strongly/43% somewhat) than the Prime Minister, who in turn are outperformed by Canada’s mayors (69% approve – 13% strongly/56% somewhat).

% Approve of Performance in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Region

% approve of PM response to COVID-19

% approve of premier’s response to COVID

National Average

55% (+1)

63% (-4)

British Columbia

60%

70%

Alberta

48%

42%

Saskatchewan/Manitoba

46%

52%

Ontario

55%

58%

Quebec

54%

77%

Atlantic Canada

60%

76%

 

Approval ratings for how the premiers are handling COVID-19 are higher in every region than the approval rating for the prime minster within that region, with one notable exception. In Alberta, the Liberal Prime Minister’s approval rating (48%) is higher than the Conservative Premier Jason Kenney’s (42%).

Focusing specifically on the Prime Minister’s performance on getting Canadians vaccinated against COVID-19, Canadians are split in half: 50% approve (12% strongly/38% somewhat) while 50% disapprove (24% strongly/26% somewhat), unchanged since last month, as if taking a wait-and-see approach. Once again, provincial premiers are getting higher grades, with 58% approving (17% strongly/41% somewhat of their collective vaccination efforts, even if down 7 points since last month.

The Prime Minister’s efforts are more favourably assessed in BC (67%) and Quebec (59%) than they are in Atlantic Canada (52%), Alberta (46%), Ontario (42%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (37%).

Approve of Performance at Getting Canadians Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Region

% approve of PM’s vaccination efforts

% approve of premier’s vaccination efforts

National Average

50%

58%

British Columbia

67%

73%

Alberta

46%

51%

Saskatchewan/Manitoba

37%

45%

Ontario

42%

46%

Quebec

59%

73%

Atlantic Canada

52%

75%

 

All told, six in ten (57%) Canadians agree (12% strongly/45% somewhat) that government has done a good job being transparent and keeping the public informed about developments related to COVID-19 and its response. Liberals voters (76%), Bloc (68%) and NDP (62%) voters are more likely to believe that government has been transparent in this manner, while Conservative voters (45%) are less likely to feel this way.

Most Canadians Aren’t willing to Chip in for Increased Social Assistance or Healthcare Spending

Governments are going to be hard pressed to pay for all the emergency spending undertaken during COVID-19, and Canadians don’t appear to be too willing to chip in with higher taxation:

  • Four in ten (42%) agree (6% strongly/36% somewhat) that given the financial demands of COVID-19 during the pandemic they’d be willing to pay more in tax to help pay for increased healthcare costs. A majority (58%) disagree (26% strongly/33% somewhat).
  • Only one in three (35%) agree (7% strongly/29% somewhat) that they’d be willing to pay more in tax to help pay for increased social assistance (i.e. employment insurance, support for small business, etc.)

At the same time, four in five (81%) Canadians agree (22% strongly/59% somewhat) that, given COVID-19, the federal government should increase transfer payments to the provinces to invest in the healthcare system. This is something upon which voters of all parties agree, including NDP (95%), Liberal (82%), Conservative (77%) and Bloc (76%) voters. The apparent challenge that lies ahead seems to be how the federal government will increase health transfer payments while at the same time not increasing taxation.

 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 2-3, 2021, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.


For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
Darrell.Bricker@ipsos.com

 

© 2021, Ipsos Limited Partnership

This polling release and the data contained in it are the sole and exclusive property of Ipsos. They are NOT designed to support any election outcome or prediction model and no license to use the polling release or the data is either granted or implied by their publication. Ipsos does not endorse, and has no responsibility for the accuracy of, the result of any predictive model that incorporates this polling data. Furthermore, any use of this information to produce polling aggregations or election models without Ipsos’ written permission will be considered a violation of our intellectual property, and Ipsos reserves the right to take appropriate legal action.

 

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs

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