Budget Doesn’t Budge National Party Standings: Liberals (38%) Maintain Double-Digit Lead over Conservatives

Freeland’s First Budget Garners Mixed Reviews as One in Five (19%) Give it Thumbs Up, One in Five Thumbs Down (19%), Rest “Shrug their Shoulders” (62%)

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, April 26, 2021 – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s first budget has been received by Canadians with mixed reviews and apathy, with the national federal-vote party standings largely unchanged since earlier this month. 

If an election were held tomorrow, 38% of decided voters would vote for the Liberals (down 2 points) led by Justin Trudeau, while 27% would vote for Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives (down 3 points). The NDP, still firmly in third position nationally, has rebounded to 19% of the popular vote (up 6 points), grabbing votes from the two leading parties. The Bloc Québécois would receive 7% of the vote nationally (38% in Quebec, up 3 points), 7% would vote for the Greens, while 1% would cast their ballot for some other party (down 2 points).

Nearly one quarter (22%) of Canadians say they either are undecided (16%) or would not vote (6%) in the next election. The proportion of undecided voters rises as high as 33% in Quebec, which is notable given the number of seats up for grabs in la belle province.

Within the regions of Canada, the Liberals have maintained their lead in Ontario, but have lost a little ground to the Bloc in Quebec:

  • Within Ontario, the Liberals (43%) maintain their solid advantage over the Conservatives (26%), NDP (22%), and Green Party (7%).
  • In Quebec, the Bloc (38%) has edged ahead of the Liberals (33%), with the Conservatives (13%), Greens (10%) and NDP (5%) well back.
  • In British Columbia, the Liberals (37%) have the advantage, with the NDP (28%) and Conservatives (27%) tied for second position. Fewer than one in ten (6%) would vote for the Green Party.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (44%) hold their traditional lead over the Liberals (28%), NDP (20%) and Green Party (6%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (40%) are well ahead of the Liberals (29%), NDP (22%) and Green Party (6%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (61%) have a huge lead over the Tories (24%), NDP (12%) and Green Party (2%).

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s first budget has been met with apathy by Canadians who may be more focused on scheduling their vaccine appointment than the details of a 700-page budget. However, on balance, it is being more well received than Trudeau’s 2019 budget.

While one in five (19%) say the budget overall is good and they’d symbolically give it a thumbs up (up 8 points compared to the 2019 budget), an equal proportion (19%) says it’s bad and would give it a thumbs down (down 6 points compared to the 2019 budget). Six in ten (62%) say the budget was neither good nor bad and they’d just shrug their shoulders about the whole thing (down 2 points).

  • Among Liberal voters, 33% say the budget was good while 7% say it was a bad budget and 59% are neutral about it.
  • Among Conservative voters, 43% say it was a bad budget, while 8% think it was a good budget. Half (49%) are neutral.
  • NDP voters, to whom the budget is likely targeted, are more likely to rate the budget as good (20%) than bad (10%), but most (70%) are ambivalent about it.
  • Six in ten (60%) Bloc voters shrug their shoulders, with the remaining voters evenly split between thumbs up (20%) and thumbs down (20%).
  • Undecided voters lean more towards a negative (16%) than positive assessment (11%), while most (73%) are neutral.

It’s clear why most Canadians can’t get too excited about the budget, as four in five (79%) Canadians believe the budget will neither personally hurt them nor help them. On balance, slightly more think it will hurt them (12%) rather than help them (9%). Those most likely to believe the budget will personally hurt them include Conservative voters (25%), those living in Alberta (16%), Ontario (15%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (14%), men (15%), and those aged 35-54 (14%). Undecided voters are just as likely to believe the budget will help them (9%) as hurt them (8%).

Despite the budget’s focus on childcare, those with children (8%) are no more likely than those without children (10%) to say the budget will personally help them, perhaps an acknowledgement that it will take some time to get the national childcare program set up and not be of much benefit to those presently with young children.

The budget was billed as the roadmap for putting Canada’s economy back on track to recover from the pandemic.  One in three (32%) Canadians agrees (5% strongly/27% somewhat) that it does in fact do this, while one in four (24%) disagrees (9% strongly/15% somewhat) that this budget puts Canada on track for a post-pandemic recovery. Half (53%) say they aren’t sure either way. A majority (59%) of Liberal voters believe the budget sets Canada on the right path, but fewer NDP (31%), Bloc (28%), Green (24%) or Conservative voters (19%) agree. Only one in eight (12%) undecided voters agree the budget puts Canada on the right path for a post-pandemic recovery. Conversely, one quarter (26%) of undecided voters outright disagrees that this budget is the path to recovery.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 20-21, 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
[email protected]


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The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs

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