Conservative Vote Softens (29%, -3) as Liberals (36%, +1) Extend Lead into 2021

Support for Lockdowns is Widespread, but Nine in Ten (88%) Canadians See Double Standard for Politicians Who Impose Restrictions but Don’t Follow Them

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, January 12, 2021 – As the Prime Minister announces a cabinet shuffle and Ontario braces for stricter lockdown measures, the federal Conservatives have slid by 3 points as the Liberals maintain their share of the vote and build a 7-point lead over the Conservatives, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. On account of slipping Tory fortunes in Ontario and British Columbia, the poll shows the Liberals with 36% of the decided national popular vote (+1 points since December), while the Conservatives would receive just 29% of the vote (-3 points). Voter support for the NDP (19%) is holding steady (+1 point), while support for the Green Party (8%, +1 point) and the Bloc Quebecois (6%, -1 point) is also steady.

The dip in national popular support for the Conservatives is largely driven by 5-point declines in Ontario and in British Columbia:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (42%) lead the Conservatives (29%), NDP (21%), and Greens (6%).
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (32%) maintain a five-point lead over the Bloc (27%), with the Conservatives (16%), NDP (13%) and Greens (9%) behind.
  • In British Columbia, the Liberals (35%) have opened a 9-point lead over the Conservatives (26%), with the NDP (21%) not far behind and the Green Party (16%) trailing.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (56%) are well ahead of the Liberals (21%), NDP (18%) and Greens (3%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba the Conservatives’ (40%) lead over the Liberals (34%) has narrowed, with the NDP (23%) and Greens (3%) trailing.
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (43%) enjoy a solid lead over the Conservatives (25%) and NDP (25%), with the Greens (9%) well back.


Approval Ratings Remain High, But Canadians (84%) want more Aggressive Use of Lockdowns

Approval of how the Prime Minister (60%), provincial premiers (68%) and local mayors (73%) are handling their response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains strong and unchanged nationally since November. Provincial premier approval is highest in Atlantic Canada (86%), followed by British Columbia (77%), Quebec (74%), Ontario (69%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (58%). Deviating significantly from the rest of the country, only 34% of Albertans approve of Premier Kenney’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, while 66% disapprove (41% strongly).

Many believe that our politicians’ actions should go further: a full eight in ten (84%) agree (47% strongly/36% somewhat) that governments in Canada should be more aggressive in locking down areas where the spread of COVID-19 is out of control.

Within Ontario, where a province-wide lockdown was announced prior to the holidays and began on Boxing Day, 77% Ontarians agree (44% strongly/33% somewhat) that the measures were an appropriate course of action, and 70% agree (26% strongly/44% somewhat) that the lockdown will be effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Reflecting on lockdowns more generally and their role in fighting COVID-19:

  • Eight in ten (79%) Canadians agree (36% strongly/43% somewhat) that lockdowns are effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
  • Eight in ten (81%) agree (48% strongly/34% somewhat) that government’s decision to enact lockdowns is completely justified.
  • Nine in ten (87%) agree (54% strongly/34% somewhat) that they understand why governments are using lockdowns as a means of fighting the spread of COVID-19.

Clearly, support for lockdowns is widespread. However, a majority (53%) also agrees (15% strongly/37% somewhat) that lockdowns should only be used as a last resort – suggesting that Canadians believe the situation is presently dire enough to employ this tactic. Support for strong measures also extends to the borders, with nine in ten (88%) agreeing (60% strongly/28% somewhat) that given the new COVID-19 variant discovered in England, it is appropriate to ban flights to Canada coming from the United Kingdom.   

However, Canadians do see a double standard at play with politicians imposing restrictions but not following them, with 88% agreeing (53% strongly/35% somewhat) that this double standard exists, which has ultimately resulted in the demotion of many politicians across the country. Sensitivity towards this double standard is slightly higher in Ontario (93%; 59% strongly/34% somewhat) and Alberta (93%; 77% strongly/16% somewhat) where the issue has been front and centre.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between January 5-6, 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]

© 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