Election a Photo Finish with Conservatives (32%) and Liberals (31%) Neck and Neck

Tighter Race in Ontario and More ‘Efficient’ Vote for Conservatives Compared to 2019 Means Election Too Close to Call

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, Sep 19, 2021 — The 44th general election is ending with a photo finish, with the Conservatives and the Liberals neck and neck in the national popular vote. A one-point lead for the Conservatives is not only a statistical tie, but also a repeat of the razor-thin victory in the popular vote in 2019. However, this time around, the Conservatives are winning by less in the Prairies and are being helped by the NDP who are pulling votes from the Liberals in Ontario. This, combined with a base that seems enthusiastic to vote for O’Toole and his party, could make for a very long night on Monday as the nation waits for results from close races in British Columbia.

On the eve of Monday’s election, the Conservatives are on track to receive 32% of the decided national popular vote (unchanged since last week), while the Liberals are slated to receive 31% of the vote (-1 point since last week). The NDP is poised to receive 21% of the ballots cast (unchanged), with the Bloc at 7% nationally (unchanged nationally, 33% in Quebec). The Green Party (3%, -1) and the People’s Party (4%, +1) will be kept to the low single digits, with 1% of the vote going to some other party (unchanged). Two in ten (18%) Canadians either would not vote, would not share their vote choice, or remain undecided.

As has been the case throughout the entire campaign, close races in Canada’s most populous and seat-rich provinces contribute to a tight race nationally. British Columbia is a three-way race; in Ontario, the Conservatives have cut the 2019 Liberal lead in half; and in Quebec, the Bloc and Liberals are statistically tied. With this distribution of votes across the country, the path to a majority government will be very difficult for any party to find.

Party

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

PQ

ATL

Conservative Party

34%

52%

49%

33%

18%

26%

Liberal Party

26%

19%

18%

37%

32%

44%

New Democratic Party

30%

19%

23%

22%

13%

18%

Bloc Quebecois

-

-

-

-

33%

-

Green Party

5%

2%

2%

3%

2%

5%

People’s Party

4%

6%

7%

5%

1%

5%

Other

1%

2%

1%

1%

1%

2%

 

The closeness of this election is also reflected across party support among the key demographic groups of age and gender:

  • Among women, the Liberals (33%) have a narrow lead over the Conservatives (28%), with the NDP (22%), Bloc (8%), PPC (5%), Greens (3%) and others (1%) trailing.
  • Among men, the Conservatives (37%) now have a significant lead over the Liberals (30%), NDP (20%), Bloc (7%), PPC (4%), Greens (3%) and others (1%).
  • Among those aged 55+, the Conservatives (40%) lead the Liberals (34%), NDP (14%), Bloc (7%), Greens (3%), PPC (2%) and others (1%).
  • Among those aged 35-54, it is a very tight race between the Liberals (31%) and the Conservatives (29%), with the NDP (20%), Bloc (9%), PPC (6%), Greens (4%) and others (1%) lagging.
  • Among those aged 18-34, the NDP (32%) and Liberals (28%) are favoured over the Conservatives (25%), while the Bloc (5%), PPC (5%), Greens (3%) and others (1%) are well behind.

Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign Critical to Outcome of Election, Could Boost Tories  

The election will be won or lost on the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaign. If a party’s supporters are more committed to their vote choice, more likely to show up on election day, or have already voted in advance polls or by mail, then this extra push could be just enough to tip the balance in their favour.

Seven in ten (71%) Canadians say that they are completely certain to cast a ballot in this campaign. This is clearly an over-statement and we can expect turnout to be lower than this based on historical evidence.

Half say they plan to vote in person on election day (50%), or that they’ve already voted in advance (36%) or by mail (8%). Another 5% are not sure what method they will use to vote, likely making many of them non-voters. PPC (85%), Conservative (82%), and Bloc (80%) voters appear the most likely to cast a ballot, while Liberal (76%), NDP (73%), and Green (64%) party supporters are less certain.

In the final days of the campaign, 65% of Canadians (+12 since last week) say they are absolutely certain of their vote choice, either because they have completely made up their mind, or have already voted. Supporters of the Conservative (72%) party appear more certain of their vote choice than supporters of the PPC (69%), Bloc (65%), Liberals (64%), and NDP (55%). Conservative supporters are also more likely to say they would regret not voting in this election, with 65% saying they ‘strongly agree’ (compared to 59% of decided Liberal voters, 54% of decided NDP voters, and 58% of decided BQ voters).

Trudeau and O’Toole Tied on Best Prime Minister; 37% Believe Trudeau Deserves Re-Election

Three in ten (28%) Canadians say that Justin Trudeau would be the best Prime Minister of Canada, while 27% say the same about Erin O’Toole. Trudeau had a 14-point lead over O’Toole at the start of the campaign. Jagmeet Singh is a close third, with one in four (23%) saying he would be best suited to lead the country. Rounding out the choices are Maxime Bernier (7%), Yves-François Blanchet (4%), and Annamie Paul (3%). One in ten (8%) either don’t know (6%) who would make the best Prime Minister or refuse to say (2%).

Approval of Justin Trudeau’s performance remains steady at 46% (10% strongly/36% somewhat), about where it has been for most of the campaign. However, fewer than four in ten (37%, -1) believe that the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election, while 60% believe it’s time for another federal party to take over. Three percent (3%, +1) either don’t know (2%) or refuse to say (1%). This election is unique in that the gulf between the deserves re-election figure (37%) and vote for the incumbent (31%) is typically only a few points. A six-point gap here is both unique and remarkable.

 

 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 15 and 18, on behalf of Global News.  For this survey, a sample of n = 2,359 eligible voters in Canada aged 18+ was interviewed. A sample of n = 1,389 was interviewed online, via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources, and respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. A sample of n = 970 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed by live-interview telephone interviewers by landline and cellphone, using random-digit dialing. Quotas and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos polls which include non-probability sampling is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians 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. Ipsos abides by the disclosure standards established by the CRIC, found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

© 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. Detailed tabular data tables can be found here: https://ipsosintelligence.ca/canadiancontext/

 

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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