Liberal (33%, -3) Lead Over Conservatives (30%, +1) Narrows to Just 3 Points as Trudeau Gets Mixed Reviews on Vaccine Rollout

Half (50%) Approve of PM’s Performance on Vaccine Rollout

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, February 19, 2021 – The Liberal lead over the Conservatives has narrowed to just 3 points, with the prospect of an election this spring likely diminishing as a result, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Global News. The Liberals had opened a 7-point lead last month, but mixed reviews for Prime Minister Trudeau’s performance on the rollout of vaccines have caused that lead to narrow.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would receive 33% of the decided popular vote (down 3 points), while Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives would receive 30% of the vote (up 1 point). Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats would receive 20% of the vote nationally (up 1 point), while Annamie Paul and the Green Party (8%, unchanged) are struggling to achieve double-digit support. The Bloc Québécois, led by Yves-Francois Blanchet, would receive 8% of the national popular vote, which translates into 32% in Quebec, 5-points ahead of the Liberals at 27%. Nationally, two percent (2%) would vote for some other party, while two in ten Canadians say they either don’t know (12%) who they would vote for or would not vote (8%).

Within Canada’s regions, the data reveal pockets of strength and weaknesses for Canada’s major parties:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (39%) lead the Tories (30%), while the NDP (23%) and Green Party (6%) trail.
  • In Quebec, the Bloc (32%) has an advantage over the Liberals (27%), Conservatives (21%), NDP (14%) and Green Party (6%).
  • In British Columbia, the Liberals (29%) and Conservatives (28%) are tied in the lead, with the NDP (20%) and Greens (21%) also tied for third position.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (54%) are the strong preference, with the Liberals (21%), NDP (15%) and Green Party (6%) well behind.
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (37%) lead the NDP (31%), Liberals (28%) and Greens (3%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (53%) enjoy a solid lead over the Tories (21%), Greens (11%) and NDP (10%).

Support for the three largest national parties is not only driven by region divides, but also by age and gender gaps.

  • The Conservatives are performing better among men (34%) than women (26%). Those aged 55+ are significantly more likely to vote Conservative (37%), as are those aged 35-54 (32%) when compared to Canadian aged 18-34 (16%).
  • In contrast, support for the Liberal party is much more uniform across genders (men 33% vs. women 32%). Similarly, the age gap is much less pronounced with those aged 18-34 (37%) and 55+ (34%) being almost equally likely to say they’d vote Liberal, while those aged 35-54 (28%) are less inclined to vote Liberal.
  • The NDP is more popular among women (22%) than men (17%). But their support is primarily driven by age: those aged 18-34 are significantly more likely (31%) than Canadians aged 35-54 (20%) or 55+ (12%) to say they’d vote for the NDP.

PM’s Approval Slips 6 Points

For the first time since the pandemic began to rage in Canada, approval of the Prime Minister’s performance is beginning to wane. Presently, a slim majority (54%) approve (15% strongly/38% somewhat) of his overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is down 6 points since last month. Support for the prime minister’s response to COVID is higher among women (59%) than men (49%).

Specifically thinking about the performance of the Prime Minister when it comes to getting Canadians vaccinated against COVID-19, support drops to 50% who approve (13% strongly/37% somewhat), and 50% who disapprove (23% strongly/27% somewhat). Notably, those who strongly disapprove of the Prime Minister’s performance on vaccines outnumber those who strongly approve by nearly two to one.

Similarly, approval of the PM’s vaccination efforts is significantly higher among women (54%) than men (46%) but here we also see an age gap: younger Canadians aged 18-34 are most positive in their assessment of the vaccine rollout (57%), while those aged 35-54 (49%) or 55+ (46%) are less favourable of the prime minister’s efforts in this regard.

In contrast to the decline in the prime minister’s performance assessment, overall approval ratings for how Canada’s premiers have been handling the pandemic remains strong at 67% (down 1 point), and Canada’s mayors get the best marks at 73% (unchanged since last month). Similarly, the premiers (65%) and mayors (69%) outscore the prime minister on their vaccination efforts as well.

% 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

54%

67%

British Columbia

50%

66%

Alberta

33%

42%

Saskatchewan/Manitoba

52%

60%

Ontario

57%

65%

Quebec

57%

80%

Atlantic Canada

70%

83%

 

Regionally, the prime minister’s response to COVID is assessed most favourably in Atlantic Canada (70%) and least favorably in Alberta (33%). A similar trend is found for Canada’s premiers, with Atlantic Canadian premiers (83%) achieving the strongest grades with Premier Francois Legault not far behind (80%), while Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (42%) receives significantly lower approval ratings.

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%

65%

British Columbia

48%

66%

Alberta

32%

49%

Saskatchewan/Manitoba

44%

56%

Ontario

52%

62%

Quebec

55%

77%

Atlantic Canada

66%

77%

 

Assessment of the vaccination efforts of Canada’s leaders is slightly lower than overall approval ratings across the board. While Canadians are mixed 50-50 on Justin Trudeau’s performance in this regard, the prime minister’s ratings are higher in Eastern Canada than Western Canada. Provincially, however, BC Premier John Horgan outpaces his Western-Canadian counterparts, while Ontario Premier Doug Ford falls behind his Eastern-Canada counterparts, but still outperforms the prime minster within Ontario.

 

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 8-10, 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

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