As Election Fever Builds, Liberal Majority in Doubt as Liberal (36%, -2) Lead Over Conservatives (30%, +4) Shrinks to 6 Points

Tight Regional Races Make It Difficult for Liberals to Gain Seats

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, July 24, 2021 – With vaccination efforts going well and the economic recovery in full swing, election fever continues to build. But a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News reveals that a Liberal majority is now in doubt given tight races in seat-rich provinces and only a six-point lead nationally.

If the election were held tomorrow, 36% of decided voters would cast their ballot for the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, down 2 points since last month. Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives would receive 30% of the popular vote, up 4 points, while Jagmeet Singh and the NDP are holding steady at 20% of vote. The Bloc Quebecois led by Yves-François Blanchet would garner 7% of the vote nationally (32% in Quebec which is down 2 points), while Annamie Paul and the Green Party is presently struggling with just 3% of the vote, down 4 points. Few Canadians would cast their ballot for the People’s Party (2%) or some other party (2%). Two in ten Canadians either would not vote (7%) or are unsure of who they would vote for (14%).

The path to a Liberal majority government lays in Ontario, Quebec and BC, and the Liberals likely do not have a substantial enough lead within these regions to build to push their seat count to 170 or above.

  • Ontario is presently a strength for the federal Liberals (40%) who hold an 8-point lead over the Conservatives (32%). The NDP (20%), Green (3%), PPC (4%) and other parties (2%) lag behind.
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (37%) have a narrower lead over the Bloc (32%), while the Conservatives (16%), NDP (11%), Greens (3%) and PPC (1%) trail.
  • In British Columbia, The Conservatives (36%) and Liberals (35%) are neck and neck, with the NDP within striking distance (24%), while the Green Party (4%) struggles even among its base and others (1%) trail.
  • In Alberta, the Tories (36%) continue to cling to a narrow lead over the NDP (31%), Liberals (24%), PPC (3%) Green Party (2%) and others (5%) as Jason Kenney’s troubles continue and serve to boost federal NDP fortunes within the province.
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (41%) have a commanding lead over the NDP (24%), Liberals (21%), PPC (8%), Greens (3%) and others (3%).
  • In Atlantic Canada the Liberals (48%) hold on to their strong advantage over the Conservatives (31%), NDP (17%), Greens (3%) and PPC (2%).

Underlying the Conservative Party’s struggles is that they are not breaking through with any of the key age or gender demographic groups they traditionally do well with, notably men and older Canadians

  • Among men, the Liberals (36%) have a slight advantage over the Tories (32%), with the NDP (17%), Bloc (7%), PPC (3%), Greens (3%) and others (2%) behind.
  • Among women, the Liberals (36%) have a strong lead over the Conservatives (28%), NDP (23%), Bloc (7%), Greens (3%), PPC (1%) and others (2%).
  • Among those aged 55+, the demographic group most likely to vote, the Liberals (35%) and Tories (34%) are tied, while the NDP (17%), Bloc (8%), Greens (2%), PPC (2%) and others (1%) lag.
  • Among those aged 35-54, the Liberals (38%) have their largest lead over the Conservatives (26%), NDP (21%), Bloc (6%), PPC (3%), Greens (2%) and others (3%).
  • Among Canadians aged 18-34, the Liberals (34%) are in first place, but the Conservatives (27%) and NDP (25%) are battling for second position. The Green Party (6%), Bloc (5%) and PPC (2%) are well back.

Conservative Vote is Most Firm, But with Least Potential for Growth

Much can change between now and Election Day (whenever that is), given that only 42% of “decided” voters say they’re absolutely certain to vote for their chosen party. Another 42% are fairly certain, while 16% named a party they’d vote for but are not certain they’ll stick with them (3% not at all/13% not very).

Among the major parties, the data reveal that Conservative support is the firmest, while NDP support is the softest. Nearly half (48%) of Tory voters say they’re absolutely certain of their choice, while fewer Bloc (44%), Liberal (43%), Green (36%) and NDP (31%) voters are locked in.

The opposite trend is uncovered when it comes to the parties’ potential for future growth. Asked which party they would choose as their second option, 20% would vote for the NDP, 14% would choose the Liberals, 12% would vote for the Green Party, and just 10% would vote for the Conservatives. Only 3% would choose the Bloc second (12% in Quebec), and 7% would choose to vote for some other party. One in four (34%) are unsure of who they would pick second.

  • The Liberals primary opportunity for growth is among NDP and Bloc supporters: 39% of current NDP supporters would choose the Liberals second, and 22% of Bloc supporters would choose the Liberals second.
  • The Conservatives, however, have less consideration among current supporters of the other major parties: only 15% of Liberal voters and 11% of NDP supporters would choose the Tories second. Within Quebec, 18% of Bloc supporters would choose the Tories second, but given that the Conservatives are so far behind within Quebec, that likely wouldn’t translate into many seats.
  • The potential for NDP growth is strong, which is to the advantage of the Tories given where this growth would come from: 38% of Liberal party voters would choose the NDP second, while 26% of Green voters, 18% of Bloc voters in Quebec, and just 14% of Tory voters would choose the NDP second.

Despite Softening of Liberal Vote Intentions, Underlying Fundamentals Hold

While the gap between the Liberals and the Conservatives has shrunk in the past month, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are still showing reasonably strong underlying fundamentals:

  • One half (50%) approve of the performance of the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau, down 2 points since last month. However, approval is tenuous and could break easily, given only 10% strongly approve and 40% somewhat approve. Moreover, of the half who disapprove, 26% disapprove strongly, meaning there are more strong detractors for the Prime Minister than strong advocates.
  • Four in ten (42%, up 1 point) continue to believe that the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election. While a majority (58%, down 1 point) are closer to the opinion that it is time for a change in Ottawa, if everyone who believes Trudeau has done a god job votes for the Liberals, the government would cruise to a majority victory.

Interestingly, even 12% of Liberal supporters believe it’s time for a new party to take over. But this is balanced by the 11% of Tory voters who believe the Prime Minister deserves re-election. The size of the Liberal Party’s future caucus is likely going to be determined by soft NDP voters who are waffling between the Liberals and the NDP. Among those who currently would vote for the NDP, fully three in ten (30%) believe the Prime Minister has done a good job and deserves re-election, and may ultimately be convinced to join the ranks of Liberal voters if they want to keep the Tories at bay.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 19-20, 2021, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. A sample of n = 1,000 was interviewed online, via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources, and respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. 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 ± 3.5 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:

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