Canadians Prefer Majority (61%) Government to Minority Outcome (39%)

Those who desire majority want the Tories to lead; those who want minority prefer the Liberals to lead

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, Oct 18, 2019 — In such a close horserace, there are many dynamics at play influencing the electorate’s vote choice including the very likely prospect of a minority government. According to a new Ipsos poll, four in ten (39%) Canadians believe that the best outcome for Canada from this election would be a minority government, while a majority (61%) believes that the best outcome would be a majority government.

Interestingly, most Bloc (71%), Green (64%) and NDP (53%) voters would prefer a minority government, dropping to just 29% and 23% of Liberal and Conservative voters, respectively. Conversely, a majority of Conservative (77%) and Liberal (71%) voters prefer a majority outcome, dropping to a minority of NDP (47%), Green (36%) and Bloc (29%) voters.

Among the 39% who prefer a minority government, 37% would prefer that the Liberals lead that government, while 34% think the NDP should lead it. Fewer (29%) believe that the Conservatives should lead the minority government

Among the 61% who prefer a majority government, a plurality (42%) believes the Conservatives should lead it, with the Liberals (36%) slightly behind and the NDP (22%) further back.

In fact, six in ten (57%) Canadians agree (28% strongly/29% somewhat) that they hope somebody wins a majority government so that we don’t have to have another election for a while. Three in ten (29%) disagree (11% strongly/18% somewhat) that they hold this hope. Conversely, four in ten (43%) agree (12% strongly/31% somewhat) that they’d be happy with a minority government as a result of this election, while four in ten (40%) disagree (18% strongly/23% somewhat) and 17% aren’t sure.

If the election does indeed result in a minority government, the aftermath of E-Day may be a masterclass in the art of deal making with the parties jockeying for position and third parties becoming kingmakers. Canadians are more enthusiastic about some prospects than others, although some are also more likely than others:

  • One half (50%) support the Liberals governing with support from the NDP
  • Nearly half (45%) support the NDP governing with support from the Liberals, despite there being no real prospect for this to actually happen
  • Four in ten (41%) support the Conservatives governing with support from the NDP
  • Four in ten (37%) support the NDP governing with support from the Conservatives
  • One in three (34%) support the Liberals governing with support from the Conservatives
  • Three in ten (31%) support the Conservatives governing with support from the Liberals

The House of Commons could be in situation where it requires more than two parties to achieve the 170 seats needed to effectively govern, in which case even the Bloc Quebecois or the Green Party could become kingmakers in an unlikely coalition, whether it be formal or ad hoc, further complicating the scenarios above.

Four in Ten (38%) Canadians Voting Out of Protest, Disgust or Strategically

While six in ten (58%) Canadians say they’re voting for the party they are because they like that option the best, four in ten (38%) Canadians say they have ulterior motives informing their vote choice.

  • Two in ten (19%) say they’re voting to make sure another party doesn’t win. Conservative (26%) and Liberal (22%) voters are by far the most likely to have this motivation.
  • One in ten (13%) are voting the way they are to express their disgust with all of the other parties – in other words, a protest vote. Bloc (22%), Green (21%) and NDP (20%) voters are most inclined to say so.
  • Six percent (6%) are specifically trying to prevent a coalition/minority government. One in ten (9%) Liberal voters are most motivated by this.

What is clear is that for millions of Canadians, the political parties and leaders are not resonating, and the electoral system means that not all Canadians are able to vote for the candidate that is their first choice:

  • Four in ten (36%) agree (11% strongly/26% somewhat) that they don’t really like any of the parties in this election. Interestingly, 50% of Canadians who say they will not vote hold this point of view.
  • Two in ten (20%) agree (6% strongly/14% somewhat) that they will vote for a candidate they think can win but is not their first choice. Three in ten (28%) Liberal voters say this applies to them, which underscores perhaps the strongest undercurrent of this campaign – voters upset with the Prime Minister, but not seeing a viable alternative.


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 11 and 13, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 2,204 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. A sample of n = 1,504 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 = 700 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 (weighting efficiency = 66.9%). 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 ± 2.4 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:

© 2019, 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:

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker, PhD

CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs


About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD). ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs