Conservatives (35%) and Liberals (33%) in Dead Heat as Ethics Review Fails to Move Voters

Most (67%) Continue to Want Change in Ottawa as Only One in Three (33%) Say Trudeau Deserves Re-election

The author(s)
  • Mike Colledge President, Ipsos Public Affairs Canada
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Toronto, ON, Aug 19, 2019 — The federal Conservatives (35%) and Liberals (33%) are in a dead heat as the Ethics Commissioner’s Report on the SNC-Lavalin affair fails to move voters, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News. It appears that, at least in the short term, most voters have already made up their mind about whether the Prime Minister was in the right or the wrong in doing what he did, and the Ethics watchdog’s report did little to sway people’s minds.

If the election were held today, the Conservatives under Andrew Scheer would receive 35% of the decided national popular vote (down 2 points since last month), while the incumbent Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would receive 33% of the vote (up 2 points). Jagmeet Singh and the NDP would receive 18% of the vote (unchanged), while the Green Party led by Elizabeth May would receive 9% of vote support (up 2 points). The Bloc, led by Yves-Francois Blanchet, would receive 3% nationally (down 2 points), or 14% in Quebec. Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party would receive just 1% of the vote, nationally, while other parties would also receive 1% support.

Two in ten (20%) Canadians either don’t know who they would vote for (11%) or say they simply would not vote or spoil their ballot (9%).

The outcome in three key swing provinces will primarily determine the results of the election:

  • In Ontario the Tories lead by 3 points over the Liberals.
  • In British Columbia, a three-way horserace has emerged, with the Liberals 4 points ahead of the Tories and 5 points ahead of the NDP.
  • In Quebec, the Liberal lead has strengthened to 19 points over the Conservatives. It appears that the Prime Minister’s staunch defense of one of Quebec’s flagship companies continues to play well in la belle province.

For detailed regional vote figures, please visit

Not only will the battles be fought in key regions, but also among key demographic subgroups of the population.

  • Among women the Liberals (33%) and the Conservatives (33%) are tied, with the NDP (21%) in third. All parties will no doubt be courting the female vote given the tight competition among this key constituency.
  • Among men, the Conservatives (38%) have a five-point lead over the Liberals (33%), while the NDP is far behind (14%).
  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (35%) have the advantage over the Conservatives (27%) and NDP (22%).
  • Among those aged 35-54, the Conservatives (33%) and Liberals (32%) are tied, with the NDP lagging (20%).
  • Among those aged 55+, who are most likely to vote, the Conservatives (43%) have a solid advantage over the Liberals (33%) and NDP (12%).

At this juncture in the campaign, only 43% of voters are absolutely certain of their vote choice, while the remainder of those who have chosen a party to support are fairly certain (39%), not very certain (15%) or not at all certain (3%) – suggesting that there is still plenty of opportunity for voters to change their mind before election day. On this metric, the Conservatives have the advantage: 50% of Tory voters are absolutely certain of their choice, while Liberal (43%), NDP (35%) and Green Party (30%) voters are less committed to supporting their party. In Quebec, 61% of Bloc voters are absolutely certain that they’ll support the Bloc.

Just as the Liberals and Conservatives are locked in terms of popular vote, so too are they statistically tied when it comes to the belief that each of their leaders would make the best Prime Minister of Canada. Three in ten believe that Scheer (32%) and Trudeau (30%) would be best for the top job, while two in ten (21%) believe Elizabeth May would be the best person for that role. Fewer believe that Jagmeet Singh (13%) and Yves-François Blanchet (3%) would make the best Prime Minister.

Underlying Fundamentals Suggest Difficult Path to Re-Election for Liberals

While the topline figures are encouraging and modestly improving for the Liberals, the underlying fundamentals still paint a challenging picture for them. Fewer than four in ten (36%, down 3 points) approve (7% strongly/30% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal Government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while more than six in ten (64%, up 3 points) disapprove (35% strongly/29% somewhat). Approval ratings are highest in Atlantic Canada (50%), Quebec (43%) and BC (41%), and lower in Ontario (36%), Alberta (22%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (20%).

Moreover, only 33% believe that the Government under Justin Trudeau has done a good job and deserves re-election, while a strongly majority (67%) believes it is time for another political party to take over, unchanged since last month. On the top end, more than four in ten in Atlantic Canada (45%) and Quebec (42%) believe the Prime Minister deserves to be re-elected, while fewer in BC (36%), Ontario (34%) and especially Alberta (15%) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (14%) believe he does.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 16 to 19, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 1001 was interviewed online. Weighting was then 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 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 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.

© 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:

Mike Colledge

President, Service Line Lead


[email protected]

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The author(s)
  • Mike Colledge President, Ipsos Public Affairs Canada