Conservatives (34%, -3) Stumble, Tied with Liberals (35%, +1) Ahead of Critical English-Language Debate

Bloc (30%, +9) Rallying in Quebec as Tories (19%, -5) Lose Momentum in wake of first French-Language Debate

Toronto, ON, Oct 7, 2019 -- The first French-language debate has shaken things up in the province of Quebec, rallying Bloc supporters while at the same time causing the Conservative Party to stumble.

A new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News has found that, ahead of the critical English-language debate, the Liberals (35%, up 1 point) and the Conservatives (34%, down 3 points) are statistically tied nationally among decided voters. If the election were held tomorrow, the NDP would receive 15% of the popular vote (unchanged), while support for the Green Party (7%) is also unchanged, nationally. The Bloc’s 30% share of the vote in Quebec (up 8 points) translates into 7% nationally (up 2 points), while the People’s Party would receive 2% (unchanged). Nearly two in ten Canadians are either undecided (9%) or wouldn’t vote (6%).

While voting intentions have remained largely static in Canada outside of Quebec (perhaps increasing the importance of the sole English-language debate in shaking up the logjam), within Quebec the French-language debate, which featured Yves-François Blanchet on the offensive, has been the catalyst for significant change since last week:

  • Within Quebec, the Liberals have a 10-point lead on the Bloc, who have surged largely at the expense of the Conservative Party.
  • In Ontario, the Liberals are just 2 points ahead of the Conservatives, a statistical tie.
  • In BC, the Liberals are also statistically tied with the Tories with only 1 point separating the two frontrunners.

Significant differences in voting intention exist when examining the results by age:

  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (41%) have a large advantage over the Conservatives (27%), NDP (18%), Greens (8%), Bloc (3%), and PPC (2%).
  • Among voters aged 35-54, the race between the Liberals (34%) and Conservatives (31%) is much closer, with the NDP (16%) Bloc (9%), Greens (5%), and PPC (3%) trailing.
  • Among those aged 55+, the Conservatives (40%) have a significant lead over the Liberals (31%), NDP (11%), Bloc (9%), Greens (7%) and PPC (1%).

Examining the fundamentals underlying support for the incumbent Liberals, four in ten (41%, down 2 points) approve (9% strongly/32% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau, while six in ten (59%) disapprove (34% strongly/25% somewhat). Approval is highest in Quebec (50%), followed by Atlantic Canada (46%), Ontario (42%), BC (38%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (37%), and Alberta (25%).

Nearly four in ten (38%) Canadians believe that the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election (unchanged), a figure which typically tracks closely to the percentage of the popular vote that the incumbent receives on Election Day. This sentiment is strongest in Quebec (48%) and Ontario (40%), followed by Atlantic Canada (37%), British Columbia (36%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (32%) and, finally, Alberta (22%). Conversely, six in ten (62%) Canadians believe it is time for another party to take over.

In the last week, Justin Trudeau has moved into first position as the party leader who Canadians think would make the best Prime Minister (35%, +2), while Andrew Scheer has slipped to second place (30%, -3). Jagmeet Singh (14%, unchanged), has maintained a narrow lead ahead of Elizabeth May (12%, unchanged), while Maxime Bernier (6%, +1) and Yves-François Blanchet (3%, +1) trail.

Bandwagons and Underdogs

Despite the tie in decided popular vote at the national level, 35% of Canadians believe that the Liberals will ultimately win the election, while 27% believe the Tories will win. Few believe that the NDP (4%), Greens (2%), Bloc (1%), or others (1%) will win the election. This leaves 29% Canadians still completely unsure of who will win the race.

  • The 29% of Canadians unsure of who will win is greater than it was at the start of the campaign (25%), which began with a popular-vote tie between the Liberals (35%) and Conservatives (35%).
  • The 35% who believe the Liberals will win is unchanged since the writ drop.
  • The 27% who believe the Tories will win is down 4 points.

Turnout will Determine Outcome of Election

The key to winning this election will be to motivate one’s base to go out and vote on Election Day, particularly in key areas within the country that are rich in swing ridings. Overall, 62% of Canadians say they’re completely certain that they’ll vote on Election Day, which is down 3 points since the start of the campaign.

  • Conservative (71%) and Bloc (71%) voters, who are disproportionately older, are most likely to say they will go out and vote. Motivation is slightly lower among Liberal (68%), Green (66%) and NDP (63%) supporters.

Fully one half (50%) of decided voters are absolutely certain of their vote choice in this election campaign, meaning they will not change their vote. This figure is unchanged since the start of the campaign. The remainder of voters are fairly certain (39%) about their vote choice, not very certain (9%) or not at all certain (3%).

On this metric, Conservative (56%) and Liberal (53%) voters are by far the most likely to say they’re absolutely certain of their vote choice, while there will likely be more voter volatility among those currently supporting the Bloc (47%), NDP (39%) and Green (32%) party, as their supporters appear much less committed to their choice, with the majority expressing at least some degree of uncertainty.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 4 to 7, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 1502 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources. 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 (weighting efficiency = 62.6%). 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 ± 2.9 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


[email protected]

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