Liberal Re-Election Chances in Jeopardy as Conservatives (36%, +3) Now Lead Liberals (34%, -4) Amid Jody Wilson-Raybould Resignation

Trudeau Government Approval Rating Drops 9 Points to 42%

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, February 19, 2019 — The resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould from cabinet has crippled the Liberals and tarnished Trudeau’s brand as their re-election chances are far less certain that they were at the start of 2019, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News. The Conservatives are now ahead in the popular vote, Trudeau’s approval rating has dropped precipitously, Andrew Scheer is closing the gap on key leadership attributes, and only 38% believe the government deserves re-election.

If the election were held tomorrow, the Conservative Party of Canada led by Andrew Scheer would receive 36% of the decided popular vote, up 3 points since the end of 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would receive 34% of the vote, down 4 points, while Jagmeet Singh and the NDP would receive 17% of the vote, down 1 point. The Bloc would receive 6% of the national vote (26% in Quebec), up 2 points, and are clearly benefiting from what is set to be a catastrophic defeat for the NDP in Quebec. Other parties, including the Green Party, would receive 7% of the vote nationally, unchanged.

  • The Liberals had enjoyed a six-point lead in Ontario just two months ago and are now facing a six-point deficit. The Tories (38%) are now ahead of the Liberals (32%) in Ontario, followed by the NDP (22%) and others (8%).
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (38%) still lead, while the Bloc (26%) and Conservatives (25%) are gaining. The NDP at just 8% of the popular vote will struggle mightily to keep their seats in Quebec.
  • In British Columbia, the Liberals (37%) and Tories (31%) are splitting the bulk of the votes, while the NDP (17%) and other parties including the Green Party (15%) are at present similarly matched.
  • In Alberta, the Tories (55%) hold their traditional advantage over the Liberals (25%), NDP (19%) and others (1%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (44%) also lead the Liberals (30%), NDP (18%) and others (8%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (50%) still have a solid lead over the Conservatives (31%), NDP (13%) and others (6%).

Just 42% of Canadians now approve (7% strongly/35% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau, dropping 9 points from 51% at the end of 2018. Conversely, a majority (58%, up 9 points) now disapprove (30% strongly/28% somewhat) of their performance. Trudeau’s approval rating is two points lower now than it was following his ill-fated trip to India, underscoring the severe impact that the dispute with Jody Wilson-Raybould is having on the Liberals’ polling numbers.

Underscoring the present challenges of the government, just 38% believe that the Liberal government deserves re-election, while 62% believe it’s time for another party to take over and run their country. Even 10% of current Liberal voters believe it might be time for another party, but 90% are standing behind Justin Trudeau. By comparison, in April, 2015, 37% felt that Stephen Harper deserved re-election, which dropped to just 31% by August heading into the election period.

Overall, 49% of Canadians say they’re aware (17% very/32% somewhat) of the issue with SNC Lavalin, the Prime Minister and former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. But this hasn’t been the only recent instance of alleged ethical dilemmas for the Prime Minister’s office. In fact, one quarter (25%) of Canadians are aware (6% very/19% somewhat) of the issue of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and the alleged discussions that have taken place between the Privy Council and prosecutors regarding his pre-trial.

Four in ten (43%) Canadians say that these issues will impact how they vote in the election in October of this year, including 60% of current Tory voters who say it will impact how they vote. Among those who say it will impact their vote, the Liberal vote drops to just 20% of the popular vote.

  • Among the 43% who say it will impact how they vote, the popular vote is: 46% Conservative, 20% Liberal, 20% NDP, 5% Bloc, 8% other
  • Among the 57% who say it won’t impact their vote, the popular vote is: 47% Liberal, 27% Conservative, 13% NDP, 7% Bloc, 6% some other party.

Canadians were asked to assess the major party leaders on various leadership attributes, as they were at the end of 2018, and to choose the one that they thought was best described by each trait. Despite Trudeau’s troubles, he still bests his rivals in every category studied. While increased visibility for Scheer and the other leaders in an election year could provide them with more opportunity to make an impression, the Prime Minister bounced back from the India trip reasonably well and could potentially do it again – if this affair is not drawn out throughout the year.

Tracking is shown in brackets compared to December, 2018. Trudeau has only suffered a modest drop on trust, while Singh’s numbers continue to look anemic. While Scheer has yet to rival Trudeau on any metric besides the economy, he has made significant gains in the last two months, which will be a source of concern for the Liberals.

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The economy might also be a soft spot for the Trudeau Liberals as there has been a steady decline in the perception that the economy is strong. In the spring of 2018, 62% of Canadians thought the economy was in good shape. Continuing its slow but steady decline, now only 56% believe it’s in good shape (5% very good/51% somewhat good). Those who think it is in good shape are leaning heavily towards the Liberals; those who think it is in bad shape are decidedly with the Conservatives.


© 2018, 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.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 14 to 18, 2019, on behalf Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,002 adults living in Canada was polled. 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 Canadian adults 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, PhD

CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs

+1 416 324-2001

[email protected]


About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry. With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management. Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs