Liberals (31%, -2) and Conservatives (32%, unchanged) Remain Neck and Neck in Tight Election Campaign as NDP Gains Steam

Close Races Remain in Key Battlegrounds of Ontario, BC and Quebec

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, September 1, 2021 — The election campaign remains a tight race nationally as statistical ties in the key battlegrounds of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have failed to break the logjam.

According to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, if the election were held tomorrow, Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives would receive 32% of the decided national popular vote (unchanged since last week), while Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would receive 31% of the vote (down 2 points). The NDP (23%) under Jagmeet Singh continue to edge upwards (up 2 points), while Annamie Paul and the Green Party continue to struggle (4%, down 1 point). Nationally the Bloc would receive 7% of the decided vote (up 1 point), which translates into 30% within Quebec, while the People’s Party (1%, down 1 point) and other parties (2%, up 1 point) would receive a small share of the popular vote. Fourteen percent (14%) of Canadians remain undecided (11%) or would not vote (3%).

The tie at the national level is also reflected within many of the key provinces of the country which disproportionately effect the outcome of the election:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (35%) and Conservatives (33%) are statistically tied, while the NDP (27%) is coming on strong within the province. The Green Party (3%), PPC (2%) and other parties (1%) are well back.
  • In Quebec, The Liberals (31%) and the Bloc (30%) are in a dead heat, while the Tories (20%), NDP (11%), Greens (4%), PPC (1%) and others (2%) are trailing.
  • In British Columbia, a three-way statistical tie ensues with the NDP (32%), Conservatives (30%) and Liberals (27%) all within 5 points of each other. The Green Party (8%) is running behind, are the PPC (1%) and others (2%).
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (53%) retain their traditional advantage over the NDP (23%), Liberals (21%), Greens (2%) and others (1%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (47%) have a solid lead over the NDP (27%), Liberals (17%), Greens (3%), PPC (2%) and others (3%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (53%) continue to lead the Conservatives (25%), NDP (16%), Greens (2%), PPC (2%) and others (2%).

The Conservatives are starting to open a small lead among their traditional groups of support, namely among men and Canadians aged 55+. Up until this point in the campaign, they had failed to break through among these core segments:

  • Among men, the Conservatives (35%) have a slight lead over the Liberals (31%), while the NDP (20%), Bloc (6%), Greens (4%), PPC (2%) trail.
  • Among women, the Liberal (31%) lead over the Tories (29%) is dwindling, while the NDP (26%) continues to make strides. The Bloc (8%), Greens (4%), PPC (1%) and others (2%) are further back.
  • Among those aged 55+, the Conservatives (40%) now have the advantage over the Liberals (33%), with the NDP (18%), Bloc (7%), Greens (1%) and others (1%) well behind.
  • Among those aged 35-54, the Conservatives (31%) and Liberals (30%) are tied, and the NDP (23%) isn’t far off the chase. The Bloc (6%), Greens (5%), PPC (3%) and others (1%) round out the popular vote.
  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (31%) and the NDP (29%) are tied, while the Conservatives (22%) are significantly behind. The Bloc (8%), Greens (7%), PPC (1%) and others (2%) lag.

After a precipitous drop of 6 points last week, the Prime Minister’s approval rating has held steady this week. Fewer than half (46%) approve (9% strongly/37% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau, up 1 point since last week, while a slim majority (54%) disapprove (31% strongly/23% somewhat) of the federal government’s performance.

Moreover, four in ten (38%) Canadians continue to believe that the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election, unchanged since last month, while six in ten (62%) more closely hold the belief that it is time for another federal party to take over, unchanged. Interestingly, the gulf between the 38% who believe the government deserves re-election and the popular vote for the incumbent Liberals (31%) appears to be growing when historically it tightens as election day draws nearer.

Recent events in Afghanistan have put the Prime Minister on the defensive, given the difficult task of airlifting Canadian and Afghani nationals out of a volatile situation in Kabul. The Canadian government has been criticized by some for its handling of the situation, and the poll has found that one in three (31%) Canadians say the events makes them less likely to vote for the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau as a result. Conversely, only 9% of Canadians say the government’s handling of the situation makes them more likely to vote Liberal. For nearly half (45%) of Canadians, there has been no impact on their vote consideration for the government.

While it stands to reason that a majority (56%) of Tory voters say the situation makes them less likely to vote for the incumbent Liberals, recent events could help to explain some of the momentum away from the Liberals and towards the NDP. Among those currently supporting the NDP, one in three (32%) say the situation makes them less likely to vote Liberal, while just 2% say it makes them more likely. As such, the issue does not appear to be helping the prime minister in shoring up support among progressive voters.  Among Liberal voters, however, two in ten (21%) say the government’s handling of the situation makes them more likely to vote Liberal, while just 5% of Liberal voters say it makes them less likely.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 27 and 30, on behalf of Global News.  For this survey, a sample of n = 1,501 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. 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:

© 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. Detailed tabular data tables can be found here:

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker
CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2001
[email protected]


About Ipsos

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