Toronto, ON, December 23, 2020 – Solid approval ratings throughout 2020 on account of what Canadians view as strong management of the country through the COVID-19 crisis has translated into a slight lead in popular vote for the Liberals as 2020 comes to a close.
A new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News has revealed that the Liberals under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would receive 35% of the decided national popular vote, while Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives would receive 32% of the vote. Jagmeet Singh and the NDP would receive 18%, while the Green Party led by Annamie Paul would receive 7%. The Bloc Quebecois under Yves-Francois Blanchet would receive 7% of the vote nationally, which translates into 30% within Quebec, while 1% would vote for some other party. Fully one quarter of Canadians say they either do not know (16%) who they would vote for or they wouldn’t vote (9%).
The relatively tight national scene mirrors some tight races within key provinces:
- In Ontario, the Liberals (38%) lead the Conservatives (34%) by only 4 points, with the NDP (19%) and Green Party (8%) behind.
- In Quebec, the Liberals (36%) have a six-point lead over the Bloc (30%), while the Conservatives (17%), NDP (11%) and Green Party (6%) trails significantly.
- In British Columbia, the Liberals (32%) and Conservatives (31%) are in a statistical tie with the NDP (25%) not far behind. The Green Party (12%) also enjoys double-digit support.
- In Alberta, the Conservatives (54%) comfortably lead the NDP (23%), Liberals (21%) and Greens (2%).
- In Saskatchewan and Manitoba the situation is similar, with the Liberals (26%), NDP (13%) and Greens (3%) far behind the Conservatives (54%).
- In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (53%) maintain their lead over the NDP (23%), Tories (12%) and Green Party (12%).
Overall, nearly six in ten (56%) Canadians ‘approve’ (10% strongly/46% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal government under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, while 44% disapprove (22% strongly/22% somewhat). It is interesting to note that those who strongly disapprove outnumber those who strongly approve by a two-to-one margin. The Prime Minister’s approval ratings are highest in Atlantic Canada (77%), followed by Quebec (62%), Ontario (59%), British Columbia (55%), and are much lower in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (37%) and Alberta (35%).
By comparison, in February of 2020 – before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic – the Trudeau government’s approval rating was just 43%. In short, the pandemic and the Prime Minister’s response to it has helped to raise his approval ratings by 13 points.
Canadians Value Governments for Ability to Provide Support, But Businesses Earn More Respect for Their Response
Underscoring the strong approval ratings for government, six in ten (57%) agree (9% strongly/48% somewhat) that governments have gained more of their support because of the way they have managed and communicated through the pandemic, with those aged 55+ being most likely to say so (61%).
But Canadians are even more impressed in the response from the business community: nearly seven in ten (68%) agree (10% strongly/58% somewhat) that the businesses they buy from have gained more of their support because of the way they have managed and communicated through the pandemic. In particular, women (71%) and Boomers (70%) are most likely to indicate that this is the case.
While six in ten (63%) Canadians agree (11% strongly/52% somewhat) that COVID-19 has shown the greatest value of governments is their ability to solve complex problems in tough times, even more (69%) agree (13% strongly/55% somewhat) that the greatest value is their ability to provide income support to those in need. This suggests that some might believe that, outside of throwing money at a problem, they see government as struggling to find other ways to solve complex problems.
Workplaces and Hospitals Earn Top Marks; Long-Term Care Facilities Earn Failing Grade
The performance of the Prime Minister is not the only job under scrutiny during the pandemic. Canadians have reflected on how well other organizations and institutions have managed throughout COVID-19. Some receive high praise, while others leave much room for improvement. The chart below outlines the organization/institution being assessed, along with the proportion who rate its performance is great/good or poor/terrible.
Scores for workplaces and hospitals are very strong. While schools and daycares also receive relatively strong grades, few would say their performance has been great. However, Canadians are clear that, on account of the disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths that have occurred here, long-term care facilities need to improve their processes as Canada grapples with a second wave of the pandemic. Across all organizations and institutions asked about, average scores are highest in Atlantic Canada (77%), followed by British Columbia (71%), Alberta (68%), Quebec (68%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (67%), and finally Ontario (64%).
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between December 11-14, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. 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 aged 18+ 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.
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