Out of the Starting Blocks - More of the Same: Liberals 36%, Conservatives 31%, NDP 20%, Bloc 6%, Green 5%

Liberals Lead, but Majority not Secure

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, August 17, 2021 — Despite the Prime Minister calling an election that a majority (56%) of Canadians believe should not be held during a pandemic, a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News has shown that nothing has changed substantially with party standings even with the official start of the campaign.

If the election were held tomorrow, the results would be very similar to the results of Ipsos’ polling last month: the Liberals under Justin Trudeau would receive 36% of the decided popular vote nationally (unchanged since last month), while Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives would receive 31%, up 1 point. Jagmeet Singh’s NDP would receive 20% of the popular vote, unchanged, while Annamie Paul and the Green Party would receive the support of 5% of Canadians, up 2 points. The Bloc, led by Yves-Francois Blanchet, would receive 6% of the vote nationally (down 1 point), or 28% in Quebec. Just 1% would vote for Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party (down 1 point), and 1% would vote for some other party (down 1 point). Nearly two in ten (17%) Canadians either remain undecided (13%) or would not vote in this election (4%), suggesting that the election is still far from over.

While match point remains elusive for the Liberals, they hold the advantage in some of Canada’s most seat-rich provinces:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (40%) hold a lead over the Conservatives (31%), but not enough to earn them the number of seats they need to flirt with a majority government. The NDP (23%), Greens (3%) and others (3%) are further back.
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (39%) have a double-digit lead over the Bloc (28%), while the Conservatives (17%), NDP (12%), and Greens (4%) trail.
  • In British Columbia, the race is tighter with the Liberals (37%) having only a modest lead over the Tories (32%). The NDP is in third (20%), while the Greens (10%) and others (1%) are behind.
  • In Alberta, the Tories (53%) have regained their more traditional advantage over the Liberals (19%), NDP (20%), Greens (5%) and others (3%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (46%) also have a strong lead over the tied Liberals (23%) and NDP (24%), while the Greens (6%) and others (1%) trail.
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (49%) maintain a healthy lead over the Conservatives (21%), NDP (18%), Greens (9%) and others (3%).

These vote figures within the regions would likely fail to produce a meaningful difference to the distribution of seats that presently comprises the House of Commons, suggesting that another minority government remains the likely outcome of this election.

The data also reveal that there are some key differences in voting intentions by gender, and by age:

  • Among men, the Liberals (36%) and Conservatives (34%) are roughly tied, while the NDP (16%), Green (6%) and Bloc (5%) are behind.
  • Among women, the Liberals (37%) enjoy a strong lead over the Tories (28%), NDP (23%), Bloc (7%) and Greens (4%).
  • Among those aged 55+, the Liberals (39%) and Conservatives (38%) are tied, with the NDP (13%), Greens (5%) and Bloc (3%) struggling.
  • Among those aged 35-54, the Liberals (37%) also have a strong lead over the Conservatives (28%) and NDP (21%), with the Bloc (8%) and Greens (5%) further behind.
  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (32%) and NDP (28%) are fighting for top spot, with the Conservatives (24%) not far behind. The Bloc (9%) and Greens (5%) are trailing.

Underlying assessments of the Trudeau government remain lukewarm. Overall, 51% approve of the performance of the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau (up 1 point), but this assessment is tepid at best with only 11% saying they strongly approve while 39% somewhat approve. In contrast, 49% disapprove (28% strongly/21% somewhat)

Moreover, 41% believe the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election (down 1 point), a figure which sits 5 points above the Liberal vote intention. It seems that many Canadians would give Trudeau a thumbs up for his performance as Prime Minister but are still willing to entertain the possibility of change, with 57% saying it’s time for another party to take over.

The quest for a majority is made more difficult by the fact that Canadians are split down the middle as to whether things in Canada are headed in the right direction (48%) or are headed off on the wrong track (50%). The Prime Minister will need to convince Canadians that a future under his continued leadership is better than the alternatives, and that he can steer Canada in the right direction.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 13 and 16, on behalf of Global News.  For this survey, a sample of n = 2,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. A sample of n = 1,501 was interviewed online, via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources, and respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. A sample of n = 500 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed by live-interview telephone interviewers by landline and cellphone, using random-digit dialing. 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 ± 2.5 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. Ipsos abides by the disclosure standards established by the CRIC, found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards

© 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: https://ipsosintelligence.ca/canadiancontext/


For more information on this news release, please contact:

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

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