Trudeau’s Troubles in India, Boring Budget Cause Grits to Stumble

40% Say State Visit to India was Bad for Canadian-Indian Relations; Just 9% Give Budget Thumbs Up while Most Shrug Shoulders (69%) or Give Thumbs Down (23%)

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, March 3, 2018 — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s troubles in India coupled with a budget that has not been well received by Canadians have caused the federal Liberals to stumble, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Liberals would receive 33% of the national popular decided vote (down 5 points since December), while the Conservatives would receive 38% of the vote (up 7 points) and would win the election. The NDP would receive 21% support (up 1 point) while the embattled Bloc Quebecois would receive 3% nationally, down 2 points (13% support within Quebec). Other parties, including the Green Party, would receive 5% of the vote (down 2 points). Two in ten are either unsure (10%) of who they would vote for or wouldn’t vote (7%).

Along with a decline in the vote for the Liberals is a corresponding drop in their approval rating. A minority (46%) now approves (9% strongly/37% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, down 5 points since December. Conversely, a slim majority (54%) now disapproves (28% strongly/26% somewhat), up 5 points.

The declining fortunes of Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals are likely a direct result of some recent self-inflicted wounds, including a state visit to India which was largely panned in India and around the world. Moreover, the recent federal budget delivered by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, which showed no path to balancing the budget, has failed to appeal to Canadians.

  • Four in ten (40%) Canadians believe that the recent state visit to India was negative for Canada-India relations, compared to just 16% who think it was a positive step forward for relations. Two in ten (21%) believe it had no impact on relations between the two nations, while one quarter (23%) don’t know enough about the visit to have an opinion.
  • Just 9% of Canadians believe the federal budget was good and give it “two thumbs up”, compared to one quarter (23%) who think it was bad and symbolically give it “two thumbs down”. Most (69%) Canadians, however, think the budget was neither good nor bad and they’d just “shrug their shoulders” as a result.

Having measured a shift in the vote preferences since the end of 2017, it is important to understand how the vote falls out within each of the regions of Canada:

  • In vote-rich Ontario, the Conservatives (43%) have a lead over the Liberals (36%), NDP (18%) and others (4%). It is likely that the tarnished Liberal brand within the province is also dragging down federal Grit support within Ontario.
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (42%) continue to hold a healthy lead over the NDP (21%) and Conservatives (20%), while support for the Bloc Quebecois (13%) is reeling. One in twenty (5%) would vote for some other party.
  • In British Columbia, there is a three-way tie among the Conservatives (31%), Liberals (30%) and NDP (29%), while 10% would vote for some other party.
  • In Alberta, the Conservatives (62%) have a massive lead over the NDP (25%), Liberals (11%) and others (2%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (44%) have a twenty-point lead over the Liberals (24%), with the NDP (21%) close behind while others (11%) trail.
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (41%) continue to lead the Tories (31%) and NDP (22%), with others (6%) well behind. 

Interestingly, even among Millennials aged 18-34, the Liberals have lost their edge. The Conservatives (33%) and Liberals (31%) are statistically tied, with the NDP (25%) close behind.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 28 and March 1, 2018, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 1001 was interviewed online. 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 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.


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 Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of Canadian American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, Ipsos Public Affairs is the polling partner for Global News. Internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

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 88 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 €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs