Liberals Enter Election Year in the Driver’s Seat, But Tories Within Striking Distance

Liberals (38%) Have 5-Point Lead over Conservatives (33%), While NDP (18%), Bloc (4%) and Others (7%) Fall Behind

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, December 20, 2018 — As 2018 winds up and Canada prepares to enter a federal election year, a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News reveals that the Liberals are in the driver’s seat heading into 2019, but the Conservatives are within striking distance – which should make for an interesting year politically. Canadians are split right down the middle on whether the government will be re-elected in 2019: half (49%) agree that they will, while half (51%) disagree.

If the election were held tomorrow, the Trudeau Liberals would receive 38% of the decided vote, up 2 points since Ipsos’ last poll in October. The Conservatives under Andrew Scheer would receive 33% of the vote, down 2 points, while the NDP led by Jagmeet Singh have been on a steady decline since the spring and are now at 18%, down 2 points since October, and down 5 points since March of this year. The Bloc would receive 4% of the vote nationally (17% in Quebec), and other parties, including the Green Party, would receive a combined 7% of the vote. Nationally, two in ten are either unsure (16%) or wouldn’t vote (7%).

Looking at six major regions within Canada, the Liberals enjoy an advantage in the regions that garner the largest number of seats – BC, Ontario and Quebec. Overall, their advantage then is potentially bigger than their lead in popular support:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (39%) have the lead over the Conservatives (33%), with the NDP (22%) and others (6%) behind.
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (40%) have a commanding lead over the Conservatives (21%), Bloc (17%), NDP (16%) and others (6%).
  • In BC, the Liberals (41%) have a double-digit lead over the Conservatives (30%), NDP (18%) and others (11%).
  • In Alberta, the Tories (61%) enjoy their traditional lead over the Liberals (19%), NDP (15%) and others (5%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Tories (44%) have the edge over the Liberals (34%), NDP (16%) and others (7%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals (49%) are the clear favorites over the Conservatives (26%), NDP (14%) and others (10%).

Reflecting on the Trudeau government, after three years in office it is garnering mixed reviews from the Canadian public – but in a first-past-the-post election system, Trudeau’s government presently has enough support to be re-elected. Half (51%) approve (16% strongly/35% somewhat) of the performance of the Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (unchanged from the end of 2017). However, nearly half (46%) believe that the Trudeau government has done a good job and deserves re-election, while 54% think it’s time for another federal party to take over.

When it comes to the Trudeau government:

  • A majority (64%) continues to agree (28% strongly/36% somewhat) that it is more style than substance (up 1 point since last year).
  • A majority (55%) agrees (27% strongly/28% somewhat) that the Trudeau government really doesn’t know what it’s doing (up 4 points since last year).
  • A slim majority (53%) agrees (16% strongly/38%) somewhat) that Prime Minister Trudeau is doing a good job managing Canada’s relationship with President Trump.
  • Half (49%) agree (13% strongly/36% somewhat) that the Liberal majority government in Ottawa is working well for Canada (down 1 point since last year, down 17 points since the end of 2015).
  • Half (47%) agree (13% strongly/34% somewhat) that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau understands what is best for Canada’s middle-class people (down 1 point).
  • Nearly half (46%) agree (14% strongly/33% somewhat) that most of the criticisms against the Trudeau government are just partisan games being played by their opponents and that there’s really no basis for them (up 2 points since last year).
  • A minority (45%) agrees (13% strongly/32% somewhat) that the Trudeau government has a clear plan for Canada (down 1 point).
  • Four in ten (44%) agree (18% strongly/26% somewhat) that they get the feeling sometimes from the Trudeau Liberals that people who think like me aren’t good Canadians.
  • One in three (35%) agree (10% strongly/25% somewhat) that they want the Trudeau Liberals to keep running deficits and adding to the federal debt so that they’ll be able to spend more money on new government programs and initiatives that they say will help the middle class and those that want to join it.

© 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 December 7 to 12, 2018, on behalf Global News. For this survey, a sample of 2,001 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 ±2.5 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]

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs