Singh Emerges as Most Likeable Leader; Negative Perceptions Highest for Trudeau

While O’Toole trending more negative (49%) than positive (28%), one in four still making their mind up about Tory Leader

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  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, Aug 26, 2021 — While his party is firmly in third place, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has emerged as the leader with the highest favourability ratings, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted for Global News. This is clearly good news for the NDP, given that earlier Ipsos polling revealed that many voters were not yet certain of their vote choice, and the NDP is far and away the second choice of voters overall.



% favourable

% unfavourable

Net Favour

Don’t know enough about them

Justin Trudeau





Erin O’Toole





Jagmeet Singh





Annamie Paul





Yves-François Blanchet (in Quebec)





Maxime Bernier






Examining the challenges and/or opportunities for each leader:

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the highest unfavourable ratings (53%), but also the second-highest favourable ratings at 41%. Very few (6%) say they don’t know enough about him, so opinions of him are likely more baked-in than for the other leaders. The Prime Minister’s favourability is slightly higher among women (44%) than men ( 39%), and among those aged 18-34 (44%) and 55+ (44%) than those aged 35-54 (37%). Net rating: -12
  • Erin O’Toole is clearly suffering from being the least well-known leader of the three major parties, with 24% of Canadians indicating they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion one way or the other. This means that his favourability ratings (28%) are lower than the other leaders, but it could also explain why his unfavourable ratings (49%) are also lower than the Prime Minister’s. O’Toole has a lot of opportunity over the next four weeks to introduce himself to Canadians and try to get those favourability ratings higher. Favourability ratings are higher among men (32%) than women (24%), with very few differences by age. Net rating: -21
  • Jagmeet Singh is the leader with the highest favourability ratings, and is also the only leader with a net positive rating (+6), meaning that more Canadians like him than dislike him. Fighting his second federal election, just 16% say they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion either way. Singh has higher favourability ratings among women (48%) than men (42%), but his strongest showing is among those aged 18-34 (53%) compared to Canadians aged 35 and older (42%). Net rating: +6
  • Annamie Paul is really struggling in her first year as Green Party leader. Only 15% are favourable towards her, outnumbered threefold by the proportion who are unfavourable towards her. She does have the highest percentage of people who don’t know much about her (42%), but that gulf between favourable and unfavourable may be a bit too large to bridge in just four weeks. Her ratings are slightly more favourable among men (17%) than women (12%), and among those aged 18-34 (21%) compared to those aged 35-54 (13%) and 55+ (11%). Net ratings: -28
  • Within Quebec, Yves-François Blanchet has equal proportions saying they are favourable (39%) as unfavourable (39%), with nearly one in four (22%) Quebecers saying they don’t know enough about him. Favourability ratings are much higher among men (47%) than women (31%). Age also plays a factor: those aged 18-34 are much less favourable (28%) towards him than those aged 35-54 (43%) or 55+ (41%). The election campaign will be critical for the Bloc leader, the perceptions of whom could easily tip one way or the other based on his performance in the two French-language debates in particular. Net rating in Quebec: even
  • Maxime Bernier has the highest net negative rating of all the leaders, and the lowest favourable ratings. While one in four (34%) don’t know much about him, with a majority (52%) unfavourable towards the leader it is unlikely that these ratios would change dramatically over the course of the campaign. Demographically, he gets higher favourability ratings from men (17%) than women (11%), and from those under 35 (23%) compared to those aged 35-54 (14%) or 55+ (8%). Net rating: -38

These data can also give clues about how enthusiastic voters of each party are about their leader, which could impact voter turnout for each party in the advance polls or on E-day. Currently, 93% of Liberal voters have a favourable view of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and 92% of NDP voters are favourable towards Jagmeet Singh. Nine in ten Bloc voters (89%) are also favourable towards Yves-François Blanchet.

However, it is a completely different story for Erin O’Toole: only 69% of current Conservative voters are favourable towards O’Toole, while two in ten (18%) are unfavourable towards the leader. One in ten (13%) say they still don’t know enough about him to say either way. This clearly poses a risk the Tory leader and suggests that his grasp on the Tory vote is presently tenuous. This could explain why previous Ipsos polling failed to point to a potential ballot-box bonus for the Conservatives. If they’re not enthusiastic about their leader, they may be more reluctant to actually show up and cast their ballot for his party.

Annamie Paul is also struggling, with only 54% of current Green voters saying they have a favourable assessment of her, 22% are unfavourable and 24% are unsure.


About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 20 and 23, on behalf of Global News.  For this survey, a sample of n = 1,500 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