Trudeau Liberals (38%, +2) Maintain Lead Over Conservatives (32%, +1) Amid Second Wave of Pandemic

While Strong, PM’s COVID Approval Rating (59%, -15 since April) Still Trails Provincial Premiers (65%, -19 since April), Municipal Mayors (71%)

The author(s)
  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, October 28, 2020 – As Canada reaches all-time daily highs in reported COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have maintained their lead over Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives at 6 points, inching up from a 5-point gap in polling which followed the Throne Speech and Prime Minister’s televised address.

According to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, if an election were held tomorrow, the Liberals would receive 38% of the decided vote, up 2 points since September, while the Conservatives would receive 32% of the popular vote, up 1 point since last month. The NDP would receive 17% of the vote (down 1 point), while the Green Party (7%, +2) and other parties (2%, +1) would trail. The Bloc Quebecois would garner 26% of the vote within Quebec, which translates to 6% of the national popular vote, down 1 point. Nearly one quarter (24%) of Canadians say they don’t know how they would vote (16%), or simply wouldn’t vote (8%).

Despite a widening gap between the Liberals and Conservatives nationally, the Conservatives have closed some of the gap in Canada’s most populous province:

  • In Ontario, the Liberals (41%) are now only four points ahead of the Conservatives (37%), while the NDP (15%) and Green Party (6%) are well behind.
  • In Quebec, the Liberals (35%) lead the Bloc (26%), Conservatives (18%), NDP (12%) and Green Party (8%).
  • In British Columbia, where the provincial NDP just won a majority government, the federal Liberals (40%) are ahead of the NDP (30%), Conservatives (17%), and Greens (11%).
  • In Alberta, the Tories (50%) enjoy a substantial lead over the Liberals (31%), NDP (13%) and Green Party (3%).
  • In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives (39%) are ahead of the Liberals (32%), NDP (25%), and Green Party (4%).
  • In Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives (41%) and Liberals (39%) are statistically tied, with the NDP (10%) and Green Party (9%) further behind.

The Liberal lead is largely attributed to having a substantial lead over the Conservatives among women voters and those aged 35-54.

  • Among women, the Liberals (39%) have a double-digit lead over the Conservatives (28%), NDP (20%), Bloc (6%) and Greens (6%).
  • Among men, the Liberals (36%) and Conservatives (35%) are tied, with the NDP (14%), Greens (7%) and Bloc (6%) well behind. This is a voting group the Conservatives need to own in order to do well.
  • Among those aged 55+, the Conservatives (37%) and Liberals (37%) are tied, with the NDP (12%), Bloc (8%) and Greens (5%) trailing. This voting group have typically been disproportionately supportive of the Conservatives, which underscores their current struggles.
  • Among those aged 35-54, the Liberals (41%) have a large lead over the Conservatives (28%), NDP (17%), Greens (7%) and Bloc (5%).
  • Among those aged 18-34, the Liberals (34%) also lead the Tories (27%). The NDP (23%) does relatively well among this demographic group, as does the Green Party (10%). The Bloc (4%) trails among this voting demographic.

Majority of Canadians Continue to Approve of COVID Response, but Approval Drops Significantly Since First Wave of Pandemic

A majority of Canadians continue to approve of the performance of their political leaders, but approval ratings are lower than they were during the first wave of the pandemic, suggesting that Canadians aren’t as impressed with how the second wave of COVID-19 is being handled.

  • Six in ten (59%) approve (18% strongly/41% somewhat) of Justin Trudeau’s performance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is down 15 points when compared to April. The Prime Minister’s performance rating on COVID-19 is highest in British Columbia (69%), Atlantic Canada (63%), Ontario (60%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (60%), Quebec (60%) and Alberta (44%).
  • Two in three (65%) approve (22% strongly/43% somewhat) of the performance of their provincial premier in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is down 19 points since wave 1 of the pandemic. Approval is highest in British Columbia (72%), Atlantic Canada (72%), Ontario (70%), Quebec (67%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (53%) and, finally, Alberta (44%).
  • But the highest approval ratings overall go to Canada’s mayors: seven in ten (71%) approve (15% strongly/56% somewhat) of how their local municipal mayor has responded to COVID-19.

One in Three Canadians Predicting an Election by the Spring

Canadians avoided an election after last week’s political brinkmanship, but many (33%) think we’ll be heading to the polls before far too long. One in ten (10%) think an election will be called by the end of this year, while 23% think it will happen early in 2021. Another 24% believe an election will be called later in 2021, meaning that most think we’ll be heading to the polls before the end of next year.

Some Canadians, however, are optimistic that this government can last longer. One in ten (10%) believe that an election will be called in 2022, while one in three (33%) see the Liberals governing until 2023 before an election is called.

If an election occurs before it is mandated in the fall of 2023, the more Canadians would blame Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberals (27%) than they would any of the other parties individually, including Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives (20%), Jagmeet Singh and the NDP (4%), or Yves-Francois Blanchet and the Bloc Québécois (4%). However, 24% of Canadians would blame all the parties and leaders equally, while 21% wouldn’t blame any of them.

Perhaps predictably, Conservative voters would largely place the blame at the feet of Justin Trudeau (47%), while most Liberal voters would blame Erin O’Toole (39%). NDP voters are equally split between blaming Trudeau (23%) and O’Toole (23%). Bloc supporters would come down heavily against the Prime Minister (43%).

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 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.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker

CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs

+1 416 324 2001

[email protected]

© 2020, 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.

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