Support for Iraq mission remains strong

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Support for Iraq mission remains strong

Expectations of casualties down

TORONTO January 28th, 2015 In a random sampling of public opinion taken by The Forum Poll™ among 1382 Canadian voters, two thirds approve of Canada’s mission to combat ISIS in Iraq (63%), and this is just slightly lower than the level noted when the mission was first proposed (November 2014 - 66%). Of these, close to twice as many approve strongly of the mission (40%) as approve somewhat (23%), and this represents a decline in the proportion who support the mission strongly (from 43% to 40%). Strong support for this mission is characteristic of Boomers (55 to 64 - 46%), males (47%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 47%), in Alberta (48%) but not in Quebec (31%), and among Conservative voters (66%). Strong disapproval of the mission (18% in total) is common to the least wealthy (25%), New Democrats (31%), Greens (26%), the best educated (post grad - 21%), Francophones (23%) and mothers of children under 18 (23%).

Strong approval for combat engagements between ISIS and Canadian troops

Six-in-ten Canadian voters approve of Canadian troops engaging ISIS in combat on the ground (60%), while about one third disapprove (36%). Strong approval (36%) is half again as high as modest approval (somewhat - 24%). Strong approval is common to Boomers (55 to 64 - 41%), males (43%) rather than females (29%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 40%), in the Prairies (42%), among Conservative voters (61%), those wh0 didn’t finish college (40%).

Canadians less likely to anticipate casualties

The wide majority of Canadians, about three quarters, expect our troops to suffer casualties in Iraq (73%), but this is less than the levels noted at the outset of the mission (September 2014 - 82%). Equal, but small proportions do not expect casualties (13%) or don’t know if there will be any (14%).

Two thirds see ISIS as a direct threat

Two thirds of Canadians see ISIS as a direct threat to Canada (63%), and this is down slightly from November (67%). Just less than a quarter disagree there is a direct threat to Canada (22%), while somewhat fewer don’t have an opinion (15%).

"The mission to Iraq remains very popular with Canadians, despite their high expectations for casualties. It is interesting to note, however, that enthusiasm has diminished slightly as the mission has progressed, and this is likely to continue," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.