Federal Liberals up, Conservatives down in latest poll

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Federal Liberals up, Conservatives down in latest poll

Wide supermajority seen, Trudeau favourables up

TORONTO April 6th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1455 Canadian voters, just more than one half will vote Liberal if the federal election were held today (51%), while just more than a quarter will vote Conservative (28%) and about one tenth will vote NDP (12%). Few will vote for the Bloc Quebecois (6%), the Green Party (3%) or anyone else (1%).

These results are an improvement for the Liberals (up 5 points from 46% in March) and a decline for the Conservatives (down 6 points from 34%). The NDP vote has stayed stable since last month (March - 12%).

In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals dominate (71%), and the other two parties draw barely a tenth of the vote (Conservatives - 12%, NDP - 11%). In Quebec, one half will vote Liberal (48%), while about one half this proportion will vote for the Bloc (23%). The other two parties are just over one tenth in the popular vote (Conservatives and NDP - 14% each). In Ontario, half the voters will support the Liberals (52%), while about 3-in-10 opt for the Conservatives (29%). The NDP does no better than it does nationally (11%). In the prairies, the Conservatives (42%) and the Liberals (40%) are tied, and the NDP has a tenth of the vote (11%). It is only in Alberta that the Liberals fall behind the Conservatives (33% to 58%), and it is here the NDP posts it’s lowest total (7%). In BC, one half will vote Liberal (49%), while 3-in-10 will vote Conservative (31%) and just more than a tenth will support the New Democrats (13%).

It should be noted that, of those who voted NDP as recently as the 2015 election, 4-in-10 will now vote Liberal (39%), while just one half will vote the same party again (NDP - 53%). Meanwhile, The Conservatives and the Liberals retain their 2015 vote (88% and 86%, respectively).

Wide supermajority seen in House of Commons

If these results are projected up to the 338 seat House of Commons, the Liberals would claim 75% of the sets (256), to just 74 for the Conservatives. The NDP would capture no more than 5 seats, the Bloc 2 and the Green Party would retain their single seat.

Trudeau favourables up, Mulcair’s down slightly

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the approval of close to 6-in-10 Canadian voters (58%), just greater than his party’s share of voter preference (51%). His net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a very positive +25, up from +19 last month. In the same time, his approval has improved 4 points (from 54%). Approval of the Prime Minister is almost universal among Liberals (93%), but is also characteristic of more than one half of New Democrats (54%). Even one tenth of Conservatives admire the Prime Minister (12%).

Rona Ambrose has the approval of just more than a quarter of voters (28%), similar to last month’s finding (29%). Her net score is a relatively neutral -3. It must be pointed out that the plurality of voters don’t know enough about Ms Ambrose to have an informed opinion (41%). One half of Conservative voters approve of their Interim Leader (54%), but just 4-in-10 card-carrying members of the party approve (42%). Ambrose’s approval exactly matches her party’s share of the voter preference (28%).

Tom Mulcair has the approval of one third (32%), down slightly from last month (March - 35%), and his net favourable score is a relatively neutral -4 (down from +1 last month). Six-in-ten NDP supporters approve of Mulcair (61%) and this may be an indication he will have difficulty renewing his leadership at the upcoming NDP Convention. Mulcair is about 3 times as popular as his party.

Trudeau more likely now to be seen as best PM

Close to one half of voters think Justin Trudeau makes the best Prime Minister (47%), similar to his party’s share of the popular vote preference (51%), and this represents an increase of 4 points on this measure since March (43%). This level of support is 4 times greater than that shown for either Rona Ambrose (11%), or Tom Mulcair (10%). Close to one fifth think none of these people would make the best Prime Minister (17%). Of note, just one half of NDP voters see Tom Mulcair as their preferred Prime Minister (47%), while one quarter would prefer Justin Trudeau (26%). Support for Rona Ambrose among Conservative voters is tepid (41%).

High satisfaction with election outcome still the rule

In total, two thirds of Canadian voters are satisfied with the outcome of the 2015 federal election (64%), and more than a third are “very satisfied” (36%). Satisfaction is almost universal among Liberal voters, of course (96%), while it is also characteristic of two thirds of New Democrats (66%). Two thirds of Liberals are very satisfied (66%), while one fifth of New Democrats are (20%).

“It appears as though the Trudeau honeymoon is back on again, after some minor slippage last month. Change doesn’t occur in a vacuum, so it may be the questions Tom Mulcair is facing this week about his leadership of the NDP have had the effect of depressing his favourability, and that of his party, while elevating the Liberals’ by comparison. Both Rona Ambrose and Justin Trudeau are performing personally at about the same level as their respective parties, which is strategically advantageous, but Mulcair is running ahead of his party in popularity and this can be difficult to manage electorally,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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