Trudeau seen as debate winner in GTA

| Filed under: Toronto
Hello Toronto by Robert is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Licence.

Trudeau seen as debate winner in GTA

Two thirds saw or heard leaders’ debate

TORONTO AUGUST 7th- In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1016 Toronto voters the morning and afternoon after the first federal leaders’ debate of the election, two thirds saw or heard some of the broadcast (69%), and this is most common to the older groups (55 to 64 - 79%), the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 79%), New Democrats (80%), in Toronto (76%) and among strong supporters of their respective parties (75%).

Trudeau seen as winner

Among those who saw the debate, about one quarter think Justin Trudeau won (23%), compared to fewer than a fifth who think this of Stephen Harper (17%), Tom Mulcair (15%) or Elizabeth May (10%). One quarter say no one won the debate (25%). Among Conservatives, just more than half thought their leader won (58%), while one half of Liberals thought Trudeau won (47%). Just one third of New Democrats think Tom Mulcair won the debate (33%) and one sixth think Justin Trudeau did (14%). One fifth of New Democrats think Elizabeth May won (19%). Trudeau does especially well in North York (31%) and Peel region (27%). Harper does well in Etobicoke (27%). Mulcair may do slightly better in East York (30% - caution: very small base size).

Debate moves vote very slightly

Prior to the debate, the Liberals have a healthy lead in voter preference of more than one third (37%) to 3-in-10 for the Conservatives and NDP (30% each). After the debate is over, among those who saw the broadcast, the Liberals hold their share (38%), the NDP stay stable (30%) and the Conservatives lose two points (28%). It is interesting to note that two thirds of Conservatives and Liberals say they are strong supporters of their parties (65% and 66% respectively), yet just less than half of New Democrats are committed (47%).

Two thirds say debate won’t change eventual vote

Two thirds of those who saw the debates say nothing they saw or heard would change their minds about the way they would vote (69%), and just fewer than a quarter said they might change their minds (22%). It is among those who would have voted NDP before the debate that the largest group say their minds might change (27%). Among those voting for the NDP after the debate, as many as a third say their minds might change (32%).

Plurality are worse off now than 4 years ago

More than a third of Toronto voters say they are worse off now than they were four years ago (36%), and this is especially the case among the mid aged (45 to 64 - 43%), mid income groups ($40K to $80K - 44%), among Liberals (42%) and New  Democrats (45%) but not among Conservatives (15%), in Peel Region and Scarborough (43% each) and among those who say the debate changed their vote (49%).

“We have to be careful, because this poll was conducted between 10 AM and 3 PM and not everyone is home at that time, but it looks like, number one, the Liberals have a lead in Toronto, despite the NDP surge, and, two, that Justin Trudeau was seen to be the winner of the debate. There is also evidence that he may have converted some soft NDP votes," 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.