Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pierre Poilievre’s popularity and Conservative support are growing, new poll says

While the Bank of Canada holds steady – for now – on the borrowing rate, there appears to be little end in sight to a 15-month slump in Liberal political fortunes. The popularity of both the governing party and its leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have been on a consistent slide, and the latest results of a public opinion survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute do nothing to reassure a shrinking Liberal base.

Trudeau’s perceived handling of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis has sent a significant segment of past LPC voters to both the New Democrats and opposition Conservatives and sent his personal approval down to levels unseen since early 2020.

This bleeding of support benefits the Conservative Party directly, with CPC vote intent now at 39 per cent, a 12-point advantage over the Liberals.

More critically, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is now seen as best prime minister by twice as many as those who say the same of the actual prime minister (32 versus 17 per cent) and is additionally viewed by a plurality (41 per cent) as best to manage the economy.

As many Canadians consider whether the grass is greener on the blue side of the fence, given the option, most would prefer a different arrangement in parliament than the Liberal minority, with NDP support, that Canada currently has. Two-in-five (38%) say a Conservative majority would be the best government for Canada going forward, slightly more than the proportion who prefer the ongoing NDP-Liberal supply-and-confidence set-up (35%). Equal numbers prefer a Liberal majority (13%) as a Conservative minority (15%).

Conversely, though a Conservative majority is the most preferred choice, it is also the most feared one. When presented with the same options and asked to evaluate which one would be worst for the country, more than two-in-five (43%) say a Conservative majority. A similar number (38%) believe a Liberal majority would be the worst possible government Canada could have over the next four years.

Fewer than half (45%) of 2021 Liberal voters currently say that Trudeau is the best option of the federal leaders to be prime minister. Comparatively, 77 per cent of past Conservative voters say Poilievre would be best.

The Liberal Party currently does not lead in vote intent in any region of the country canvassed in this survey. The LPC holds an advantage over the CPC in only one – Quebec – where it sits second behind the Bloc Québécois.

Conservative and Liberal vote intention has inverted in the 905 belt of Greater Toronto. Comparing data from last September, the Liberal Party has dropped 17 points in vote intention from 47 to 30 per cent, while the CPC has jumped 10 points from 36 to 46 per cent.

Those Canadians who are suffering most financially – a group that say they’re worse off this year than they were last year, and they expect this to continue to worsen into next year – are most likely to say the CPC is best on economic issues (56%). Just nine per cent of them trust the Liberals on this file, while 22 per cent say there’s no good option to help them.

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