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This Week in Canadian Polls – 26th April 2020

Welcome to the first in a series of weekly updates summarizing the polling landscape in Canadian politics. The poll round-ups will document and analyse fluctuations in political party standings, approval ratings and interesting social statistics.


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This week: Canadians show continued faith in the Liberal government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis with Leger finding 77% approval at the federal level. This has come at the expense of a support-losing Conservatives while New Democrats struggle to gain publicity for their work as the de-facto opposition.

Dig deeper: Later in the article we report on increased national internet usage, how easy Canadians are finding social distancing and our low approval for American president Donald Trump.


Leger

  • LPC: 42% (+9)
  • CPC: 29% (-5)
  • NDP: 14% (-2)
  • BQ: 8% (-)
  • GPC: 5% (-1)

Angus Reid

  • LPC: 36% (+3)
  • CPC: 33% (-1)
  • NDP: 17% (+1)
  • BQ: 8% (-)
  • GPC: 4% (-2)

Abacus

  • LPC: 38% (+5)
  • CPC: 30% (-4)
  • NDP: 16% (-)
  • BQ: 8% (-)
  • GPC: 6% (-)

The Political Story: The Liberal Party is riding a wave of public approval likely thanks to heavy spending on business bailouts and a quick roll out of the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit). This has led to an average gain of 5.6% in support over the past few weeks.

  • The Conservative’s inability to insert themselves into the conversation during this pandemic is starting to show as they have lost on average 3.3% of support this month. There has been a lack of strong leadership and policy direction by outgoing leader Andrew Scheer.
    • Worse still, the party is now receiving criticism for refusing to acknowledge racist remarks made by MP Derek Sloan about Canada’s top doctor Theresa Tam.
    • Leger found that 72% of Canadians trust Dr. Tam so not denouncing attacks on her credibility does not seem to be a smart move by the Tories.
  • Meanwhile, Canada’s New Democrat’s support has remained in the familiar mid teens as they push the government to adopt more bold actions to table the on-coming economic crisis.
    • Many of these suggestions have been adopted such as a 75% wage subsidy for small businesses, more accessible EI and support for post secondary students.
    • However, the NDP continues to advocate making the CERB universal, excluding tax haven abusing companies from public bailouts and more help for low income seniors.

One big thing: In a times of national crisis, the governing party takes central stage. Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have had the benefit of exposure making daily press briefings televised nationally. Meanwhile, opposition parties have struggled to get their perspectives covered in the press.

  • Angus Reid found that Justin Trudeau’s approval had experienced a 19% bump since hitting a low of 33% in early February. His history shows this bump should be temporary, only time will tell.

In other news:

  • Abacus data found that 68% of Canadians have increased their internet usage since the pandemic started, while 41% stated their screen based content consumption was over 3 hours daily.
  • Leger found that 78% of Canadians have found it easy to adhere to social distancing regulations, though 18-34 year-olds had the most difficulty (30%).
  • Finally, Leger found that there was a 26 point gap between how many Americans (38%) and Canadians (12%) trusted President Donald Trump.