September 9, 2015 3:00 pm
Updated: September 9, 2015 6:36 pm

Voters think Mulcair, Trudeau are better choices to deal with shaky economy: Ipsos poll

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WATCH ABOVE: A new poll for Global News shows more Canadians think Tom Mulcair and the NDP are best to deal with the country’s floundering economy. Eric Sorensen reports.

It’s no secret that Conservatives hope to convince voters that Stephen Harper is the best candidate to get Canada out of recession.

But, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, most voters aren’t buying the party’s messaging.

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Canadians now see both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau as better candidates to fix Canada’s shaky economy. But what’s more, they are also seen as better choices to be Canada’s next prime minister than the man who has been at the helm for the last nine years, according to the Ipsos poll.

Mulcair is favoured by 36 per cent of respondents while 33 per cent prefer Trudeau. Only 31 per cent of people think Harper is the best choice to get Canada out of recession.

When Ipsos asked a similar question in April, the order was reversed: 45 per cent of people saw Harper as best able to deal with the economy, while 27 per cent preferred Mulcair, and 27 per cent favoured Trudeau.

“What was [Harper’s] strength has moved over to other players,” John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos said in an interview Wednesday.

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And when it comes to which leader would make the best prime minister, Mulcair once again comes out on top with 39 per cent. Justin Trudeau has the support of 32 per cent of voters, while only 29 per cent think Harper would make the best prime minister.

READ MORE: Haven’t paid attention to the election campaign? Here’s what you missed

The reversal is, at least in part, due to the Conservative reluctance to define Mulcair, Wright said.

“The conservatives are masters at defining the opposition. Right now they have left Mr. Mulcair alone outside of some rhetoric at the podium,” Wright said. “They basically have ignored him in terms of defining who he is and have concentrated primarily on defining Mr. Trudeau, and now to their peril.”

Wright said the Conservatives’ focus on Trudeau has allowed Mulcair to slip into the frontrunner position untested. But, Wright said, he’s now the target.

“Thomas Mulcair is going to be attacked now from four sides,” Wright said. “He’s going to be attacked by the Conservatives, the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and anybody else who disagrees with the NDP. That is what’s being set up here.”

The poll results reflect seat projections and polling which have the NDP as the frontrunner in the campaign as it moves into the second, post-Labour Day phase of a historically long campaign. The latest estimates project the NDP could pick up 128 seats, the Conservatives 106, and the Liberals 103 – though the Liberals have been picking up momentum.

According to Wright, the Conservatives should be worried about more than Harper not being seen as the best economic manager. What’s more is his policies aren’t resonating as strongly as those from Liberal or NDP camps.

Eighty-six per cent of voters support decreasing taxes for the middle class – a Liberal policy. Forty-four per cent of people “strongly support” the policy.

READ MORE: Here’s what the leaders have promised in exchange for your vote

Eighty-five per cent support (49 per cent strongly support) increasing corporate taxes – an NDP policy.

Eighty-two per cent support (46 per cent strongly support) increasing taxes on high-income earners – a Liberal policy.

“If you look at that list there, most of the Conservative planks are way down [at] the bottom,” Wright said.

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Though Conservatives do have some favourable policies to voters, according to the Ipsos poll, the number of people who strongly support their plans are relatively few when compared to rival Liberal or NDP policies.

Eighty-one per cent want a balanced budget (also an NDP policy) but only 37 per cent strongly support the plan.

Approximately 81 per cent want to expand broadband Internet to rural communities but only 30 per cent say they strongly support the policy.

And 77 per cent want to continue the Universal Childcare Benefit – but only 35 per cent strongly support it.

One of the least-favoured policies is a Liberal policy – increasing the deficit to fund public infrastructure projects; 61 per cent (and only 11 per cent strongly support) of people support that, according to the Ipsos poll.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos Reid.” This poll was conducted between September 4 and September 8, with a sample of 949 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel and is accurate to within 3.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

View the full Ipsos tables below: 

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