Liberals maintain 7-point lead over Conservatives and Canadians want change: poll

OTTAWA  – Canadians continue to favour Justin Trudeau’s Liberals over Stephen Harper’s ruling Conservatives – and a majority think it’s time for a change in government, according to a new poll.

Almost a year away from the scheduled October 2015 election, the Liberals lead the Conservatives by 7 points, says the Ipsos Reid poll for Global News.

If an election were held tomorrow, 38 per cent of voters would choose the Grits compared to 31 per cent voting Tories, it says.

Nearly a quarter of Canadians, 23 per cent, would vote NDP, while 5 per cent would vote Bloc Quebec and 3 per cent for the Green Party.

Only 1 in 3 voters, or 33 per cent, believe the Harper government has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected, while 67 per cent believe that “it is time for another party to take over.”

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Desire for change?

However, Canadians are split when it comes to the Conservative government’s performance – with 49 per cent of Canadians approving of the Tories under Harper, and 51 per cent disapproving.

But approval for Trudeau and Harper remains neck-and-neck in some categories dealing with leadership – with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair remaining in third place.

The poll says the Liberal and Conservative brands are slightly stronger without their leader’s name, but only marginally so.

It also cautions against reading too much into a desire for change, noting only 28 per cent of Ontarians thought Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberals deserved re-election.

They ended up with a majority in last June’s provincial election.

Trudeau seen as best PM, Harper leads in foreign policy

Trudeau would make the best prime minister, according to 42 per cent of respondents, followed by 35 per cent for Harper and 24 per cent for Mulcair.

The Liberal leader also has the highest trust factor – 37 per cent, although that’s down 5 points – compared with 33 per cent for Harper, and 25 per cent for Mulcair.

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Voters also support Trudeau’s “vision” for Canada and view his values as most representative of their own, over that of Harper and Mulcair.

But Canadians still view Harper as the leader who is best to manage Canada during tough economic times, leading at 44 per cent, compared to 31 per cent for Trudeau and 26 per cent for Mulcair.

Harper and Trudeau are tied, at 38 per cent, with who is best to lead and represent Canada on the world stage, while Harper leads in the category of who is best to manage Canada’s foreign policy.

The themes were evident Monday in Harper’s speech to caucus, in which he highlighted his government’s economic record and took a strong stance on international issues such as Russia’s invasion of Crimea and terrorist group ISIL.

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“We know their ideology is not the result of ‘social exclusion’ or other so-called ‘root causes,’” Harper said. “It is evil, vile, and must be unambiguously opposed.”

But more Canadians also believe Canada’s international reputation has worsened since 2006, although 40 per cent believe there has been no change in how other countries view Canada.

The poll was conducted between Sept. 9 and 12. A sample of 1,605 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed online. The poll is considered accurate within +/2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The data, summaries and commentary in exclusive Global News / Ipsos Reid polling are subject to copyright. The data, summaries and commentary may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper attribution to both Global News and Ipsos Reid in all web articles, on social media, in radio broadcasts and with an on-screen credit for television.

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