August 12, 2015 4:00 pm
Updated: August 13, 2015 5:36 pm

Tories lead on the economy, NDP on health care, cost of living: poll

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair listen as Conservative Leader Stephen Harper take part in the first leaders debate Thursday, August 6, 2015 in Toronto.


It’s the economy, stupid. But which aspect of the economy could determine who wins the election.

According to an Ipsos poll conducted for Global News, the federal Conservatives are considered most competent on big-picture economic management. But the NDP has won voters’ confidence when it comes to tackling the cost of living.

READ MORE: Election economics cheat sheet

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While the Tories and NDP alternate dominance on a host of issues, the Liberals are nowhere to be seen.

“We don’t really see the Liberals popping on any of the issues,” said Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker.

“The Liberal party’s had a little bit of trouble, clearly, establishing their identity for voters.

“That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. There’s a long way to go.”

The plurality of those polled favoured the Tories on managing the economy, keeping taxes low, dealing with the so-called Islamic State and crime.

The NDP are in the lead when it comes to health care, child care, the cost of living, retirement, helping small businesses and climate change. Even when it comes to dealing with the Senate, the NDP squeaks out ahead.

The two are tied when it comes to creating jobs.


It’s interesting, Bricker noted, that the Tories are still seen as the most trustworthy economic stewards given that the opposition parties have been hammering their record.

“As it starts to look really rocky for people, do they blame the government or do they say, ‘Actually, these are the only people who know how to deal with this situation.'”

By far the Conservatives’ biggest advantage is when it comes to fighting terrorism: They’re a good 31 percentage points ahead of the other parties on that score.

But the Islamic State isn’t top of mind for many voters: Only 38.9 per cent identified it as an “absolutely crucial” issue.

The Tories need to either make terror the most important issue of the campaign, Bricker said, or widen their lead on managing the economy, which is deemed crucial by a far higher percentage of respondents.

aug 12 ipsos poll - issue importance

The challenge for the NDP, Bricker said, is framing the economic question in more micro terms, and appealing to the day-to-day struggles of Canadians.

The Liberals, in the meantime, have their work cut out for them in making an impression and owning issues.

Perhaps one of the most telling things about this poll is how little the past two weeks have shifted public perception of the parties.

“It’s reinforced opinions people already have,” Bricker said.

“There’s been a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

GALLERY: Click through to see how each party is doing, by issue and region

aug 12 ipsos poll - 416-905

Managing the economy in tough economic times38%28%27%2%Conservatives by 10
Addressing the problems facing Canada’s health system26%38%28%2%NDP by 10
Creating jobs32%32%29%2%CPC/NDP tie
Helping Canadians deal with the rising cost of living28%37%28%2%NDP by 9
Making sure our communities are safe from crime39%26%26%2%Conservatives by 13
Taking action on climate change21%42%30%2%NDP by 12
Making it easier for small businesses to be successful30%33%29%2%NDP by 3
Keeping my taxes low38%29%25%2%Conservatives by 9
Helping Canadians deal with and save for their retirement30%34%28%2%NDP by 4
Being committed to fighting terrorists like the Islamic State, or ISIL52%19%21%1%Conservatives by 31
Dealing with the Senate once and for all29%33%27%2%NDP by 4
Helping families deal with the cost of child care25%40%27%3%NDP By 13
Investing in Public Transit23%40%27%2%NDP by 13


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.” This poll was conducted between August 7 and August 10, with a sample of 2,022 Canadians, from Ipsos’ online panel as well as by live-interview telephone. The poll reported above is accurate to within 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

See the detailed poll results:

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