Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s approval rating has dropped somewhat over the past year and a half, but it remains the envy of most world leaders, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.
The poll found that over half of Canadians (56 per cent) continue to approve of the Liberal government, down from 61 per cent since the New Year. Disapproval of Trudeau’s performance climbed five points up to 44 per cent.
Thirty-nine per cent of decided voters would cast a ballot for the Liberals if an election were held tomorrow, while the Conservatives would win 32 per cent of the vote and the NDP 20 per cent — virtually identical to the results of the 2015 federal election, the survey found.
Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, attributed the five-point drop in Trudeau’s approval to the fact that “over time, any political leader tends to wear on people a little bit and he’s had his bumps and bruises.”
The bumps and bruises in question range from an increase in the federal deficit to Trudeau’s failure to deliver on his campaign cry for electoral reform, not to mention “personal comportment issues” such as his Christmas vacation on the Aga Khan‘s private island and controversies surrounding cash-for-access fundraisers.
But these woes haven’t made as big a dent in Trudeau’s approval numbers as one might expect, Bricker said.
“With all the things that have happened over the past two years, you’d expect to see something change, but nothing has.”
However, Bricker cautions that there’s potential for a more significant slide in Trudeau’s approval numbers once the Conservatives and NDP secure their new party leaders.
“We’ll see when people look at the potential of another person being the prime minister, whether or not they look at [Trudeau] and say ‘I’m pretty happy with him’ or we start to see further erosion,” he said.
“Right now he’s only able to achieve that [approval rating] facing nobody.”
Trudeau’s approval ratings were highest in British Columbia (61 per cent), Ontario (59 per cent) and Quebec (59 per cent), and lowest by far in Alberta (35 per cent), suggesting that his support of the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines hasn’t translated to the burst in support from Albertans that he might have hoped for.
WATCH: Alberta reacts to pipeline project approvals
Meanwhile, the Conservative Party can be quietly encouraged by its 32 per cent approval, Bricker said, which shows that they haven’t let Trudeau out of sight while their own party mulls its leadership future.
“The Tories are no better or worse off than they were back in October 2015, and they weren’t that badly off then. They got 99 seats in the House of Commons and they’ve got a couple of by-elections coming up on Monday in Calgary for example where they should probably win again,” he said.
The survey also found that people with six-figure incomes were more supportive of the Liberals (44 per cent) than the Conservatives (26 per cent). Respondents with university degrees were also more likely to support the Trudeau government (38 per cent) than his Conservative rivals (25 per cent).
That finding that should help quash long-held misconceptions about the two parties’ support bases, Bricker said.
“People always think of the Conservative Party as having all the appeal for all the people with money, but that’s never really been the case. Tories tend to be middle-class, self-employed entrepreneurs. They tend to have college educations as opposed to university educations,” he said.
“They’re not your Bay Street lawyers and senior public servants. Those guys are Liberals.”
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.” These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 28 to 30, 2017, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.