Trudeau approval jumps amid Trump trade spat — but it may not last long: Ipsos poll

Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec. Neil Hall/EPA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handling of a tricky situation on the international stage is boosting his approval rating at home, according to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.

But that doesn’t translate into gains in voter support for Trudeau.

READ MORE: More Americans side with Justin Trudeau than Donald Trump in trade spat, Ipsos poll finds

The poll, conducted June 13-15, found that Andrew Scheer‘s Conservatives would win an election if it were held today.

The Conservative Party would garner 36 per cent of the popular vote, Trudeau’s Liberals would get 32 per cent and Jagmeet Singh‘s New Democrats would receive 20 per cent. The Bloc Quebecois would receive five per cent nationally, while the remainder of contenders (including the Green Party) would get seven per cent of votes.

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Voter support for the Conservatives is up one point since March, while support for the Liberals is down four points.

WATCH: Trudeau gains support following Trump post-G7 tweets

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Trudeau and trade

Darrell Bricker, the CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, explained to Global News that Trudeau’s boost in approval has a lot to do with national pride.

“There tends to be a bit of a rallying to the flag for political leaders when [Canadians] feel like in an international environment we’re being questioned,” Bricker said.

Bricker explained such shows of unity have been seen in instances of military incursions, but this time it’s because of U.S. President Donald Trump‘s tariffs and the resulting dispute.

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The prime minister’s approval rating currently sits at 50 per cent, with 12 per cent of Canadians strongly supporting him and 39 per cent somewhat supporting his performance.

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The second half of respondents said they disapprove of Trudeau as leader — 23 per cent strongly disapproved and 26 per cent somewhat agreed with that statement.

That’s a jump in Trudeau’s approval of six per cent from the end of March, when it hit a low of 44 per cent.

READ MORE: Freeland vows ‘real push’ to seek NAFTA agreement over summer

But Bricker doesn’t expect the effects of the trade dispute to change Trudeau’s approval rating in the long term.

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“There are some specific events in the news that are causing this to happen, as opposed to people having really strong and genuine beliefs about how they feel about the prime minister or the federal parties,” he said.

Approval doesn’t equal voter support

While Canadian are more willing to stand behind their prime minister in hard times, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more likely to vote for Trudeau.

That’s because situations like these have more to do with national unity and pride than the actual prime minister, Bricker said.

“I wouldn’t over-interpret it as a big movement of support for Justin Trudeau in general,” he said, noting the support found for the Conservatives.

WATCH: Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau face off over trade

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Bricker added that the Liberals in general are having a difficult few months overall, starting from the controversy surrounding the small business tax and other issues such as Trudeau’s India trip.

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“It’s not been a good time period,” he said.

The survey also found that traditional Liberal strongholds, such as millennials and women, are now split between several parties.

Millennial respondents to the poll (those aged 18-34) were slightly more likely to support the NDP at 30 per cent, compared to the Liberals at 29 per cent. Tories support was 24 per cent.

WATCH: Scheer wonders if trade deficit with United States expected to increase

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Liberal support has also traditionally been strong among women, but that seems to be slipping, too. In this latest poll, 35 per cent of women supported Liberals, 31 per cent supported Tories and 22 per cent supported the NDP.

“It’s a precarious situation right now for the Liberals. They’re not doing nearly as well as I think a lot of people think they are,” Bricker said.

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Tories and the ‘halo effect’

Scheer’s Conservatives are seeing a “halo effect” following the victory of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives in Ontario earlier this month.

In Ontario, federal Tories have a lead of 11 percentage points (38 per cent) over Trudeau’s Liberals. The Liberals also trail behind the federal NDP in Ontario, which has 28 per cent support.

READ MORE: Ontario premier-designate Doug Ford says he stands with Trudeau on trade

Both the PC and NDP boost in Ontario support is a result of the province’s election, Bricker said, adding that it may not last long, either.

“Andrew Scheer and the federal Conservative Party are doing better, along with the NDP in Ontario, because of what happened in the provincial campaign. This will wear off.”

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 Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,001 Canadians conducted between June 13-15. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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