On Monday morning, millions of Canadians will begin flocking to their nearest polling station to cast their votes.
But with hours left before Election Day, a new poll finds Liberals and Conservatives locked in a dead heat with the latter inching ahead by just one per cent in the national popular vote.
An Ipsos poll of 2,359 Canadians conducted exclusively for Global News showed Conservatives on track to garner 32 per cent of the popular vote, while Liberals went down a point in the polls — projected to receive 31 per cent of the vote.
Darrell Bricker, Ipsos Global Affairs CEO, told Global News that this one per cent would mean a statistical tie for the two parties and another minority government for the Liberals — reminiscent of the results from the 2019 election.
“However, this time around, the Conservatives are winning by less in the prairies and are being helped by the NDP, who are pulling votes from the Liberals in Ontario,” the Ipsos polling read.
“This, combined with a base that seems enthusiastic to vote for O’Toole and his party, could make for a very long night on Monday as the nation waits for results from close races in British Columbia.”
Meanwhile, the New Democrats received 21 per cent in the survey, while the Bloc Quebecois secured seven per cent and the Green Party earned three per cent. But nearly 20 per cent of the Canadians surveyed said they had resigned to not vote this year and refused to share their choice for Canada’s next prime minister, or said they are undecided.
There appears to be generational and gender divides when it comes to party support.
Support for Liberals was highest among women at 33 per cent, while men tended to favour the Conservatives at 37 per cent. Canadians aged 55 and up said they were more likely to lean Conservative, while respondents between the ages of 35 and 54 said they were most likely to support the Liberals. Canadians aged 18-34 said they were most likely to support the NDP.
There is also a tight race among provinces.
In Ontario, the Liberals are polling just four points ahead of Conservatives, at 33 per cent. B.C. respondents leaned Conservative, garnering the party 34 per cent of the vote in the province to the Liberals’ 26 per cent. Meanwhile in Quebec, the Liberals were at a statistical tie with the Bloc Quebecois.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who is seeking re-election, began this year’s campaign with a 14-point lead over Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. But with one day left on the campaign trail, the poll found that lead has dramatically decreased. Now, just 28 per cent of Canadians surveyed said Trudeau would make the best prime minister while 27 per cent said O’Toole would make the best leader.
The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh has had a surprising rise, sitting at a close third with 23 per cent of respondents saying he would be “best suited” to lead the country.
But for Bricker, the “energy” of the vote — or how many Canadians said they were committed to showing up to the polls — has been the real kicker of this year’s election.
Seventy-one per cent of Canadian respondents said they were “completely certain” they would vote in this year’s federal election — half of them said they plan on voting in-person. Meanwhile, 36 per cent said they participated in advanced voting and eight per cent said they mailed in their ballots.
According to the poll, those planning on voting for the People’s Party of Canada and the Conservative Party were most likely to cast their ballots on Election Day, at 85 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively.
Respondents who said they supported the Liberal, NDP and Green parties said they were least likely to show up to vote.
“From the very beginning of this campaign, Liberals were the most upset that the government had actually called an election,” said Bricker, adding that a majority of Liberal voters agreed that a pandemic is not the right time to have an election.
“As a result of that, there’s less commitment to the Liberal Party, I would say, this time around than last time.”
In addition to being more likely to cast ballots, Bricker said Conservative voters were also more certain about their choice than Liberal voters and said they were also more likely to “regret not voting” than Liberals.
Bricker said this suggests there may be a “surprise” on Election Day.
“It may be that the Conservatives show up to a higher level than the Liberals could show up,” he said.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 15 and 18, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of n = 2,359 eligible voters in Canada aged 18+ was interviewed. A sample of n = 1,389 was interviewed online, via the Ipsos I-Say panel and non-panel sources, and respondents earn a nominal incentive for their participation. A sample of n = 970 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed by live-interview telephone interviewers by landline and cellphone, using random-digit dialing. Quotas and weighting were employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos polls which include non-probability sampling is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population.