Half the country feels the Liberal-NDP agreement to keep the current government in power until 2025 was a betrayal of the people who voted for those two parties.
Despite that, a majority of Canadians still support the deal, according to a new Ipsos poll.
“The big finding for me was the tepid … reaction to the Liberal-NDP agreement,” Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos, said in an interview with Global News.
Just over 60 per cent of Canadians strongly or somewhat supported the agreement, the poll found, but the country was split about whether the deal would actually achieve anything. Just 52 per cent said the deal would lead to better policies, while 48 per cent thought it would not.
Despite this lukewarm support for the deal, many still felt it was unfair to voters. Of those surveyed, 51 per cent thought both the Liberals and the NDP betrayed those who voted for them last September.
When broken down by party, roughly a quarter of Liberal and NDP voters agreed this was indeed a betrayal by their own party of choice.
Still, one thing was clear: the country is happy to be avoiding an election in the near future, according to Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos.
“I think what people are really embracing is the idea of some stability,” he said.
“What this does is it gives us a bit of certainty in terms of our politics … and given that we’ve had three elections since 2015, that’s probably a relief to most Canadians.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the supply and confidence agreement on March 22, telling reporters it would be in place until the end of the current Parliament in 2025.
“What this means is that during this uncertain time, the government can function with predictability and stability, present and implement budgets and get things done for Canadians,” he said.
Trudeau added that the deal is one he thought “long and hard” about.
“It was not an easy decision,” he said. “With so much instability around us, Canadians need stability.”
The deal does not form a coalition government. That would have meant the NDP and the Liberals formed government together, and would require NDP MPs to sit in cabinet.
Rather, it’s a supply and confidence deal — meaning one party agrees to support another in confidence votes for a certain period of time, typically in exchange for progress on specific files.
As Singh’s party penned this deal, some supporters read it as the NDP signing the death certificate for its own dream.
“Most people think that this is the NDP giving up on the idea of ever forming government,” Bricker said.
“It’s a huge step back for the NDP.”
Six in 10 Canadians agreed that the NDP was giving up on the idea of winning an election and forming government with Singh as prime minister. Four in 10, however, disagreed with the premise.
When the survey broke things down by party, it found progressive voters felt the greatest sense of resignation: roughly half of Liberal and NDP voters read this deal as the NDP giving up its own hopes of forming government.
Speaking to reporters the day the deal was announced, Singh said he viewed it not as “a destination, but a starting point.”
“This is not at all a carte blanche,” he said.
“We’re going into this eyes wide open.… If they fall short on what we’ve agreed to, the deal doesn’t continue.”
The Conservatives, meanwhile, have slammed the deal. The day it was announced, interim leader Candice Bergen said it was “not a good day for Canadians.”
“There is, I’m sure, a lot of despair in the West about this decision,” Bergen said.
“We will do everything we can to hold this NDP-Liberal government to account.”
As for Canadian voters, support for the deal was strongest among Liberal and NDP voters — who both polled around 90 per cent in support of the agreement — as well as Green Party voters, 75 per cent of whom supported the move.
Just 46 per cent of Bloc voters endorsed the deal, and fewer than a quarter of Conservatives were happy with the move.
Overall, Bricker said, Canadians are mostly fine with the deal itself — when it comes to whether it’ll achieve anything, though, he said voters will “wait and see.”
— with files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly and Ahmar Khan
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 March 25 to 28, 2022, with a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18-plus interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18-plus been polled.