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Prime Minister Trudeau preferred leader to guide country ‘through a major crisis’: poll

By Rachel Aiello      

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leads public opinion right now on handling the economy, foreign affairs, First Nations, and the environment.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preferred by four in 10 Canadians to guide Canada through a major crisis, with 37 per cent backing him, compared to just 10 per cent saying so respectfully about the other two main party leaders. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would be supported by 38 per cent of the population if an election were held today, compared to 29 per cent for the Conservatives and 19 per cent for the New Democrats, according to a Campaign Research survey of 1,970 people.

The Liberals are also most popular with 18-24 year olds (45 per cent); Atlantic Canadians (54 per cent); and people who earn between $20,000 and $40,000 (41 per cent), $60,000 to $80,000 (40 per cent), and $150,000 to $200,000 (41 per cent), according to the exclusive survey released on Tuesday to The Hill Times.

Mr. Trudeau has a 48 per cent overall approval rating as prime minister and is seen as the best party leader to handle the economy (30 per cent); foreign affairs (39 per cent); First Nations issues (31 per cent); the environment (30 per cent); and “leading Canada through a major crisis” (37 per cent). Prime Minister Trudeau has a 48 per cent approval rating among men and a 48 per cent approval rating among women. On the flip side, he has a disapproval rating of 38 per cent and is least popular among 65 year olds or older (45 per cent). He is also least liked in Alberta (51 per cent) and the Prairies (48 per cent) and also by people who earn between $40,000 and $60,000 (42 per cent) and $100,000 to $250,000 (41 per cent).

CEO of Campaign Research Eli Yufest told The Hill Times in a phone interview that Mr. Trudeau’s positive numbers on these issues are likely linked to a “derived preference for the prime minister just because people probably perceive him to have the best ability … relative to the other party leaders.”

Said Mr. Yufest: “We see the prime minister having the strongest scores and the strongest results versus any of the other party leaders, so probably what’s feeding into the overall party score is a lot of those metrics. People have a lot of confidence in the prime minister and that’s translating into overall strong party favourability scores.”

The leaders of both the Conservative and New Democrat parties, meanwhile, are temporary right now. The Conservatives are set to select their new leader in Toronto at the end of May and the New Democrats are slated to elect theirs in October.

“Would these perceptions be eroded somewhat if the other parties had a permanent leader? Perhaps. I guess we’ll see in a couple of months for the Conservatives, and a little later on in the year for the NDP, if some of these approval ratings and numbers go down for the prime minister,” Mr. Yufest said.

The Conservatives are most popular with people aged 65 years or older (41 per cent); most liked in Alberta (48 per cent) and the Prairies (41 per cent); and most appealing to people who earn $80,000 to $100,000 (36 per cent) and $100,000 to $250,000 (36 per cent).

Conservative interim-leader Rona Ambrose (Sturgeon River-Parkland, Alta.) has a 26 per cent overall approval rating; is most liked in Alberta (39 per cent); most appealing to those aged 65 years old or older (33 per cent); and by people who earn between $80,000 to $100,000 annually (30 per cent). Ms. Ambrose has a 31 per cent approval rating among men and a 20 per cent approval rating among women. She has a disapproval rating of 24 per cent; is least liked by 18 to 24 year olds (25 per cent); is least popular in British Columbia (32 per cent); and least appealing to those who earn between $100,000 and $250,000 (28 per cent).

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair (Outremont, Que.) has a 32 per cent approval rating; is most liked in Quebec (39 per cent), the GTA (34 per cent), and Toronto and the GTA (33 per cent); is most popular among 18 to 24 year olds (38 per cent); and is most appealing to those who earn between $80,000 to $100,000 (36 per cent). Mr. Mulcair has a 35 per cent approval rating among men and a 30 per cent approval rating among women. Mr. Mulcair has a 25 per cent disapproval rating; is least liked by 25-34 year olds (28 per cent); is least popular in Alberta (38 per cent); and least popular with those who earn between $100,000 to $250,000 (31 per cent).

The Campaign Research poll was conducted between April 3 and April 11 has a margin of error plus or minus two per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The Hill Times 

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