Trailing by 14, perceptions of Justin Trudeau lag those of Pierre Poilievre

Our latest survey results show the Conservatives would win a landslide in a federal election held today, with 40% support among those decided, compared to 26% for the Liberals.

Jan 04, 2024

The Liberals are behind in every region of the country. In Quebec, the Liberals and Conservatives are essentially tied, and trailing the Bloc Quebecois.

Beyond looking at current voting intentions, we probed to learn a bit more about the perceived attributes of Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre. Here’s what we found:

  • Negative perceptions of the Liberal leader are higher than for Poilievre.
  • The most widely held criticisms of Trudeau are that he “spends a lot more than is needed, has a big ego, divides people, likes to preach to people about how they should live, and is out of ideas for the future”.
  • The most widely held criticisms of Poilievre are that he “would be risky for Canada, has a big ego, would cut a lot of things that people need and promotes anger and divides.”

Some important gaps worth noting:

  • More people think Trudeau has a big ego (42%) than feel that way about Poilievre (30%).
  • More people think Trudeau divides people (36%) than say that about Poilievre (27%).
  • More people think Poilievre has good ideas for Canada (30%) than think that is the case for Trudeau (17%).
  • More people think Poilievre is “focused on issues that matter to me” (26%) than think that about Trudeau (17%).

Our Take

According to Bruce Anderson: “Elections obviously aren’t only a choice between leaders, but perceptions of the leaders have a good deal to do with the competitive position of each party. These numbers document that Mr. Poilievre has established some positives in the minds of Canadians, and that some negative perceptions have developed about Mr. Trudeau over time.

For the Conservatives, presenting Mr. Poilievre as reassuring (not risky) and focused on ideas that will help the average person is the best way to continue to lead in the polls. Criticizing Trudeau’s deficits and the sense that the government is “preachy” and out of touch with the issues that matter to people everyday will also help their prospects.

For the Liberals, the results point up a need to define and reinforce the risk associated with the election of a Poilievre government and in so doing describe the everyday life consequences that people would feel from cuts to programs such as childcare. Clearly as well, if the Liberals were able to reduce public concerns that they spend more than needed, and are in public life to serve more than preach, this would help their prospects over the coming months.”

About spark*insights

spark*insights is lead by Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading and most experienced public opinion researchers, along with Alex Kohut, former Senior Manager of Research & Advertising in the Office of the Prime Minister. From polling and research to analysis and guidance, we help organizations, uncover the factors driving or influencing public perception to gain valuable insights into the shape and movement of the landscape.

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