Conservatives close gap as Liberal lead cut in half from 16 to 9 points

In the fifth wave of the Campaign Research Poll – a nationwide online omnibus opinion survey conducted among 2767 Canadian voters – just fewer than four out of ten individuals surveyed would support the federal Liberals (39%) if an election were held tomorrow. Conversely, three out of ten of those surveyed would support the Conservatives (30%). As a result, the gap between these two parties from last month is narrowing (May 14, Liberals - 43%, Conservatives - 27%). The Liberal lead is currently 9 points, which represents a decrease of 7 points since May. The NDP have the support of one fifth (19%) and this has not changed in several months (May - 19%).

The Liberal vote is especially strong in Atlantic Canada (52%), Toronto (51%) and the surrounding GTA (47%) as well as the wealthy ($80K to $100K - 44%). The Conservative vote is most prominent among older voters (37%), Alberta (53%), GTA residents (40%), and the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 34%). The NDP vote is especially strong in BC (31%) and low income voters (27%).

Notably, Conservative voters from 2015 are more likely to vote for their party again (89%) than the Liberals (77%) or NDP (72%). One tenth of respondents who voted for the Liberals in 2015 will vote Conservative this time (10%) and about one eighth of New Democrats will vote Liberal (16%).

ONE QUARTER APPROVE OF ANDREW SCHEER; HIGH UNKNOWNS

Half of the country (50%) approves of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister which is consistent with his approval ratings since last month (May 14 - 53%). His net favourability score (approve minus disapprove) is +15. Thomas Mulcair has approval from one third of the electorate (34%), which is similar to last month (May - 32%). His net score is +9. Andrew Scheer has the approval of less than a quarter (23%) and his net favourability score is +6. Interestingly, approximately six out of ten respondents did not know enough about Scheer to form an opinion (60%).

ONE HALF CAN’T JUDGE SCHEER, NOT SEEN TO SHARE VALUES OR HAVE EXPERIENCE

Newly elected Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was tested on a number of attributes. For all of these, about half declined to offer an opinion (between 50% and 55%). Of the four attributes tested, voters supported Scheer due to their perception of him as an effective Speaker in the House of Commons (33% agree, 13% disagree). They also believed that he would be able to unify the Conservative Party (28% agree, 17% disagree). Our data indicated that general voters were less confident in his experience to effectively take on the role of Prime Minister (22% agree, 26% disagree). They also felt that Scheer did not share their values (20% agree, 30% disagree).

Scheer was supported by more than half of respondents who vote Conservative. Conservative voters believed that he effectively represents their values (51% agree, 7% disagree) and would be able to unify the party (56% agree and 6% disagree). They felt that he had been an effective Speaker (60% agree, 4% disagree) and had the experience to be Prime Minister (49% agree, 10% disagree). Between one third and two fifths of Conservative respondents did not know enough information to rate him on these attributes (35% to 43%).

TRUDEAU SEEN TO MAKE BEST PRIME MINISTER

Justin Trudeau is the first choice for Prime Minister of four out of ten voters surveyed (40%), while Andrew Scheer placed second at one sixth (15%). It is important to note that one half of Conservative voters see Scheer as the best option for Prime Minister (52%), compared to the vast majority of Liberals who see Trudeau as the ideal person for the job (82%). One quarter of New Democrats also believed Justin Trudeau is best suited to be Prime Minister (27%).

“While the Trudeau Liberals are still in the lead, it appears that the excitement of the down-to-the-wire Conservative leadership race may have put a dent in that lead, despite the fact the winner of the race is not very well-known among his fellow Conservatives” said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research. Eli maybe reached at eyufest@campaignresearch.ca or at (647) 931 4025, ext 109.

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