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The race for Prime Minister is becoming much more competitive

The latest National Campaign Research Poll conducted among a panel of 1,590 Canadian voters sought to understand what “personal” attributes and “policy plank” attributes are driving voter intent. Beyond asking respondents which party they intended to vote for and who they thought would make the best Prime Minister, Campaign Research also asked Canadians to rate the level of importance they place on a set of “personal” attributes (for candidates for prime minister) and “policy planks”.

The diagram below shows how respondents rank the level of importance for each personal attribute. “ Integrity, honesty and trustworthiness” were seen as being the most important quality a leader could hold, with 77% of Canadian’s viewing that as being “extremely important”. (Keep in mind this is “overt” importance which highlights that this is what respondents tell us when asked)

The diagram below shows how important respondents felt certain policy planks were relative to others. Respondents clearly identify a top tier that are relatively more important than other policy planks offered.

At the end of the survey, respondents rated each of the main party’s leaders by responding to the question “Regardless of how you might vote, overall, how would you rate each of these leaders as a candidate for Prime Minister?”

Using advanced statistical analytics to evaluate correlations between how respondents rated each party leader’s performance on “personal” attributes and “policy plank” attributes with the “overall” rating they give to each party’s leader (as a candidate for Prime Minister), Campaign Research can determine which personal attributes and policy planks are “covertly” more important relative to each other. In other words, Campaign Research’s “derived” importance analysis determines each personal attribute and each policy planks level of relative importance in driving overall scores.

The diagram below illustrates the “derived” importance of each personal attribute. While Canadian’s “overtly” ranked other personal attributes as relatively more important than “proven leadership abilities”, it was the largest “covert” driver of overall candidate ratings (for Prime Minister).

The diagram below illustrates the “derived” (covert) importance of each policy plank. “Being accountable”, “negotiating beneficial trade deals” and “making life more affordable” were among the most important overt and covert policy planks, highlighting how important they are to Canadians.

The performance ratings of each leader on each personal attribute can be assessed in terms of relative performance among the leaders. The diagram below shows that despite two out of five Canadian’s rating Trudeau’s performance as “poor” (as a candidate for Prime Minister) he still led in the two most important categories - “proven leadership abilities” and “representing Canada on the world stage.”

*See a more detailed explanation of Relative Leadership Strength at the end of this document

The performance ratings, on each policy plank, can be assessed in terms of relative performance among the leaders. The diagram below shows that Canadian’s view Andrew Scheer as strong on financial matters. Specifically, they see him as being the best candidate at reducing their taxes, cutting waste in government and balancing the federal budget, but these policy planks are not driving positive ratings for the leaders as much as the top three planks.

*See a more detailed explanation of Relative Leadership Strength at the end of this document

“Andrew Scheer has made significant gains on Justin Trudeau with respect to how Canadians rate the leaders as a candidate for Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau still has the advantage because he scores very well relative to Andrew Scheer with the top drivers (Covert Importance) of positive ratings for candidates for Prime Minister, both on the “personal” attributes and on the “policy plank” attributes. But Andrew Scheer, by far, is seen as being the best candidate for reducing taxes, cutting waste in government, balancing the federal budget, building oil pipelines and securing the border. Whichever party can drive their current advantage(s) as the main narrative and public debate will better their position to win the coming election.” – said Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research Inc. Eli can be reached at or (647) 931-4025 x 109


This online study was conducted by Campaign Research as part of its monthly omnibus study between February 7 to February 11 through an online survey of 1,590 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s online panel Maru Voice Canada and were provided with various incentives to respond. The panelists were selected to reflect Canada’s age, gender and regional distributions in line with 2016 Statistics Canada census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The results have been weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population according to 2016 Census data. Certain areas or groups may be oversampled but have been weighted to reflect their proportion of Canada’s population. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

The following screening question was asked in order to determine eligibility for participation in the study

"Are you 18 years of age or older and eligible to vote in federal elections?"

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