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Prime Minister’s approval rating plunges in wake of SNC-Lavalin Affair

In the aftermath of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testimony to the House of Commons Justice Committee, Campaign Research conducted a national public opinion poll of 1,893 Canadian’s to investigate their views on the upcoming federal election. A plurality (43%) believe that the government has done a bad job and should not be re-elected. Couple that with the 10% of Canadian’s that say the government has done a good job but it’s time to give someone else a chance, and a majority of Canadian’s now want to see a change of government.

The country is seemingly divided along geographic lines, with Atlantic Canada and Quebec leaning Liberal (37%, 29%, respectively) and Ontario and everything West of it supporting the Conservative’s. For example, the Conservative’s continue to lead in seat-rich Ontario over the Liberals (40% vs. 34%) among decided voters. The Conservatives also now hold a lead in BC (30% vs. 27%). In short, the Conservative’s maintain a strong lead over the Liberals with a national result of 36% vs. 30%

Justin Trudeau’s personal brand and approval has taken a significant hit since the start of 2019, with an -10% decline. Conversely, Andrew Scheer’s approval rating has surpassed Trudeau’s for the first time in March, since we began tracking. For the second straight month, Trudeau’s disapproval score has been over 50%. Of particular concern for Trudeau is the 60% of baby boomers that disapprove of him. Turning perceptions around of this key, more-likely-to-vote demographic is of paramount importance if Trudeau will win the election later this year.

Given the SNC-Lavalin controversy, we also asked about approval ratings for Jody Wilson-Raybould. In short, she received higher approval scores than any of the three main party leaders. Overall, 45% of Canadians approve of the job she is doing as a member of parliament and former attorney general. This relatively strong score likely speaks to the believability or favourability Canadian’s feel towards to her.

When asked who would make the best prime minister, Canadian’s selected Andrew Scheer over Justin Trudeau for the first time in our tracking. This number is likely the most worrisome for Trudeau because if Scheer is now being seen as a viable substitute as prime minster, this could prove disastrous for the Liberal’s during the election. It should be noted that woman are still more likely to consider Trudeau as best prime minster by a small margin.

“Justin Trudeau’s personal popularity has taken a significant hit on account of the SNC-Lavalin controversy. His personal equity along with that of the Liberal Party are down and the Conservative’s and Scheer lead on all key metrics. If Justin Trudeau doesn’t correct things now, he could be heading for a devastating result this October.” – 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 March 7 to March 10 through an online survey of 1,893 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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