Most aware of F-35 controversy

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Most aware of F-35 controversy

Most don’t think we need stealth jets

TORONTO September 30th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1499 Canadian voters, three quarters are aware of the controversy surrounding the proposed purchase of the advanced F-35 stealth fighter jet (74%), and these are the oldest (86%), males (84%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 81%), in Alberta (85%), Conservatives (81%) and the best educated (85%).

Half disagree we need stealth jets

Close to one half of voters disagree Canada needs advanced stealth fighter jets to meet its national defense goals (47%), while just fewer than 4-in-10 think they are necessary (38%). One seventh don’t have an opinion (14%). Believing these planes are necessary is common to the oldest (43%), males (46%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 44%), in the prairies (48%) and Alberta (57%) but not Quebec (30%), among Conservatives (74%), but much less so among Liberals (27%) or New Democrats (19%), among Anglophones (42%) more than Francophones (26%) and among the least educated (secondary school or less - 45%).

Close to half approve Trudeau promise to kill F-35

Close to one half of voters approve of Justin Trudeau’s plan to cancel the purchase of the F-35 (46%), and this view is especially common to the youngest (53%), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 50%) and mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 51%), in Quebec (52%) and BC (51%) but not in Alberta (30%), among Liberals, unsurprisingly (70%), among fewer New Democrats (61%) and almost no Conservatives (9%), but among the best educated (53%) and more so among those with no children (48%) than mothers of children under 18 (38%). Four-in-ten disapprove of Trudeau’s promise (40%), and one seventh are unsure (14%). Those who oppose the cancellation of the F-35 are the oldest, males, Conservatives in the prairies and Alberta and among the least educated.

Jet promise moves New Democrat votes both ways

In total, one fifth of voters say they are more likely to vote Liberal because of this promise (21%), while one third say they are less likely to vote for the Liberals (33%). The plurality (43%) say this promise will have no effect on their vote, and these are most likely to be NDP voters (56%). One fifth of New Democrat voters say they are more likely to vote Liberal because of the promise to cancel the F-35 (22%), while an identical proportion are more likely to vote Conservative as a result (22%). meanwhile, one fifth of Liberal voters are less likely to vote for their party because of this promise (18%). Thus, it appears this policy announcement may prove inconclusive in terms of votes.

“It’s a very close result, but it appears Canadians don’t see the need for these expensive, top-of-the-line jets, and Trudeau’s unequivocal promise to scrap the program has struck a chord in the taxpayer. It is an ideological decision, this approval, though, and as few as one tenth of Conservative voters don’t agree we  need the hardware, compared to as many as two thirds of New Democrats and more than one half of Liberals," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.