Federal Liberal continue to dominate

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Federal Liberals continue to dominate

NDP still bleeding

TORONTO March 16th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1567 Canadian voters, close to one half will vote Liberal if the election were held today (46%), while just more than a third would vote Conservative (34%). Just one tenth will vote NDP (12%), and few will vote Green (3%), Bloc Quebecois (4%) or for another party (1%). These findings are in contrast to last month, when the Liberals were very slightly higher in voter preference (February 18 - 49%) and the Conservatives were very slightly lower (February 18 - 32%).

Liberals are popular with the oldest (50%), females (51%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 52%), in Atlantic Canada (60%), mothers (53%) and the best educated (post grad - 52%).

Conservatives draw the votes of younger voters ((35 to 44 - 39%), males (39%) rather than females (28%), the wealthiest (43%), in Alberta (58%), Anglophones (40%) rather than Francophones (16%) and among university graduates (37%).

The NDP vote is common to the youngest (15%), the least wealthy (15%, often a proxy for youth), in Quebec (16%) and BC (21%) and among Francophones (15%).

Of note, of those New Democrats voters from the most recent election, more than a third would now vote Liberal (36%).

Liberal to win close to super majority

If these results are projected up to the 338 seat House of Commons, the Liberals would capture very close to two thirds (64%) of the seats, or 215, to 111 for the Conservatives. The NDP would take just 11 seats, the Greens one and no other party would seat a member.

Leader approvals steady, Trudeau down slightly

Well more than one half the voters approve of the job Justin Trudeau is doing a Prime Minister (54%), and his net favourable score (approve minus disapprove) is a healthy +19. This is down slightly from last month, when his approval was closer to 6-in-10 (February 18 - 57%) and his net was higher (+23). Approval of the Prime Minister is almost unanimous among Liberals (91%), but is also characteristic of 6-in-10 NDP voters (57%), and this is just slightly less than approve of the party’s own leader (Tom Mulcair - 67%).

Rona Ambrose’s approval is steady at 3-in-10 (29%), just slightly less than her party’s vote share (34%), and her net score is a neutral 0. This hasn’t changed since February 18 (28% approval, -3 net). Approval of Ambrose among Conservative voters is at one half (53%), while 3-in-10 don’t know enough about her to judge (30%).

Tom Mulcair has the approval of about one third of voters (35%), and a net favourable score of a neutral +1. This is similar to his approval last month (36%). Mentioned above, Mulcair’s approval among his own party’s voters is about two thirds (67%), but this is well down since last month (74%).

Trudeau four times more likely to be seen as best PM

Four-in-ten voters think Justin Trudeau makes the best Prime Minister (43%), and this is similar to his party’s vote share (46%). One quarter of this proportion opt for Rona Ambrose (13%) or Tom Mulcair (10%). Close to one fifth see none of the contenders as fit for the job (18%). Just one third of Conservative voters think Rona Ambrose would make the best PM (37%), while as many as 3-in-10 New Democrats think Justin Trudeau is the best at the job (30%), just fewer than the proportion who think their own leader, Tom Mulcair, would be best (46%). As it stands, Trudeau is the only leader with more than 50% support in his own party.

“Despite the pomp and circumstance of last week’s state visit to Washington, it appears the Prime Minister is settling down to earth a bit in the voters’ eyes. His vote share is off a tick, as is his approval. Nonetheless, he performs at his own party’s level of voter preference, which is a good thing strategically. Rona Ambrose is polling at the same level as her party too, and this is as good as it gets for her, as she is firmly in second place. The real crisis case here is Tom Mulcair, while he outperforms his party three to one in approval compared to voter preference, his approval among his own partisans has been slipping. This must be a concern with a leadership vote coming up, as is his party’s currently dismal showing in our poll,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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