Most Canadians who plan to vote Liberal doing so to stop Conservatives from winning: poll

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, centre right, listen to speeches after delivering their own remarks at the Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It conference in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Most Canadians who plan on voting for the Liberal party are more motivated to stop the Conservatives from winning the election rather than endorsing the party’s vision and leader, according to a new poll released on Monday.

Meanwhile, the opposite is true for most Conservative supporters.

The non-profit Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Jan. 16 and 17 among a representative randomized sample of 1,620 Canadian adults. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by the institute.

“While there certainly is a significant amount of distaste for Trudeau among the Canadian public, that does not appear to be the strongest motivating factor for those who intend to vote for the Conservative Party,” according to the Angus Reid report.

Instead, three in five (62 per cent) Conservative supporters said they are more likely to vote because they back Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and the party’s vision rather than wanting to prevent another term of government led by Justin Trudeau. These voters make up a quarter of the electorate overall.

Meanwhile, three in five (63 per cent) Liberal supporters said they are more motivated to prevent a Conservative government rather than to support Trudeau and Liberal policies.

“This means just nine per cent of the Canadian electorate is passionate about and inspired by the prospect of voting Liberal,” Angus Reid wrote in the report.
Strategic voting a possible wildcard

However, strategic voting could be a wildcard in the election, the institute noted.

“Many NDP voters appear to be willing to support the Liberals in the event the CPC are on the track to victory,” it wrote in the report.

More than one-third (36 per cent) of NDP supporters said they would likely switch their vote to Liberals and three in 10 (30 per cent) said they would consider that option. Others said it is unlikely (19 per cent) or not going to happen (15 per cent).

“This would be a catastrophic loss of support for (NDP Leader) Jagmeet Singh and his party, which increased its support from 16 to 18 per cent from 2019 to 2021,” according to the report.

From would-be Bloc Québécois voters who want to stop the Tories, 35 per cent said the switch is possible (26 per cent) or likely to happen (19 per cent).

Defined as people who said they would most likely vote Liberal to block the Tories, “likely switchers” comprise about a quarter of the non-Conservative, non-Liberal vote.

Should they decide to vote Liberal, Angus Reid said the Liberals would be in “a much more competitive situation, with 34 per cent of vote intention.” Even in this case, the Liberals would still trail by a seven-point margin, it added.

Moreover, another one-in-three non-Conservative, non-Liberal voters said it’s “possible” they would switch. In this case, Angus Reid noted that the Liberals would be statistically tied with the Conservatives.

“There are many factors in play when it comes to Canadians’ vote intentions, but this suggests that the gap between the two parties may not be as large as it currently stands,” it wrote in the report.

Tories maintain big lead in support

The Conservatives have maintained a double-digit vote lead since September. If an election were held today, two in five (41 per cent) Canadians would support the Conservatives while a quarter (24 per cent) would vote for the Liberals, according to Angus Reid’s latest data. One in five said they would support the NDP.

The Tories are leading the Liberals in all regions except Quebec. The Bloc Québécois is leading in Quebec, followed by the Liberals and the Conservatives at a distant third.

The Liberals are behind the NDP in British Columbia, where it has usually been a three-way race in recent years, Angus Reid noted.

Both Trudeau and Poilievre are unpopular with the majority of voters. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of Canadians, including at least three in five men and women of all ages, said they disapprove of Trudeau, the poll found. Alternatively, two in five (40 per cent) said they viewed Poilievre favourably.

Source: CTV News