Ipsos poll shows Conservatives in lead

62 per cent of Canadians say Trudeau has lost moral authority to govern

March 5, 2019 4:05 pm

The Liberals are continuing to shed vote support in the wake of the SNC-Lavalin affair and the testimony of former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to the House of Commons Justice Committee, according to an Ipsos poll released today.

If an election were held tomorrow, the Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would receive 31% of the decided popular vote, down 3 points since Ipsos’ most recent poll two weeks ago.

The Conservatives under Andrew Scheer would receive 40% of the vote, up 4 points.

The poll results are similar to an Angus Reid poll released last week, which showed the Conservatives with 38 per cent of the vote and the Liberals with 31.

According to the Ipsos poll, Jagmeet Singh’s NDP would receive 20% of the popular vote (up 3 points), while the Bloc would receive 4% of the vote nationally (19% in Quebec), down 2 points.

Other parties, including the Green Party, would receive 5% of the vote (down 2 points).

Overall, two in ten Canadians say they are undecided (9%) or simply would not consider voting (8%).

Underscoring these troubling figures for the Liberals is that nearly two thirds (62%) of Canadians agree (29% strongly/33% somewhat) that Prime Minister Trudeau has lost the moral authority to govern, while a minority (38%) disagrees (12% strongly/26% somewhat) that he has.

In the two most-populous provinces of Canada, where elections are won and lost, the Conservatives are improving their position:

In Ontario the Tories (40%) have widened their lead to 9 points over the Liberals (31%), while the NDP (23%) trail.

In Quebec the Tories (29%) have drastically closed the gap between themselves and the Liberals (35%) who still lead but only by six points instead of 13 points two weeks ago. The Bloc (19%) and NDP (14%) are struggling to keep pace.

Just 36% believe that the Liberal government under Prime Minister Trudeau has done a good job and deserves re-election (down 2 points), while 64% think it’s time for another federal party to take over and run the country (up 2 points).

Four in ten (42%) approve (10% strongly/32% somewhat) of the Liberal Government’s performance under Justin Trudeau, unchanged from two weeks ago.

Interest in the SNC-Lavalin issue and the alleged pressure on the former Attorney General to change her mind about a deferred prosecution is growing: 64% of Canadians are now following the issue (25% closely), up from 49% two weeks ago. Indeed, 68% believe the issue deserves all the attention it is getting, while 32% say it’s not as big a deal as some are making it out to be.

Not only is the issue of interest, but it is also impactful. A majority (55%) of Canadians say it is having an impact on their vote. Among those who do, the Tories (50%) are the primary beneficiary, followed by the NDP (23%) then the Liberals (18%). Clearly this issue is one which resonates for Tory voters.

In her testimony to the House of Commons Justice Committee, Jody Wilson-Raybould said that she faced a "sustained effort" and "veiled threats" to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case by various government officials, including the Prime Minister and his office. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his staff have maintained that there was no political pressure placed on the former Attorney General to intervene in the case by the Prime Minister, his staff, or government ministers.

Given what they’ve heard to date, 67% of Canadians say they believe Jody Wilson-Raybould more, while 33% say they believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau more. Even one in three (33%) Liberal voters say they believe the former Attorney General more than the Prime Minister. Moreover, three quarters (75%) of Canadians agree (28% strongly/47% somewhat) that they believe there was inappropriate political interference placed on Jody Wilson-Raybould by senior people in government, including 56% of Liberal voters.

Given what they’ve heard to date about the situation and their own opinions on the matter, Canadians believe that it warrants further investigation:

Eight in ten (84%) agree (46% strongly/38% somewhat) that the RCMP should investigate the issue and lay charges against any politician or government bureaucrat who is alleged to have broken any laws related to political interference. Three quarters (73%) of Liberal voters agree.

Most (85%) Canadians agree (44% strongly/41% somewhat) they would support a public inquiry to investigate the issue fully. Seven in ten (72%) Liberal voters agree.

Given the desire for a formal investigation or public inquiry, half (51%) of Canadians agree (26% strongly/25% somewhat) that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should resign until a formal investigation potentially clears him of any wrongdoing, including 24% of Liberal voters who believe he should step aside while the issue is investigated.

Half (52%) of Canadians also agree (21% strongly/31% somewhat) that we need an election to clear the air. Three in ten (30%) Liberal voters would support a snap election in this instance.

The affair appears to have undermined some confidence that the judiciary in Canada does indeed exist free from political interference, as the Prime Minister has maintained.

While still a majority, only six in ten (59%) agree (17% strongly/42% somewhat) that they trust that the judiciary/courts in Canada are free from political interference, while four in ten (41%) disagree (9% strongly/32% somewhat) that this is the case.