Grits and Tories Are in Statistical Tie Ahead of Canadian Election

The NDP’s Jagmeet Singh closes the campaign with the highest approval rating and momentum score of all federal leaders.

Vancouver, BC [October 20, 2019] – A jump in voter support for the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Québécois has affected the fortunes of Canada’s two major political parties on the eve of the country’s federal election, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 32% of decided voters (-4 since a Research Co. survey conducted in late September) would cast a ballot for the Liberal Party’s contender in their constituency.

The Conservative Party remains a close second with 31% (-2), followed by the NDP with 19% (+4), the Green Party with 8% (-1), the Bloc with 7% (+2) and the People’s Party with 2% (=).

“In September, the Liberals enjoyed a six-point lead among female decided voters,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Now, partly due to a surge in support for the New Democrats, the governing party is practically tied with the Conservatives.”

On a regional basis, the Conservative Party continues to dominate in Alberta (61%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (51%). In both Ontario and Atlantic Canada, the Liberal Party is in first place (39% and 34% respectively).

An extremely close race developed in British Columbia, with each of the three major parties garnering the support of more than a quarter of decided voters, with the Greens at 14%.

In Quebec, where the Liberals had a 14-point advantage over the Bloc in September, the election has also tightened considerably. The Liberals now stand at 34% (-3), while the Bloc has jumped to 32% (+9)

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh heads to tomorrow’s election with the highest approval rating of all leaders at 57% (up 15 points since late September).

The numbers held steady for Official Opposition and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer (38%, unchanged) and Green Party leader Elizabeth May (44%, also unchanged). 

The approval rating for incumbent Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau improved by three points to 44%, while his disapproval numbers dropped by the same margin to 51%. 

The lowest ranked leader is once again Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party (18%, +1).

Singh is the only party leader to post a positive momentum score (+20), with almost two-in-five Canadians (38%) saying their opinion of the NDP leader has improved since the start of the campaign.

Bernier has the lowest momentum score (-25), with Trudeau at -24,  Scheer at -21 and May at -5.

When asked which one of the main party leaders would make the “Best Prime Minister”, Trudeau remains in first place with 30% (-3), followed by Scheer with 23% (-1) and Singh with 21% (+8). The other contenders are in single digits.

Trudeau holds a nine-point edge over Scheer on the “Best Prime Minister” question among men (33% to 24%) and a six-point lead among women (28% to 22%). 

Singh gets his best numbers on this question with women (26%, just two points behind Trudeau) and Canadians aged 18-to-34 (32%, eight points ahead of Trudeau).

About one-in-four Canadians (24%, +3) think the economy and jobs is the top issue facing Canada, followed by the environment (20%, -2), health care (also 20%, +2) and housing, homelessness and poverty (16%, -1).

The way Canada’s regions feel about issues did not go through any radical shifts since late September. Housing, homelessness and poverty is still most pressing concern for British Columbians (28%), while the environment is especially important for Quebecers (31%).

As was the case last month, health care is the top issue in Atlantic Canada (36%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (22%), while the economy and jobs takes precedence in Alberta (37%) and Ontario (27%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from October 18 to October 20, 2019, among 957 Canadian adults, including 890 decided voters in the 2019 federal election. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 3.3 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.