Half of Canadian Voters Are Open to Proportional Representation

Two-in-five would welcome implementing the mixed member system for the next election to the House of Commons.

Vancouver, BC [November 1, 2019] – A significant proportion of Canadian voters would be open to conducting the next federal ballot under a different electoral system, a new Research Co. “exit poll” has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of Canadians who cast a ballot in this year’s federal election, 51% of respondents would agree to elect all members of the House of Commons through party-list proportional representation.

Under this system, parties make lists of candidates to be elected, and seats get allocated to each party in accordance with the number of total votes the party receives.

Majorities of voters in Quebec and Alberta (58% in each province) would be open to electing their Members of Parliament this way. Party-list proportional representation would also be endorsed by 59% of voters aged 18-to-34.

Views on the mixed member proportional representation system are more nuanced, with 39% of Canadian voters agreeing with its implementation for elections to the House of Commons. Just under three-in-ten (28%) disagree and a 33% are undecided.

Under this system, a hybrid method is utilized with the first-past-the-post system for a portion of the legislature, and party-list proportional representation for a another.

Respondents were also asked how they would have voted if the most recent Canadian election had been held under each one of these systems.

In an election held with party-list proportional representation, the Conservative Party would have finished in first place with the support of 33% of decided voters, followed by the Liberal Party with 32%, the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 18%, the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois each with 6%, and the People’s Party with 4%.

“While the level of support does not change dramatically for the five parties that will be represented in the incoming House of Commons under the party-list proportional representation system, there are some differences,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Support for the Liberals is slightly higher in British Columbia than it was on Election Day, and in Ontario, the Conservatives would fare significantly better.”

When asked who would get their party vote under a mixed member proportional representation system, a third of decided voters (34%) would support the Liberal list, followed by the Conservatives with 31%, the New Democrats with 17%, the Greens with 7%, the Bloc with 6% and the People’s Party with 3%.

In a mixed member election, Liberals and Conservatives would retain practically nine-in-ten of their voters under the first-past-the-post system for the other portion of the legislature.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 20 to October 21, 2019, among 803 adults in Canada who voted in the 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Half of Canadian Voters “Happy” With Liberal Minority Scenario

Most voters would welcome an alliance or agreement involving the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the House of Commons.

Vancouver, BC [October 22, 2019] – Canadian voters who participated in the 43rd federal election are divided in their assessment of the incoming House of Commons, a new Research Co. “exit poll” has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of Canadians who cast a ballot in this year’s federal election, 49% of voters say they are happy with the expected outcome of the democratic process: a minority government led by the Liberal Party. A similar proportion of Canadian voters (45%) are “upset” with this scenario.

“Voters aged 18-to-34 (52%) are more content with the outcome of the election than those aged 35-to-54 (46%) and those aged 55 and over (47%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Majorities of Quebecers (57%) and Atlantic Canadians (56%) are also happy with the prospect of a minority Liberal government, while 55% of Albertans and 52% of residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are upset.”

More than half of Canadian voters (56%) said they would be “happy” if the New Democratic Party (NDP) is included in an alliance or agreement to support another party in the House of Commons.

A smaller proportion of Canadian voters (47%) would welcome a similar role for the Green Party in the lower house. Conversely, only 20% of Canadian voters would be “happy” with the Bloc Québécois participating in any alliance or agreement in the House of Commons. 

Canadian voters were also asked about the possibility of uniting the centre-left parties. The most popular proposal is a formal merger between the Liberal Party and the NDP, which would make 46% of Canadians “happy”—including 69% of Liberal voters and 73% of NDP voters.

Possible mergers involving other combinations are not as popular, including one with Liberals, New Democrats and the Green Party (43%), one with New Democrats and Greens (37%), and one with Liberals and Greens (36%).

In addition, 71% of Canadian voters believe that the party that wins the most seats should form the government—a proportion that includes 84% of Conservative voters and 72% of Liberal voters.

Two thirds of Canadian voters (67%) believed it was time for a change of government in Canada. This sentiment is highest in two regions where the Conservative Party was particularly popular this year: Alberta (83%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (77%).

One third of Canadian voters (32%) say they cast a ballot for a candidate that was not their first choice, but that they perceived as having the best chance to defeat a party that they really do not like in their constituency.

Canadian voters aged 18-to-34 appear to have voted strategically (43%) more often than those aged 35-to-54 (30%) and those aged 55 and over (25%). On a regional basis, more than a third of Quebecers (36%) and Atlantic Canadians (42%) cast their ballot this way.

While the main motivator for Canadian voters was the party’s ideas and policies (27%), there are some differences among the federal parties.

About one-in-five Liberal voters (19%) and Bloc Québécois voters (22%) were primarily motivated by the party’s leader. Conservative voters had desire for change (17%) and disgust with other candidates (16%) as bigger influences, and 15% of New Democrat voters were motivated by the candidate in their riding.

A majority of Conservative voters (61%) think Andrew Scheer should remain as leader of the party. 

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 20 to October 21, 2019, among 803 adults in Canada who voted in the 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

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%).

Methodology:

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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most Canadians Would Make Federal Election Day a Holiday

A majority of respondents also want local candidates to participate in at least one debate in their constituency.

Vancouver, BC [October 10, 2019] – A significant proportion of Canadians would like to have an entire day to cast ballots in a federal election without having to show up for school or work, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, almost three-in-five Canadians (58%) agree with declaring election day a public holiday in Canada. 

A third of Canadians (32%) are not in favour of this idea, and 11% are undecided.

“Canadians aged 18-to-34 (72%) are significantly more likely to concur with the notion of making election day a holiday,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Canadians aged 35-to-54 (57%) and those over the age of 55 (48%) are not as enthusiastic.” 

Sizeable majorities of Canadians who voted for the New Democratic Party (NDP) (70%), the Liberal Party (66%) and the Conservative Party (63%) would welcome this change.

A majority of Canadians (62%) believe voting should be mandatory in federal elections, while 29% disagree and 9% are undecided.

Residents aged 55 and over (68%) and Quebecers (67%) are more likely to be in favour of compulsory voting in elections to the House of Commons.

Almost seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) believe it should be mandatory for candidates to attend at least one public debate in their riding with the candidates from other parties, while 18% disagree and 13% are undecided.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 24 to September 26, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. 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, 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Liberals and Conservatives Gain in Canadian Federal Campaign

Justin Trudeau holds a nine-point advantage over Andrew Scheer in the “Best Prime Minister” question.

Vancouver, BC [September 28, 2019] – The two main federal parties in Canada increased their level of voter support over the past couple of months, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 36% of decided voters (+2 since a Research Co. survey conducted in July) would cast a ballot for the Liberal candidate in their riding in next month’s federal election.

The Conservative Party remains in second place with 33% (+2), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 15% (-2), the Green Party with 9% (-1), the Bloc Québécois with 5% (+1) and the People’s Party with 2% (-1).

The two main parties hold the same level of support among male decided voters (36% for each), while the Liberals have a six-point lead over the Conservatives among women (36% to 30%).

Voters aged 18-to-34 currently prefer the Liberals (35%, with the Conservatives at 22% and the NDP at 20%). The Liberals are barely ahead among voters aged 35-to-54 (36% to 34%), while the Tories hold the same edge among voters aged 55 and over (38% to 36%).

“The Conservatives are keeping more than four-in-five decided voters (84%) who supported the party in 2015,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The retention rate is not as respectable at this point for the NDP (71%) and the Liberals (68%).”

The approval rating for Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau remains at 41%, with more than half of Canadians (54%, +4) disapproving of his performance.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh improved his standing by seven points and is now at 42%. The approval rating is higher for Green Party leader Elizabeth May (44%, +2) and lower for Official Opposition and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer (38%, +2). Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party dropped to 17% (-4).

Trudeau posted the lowest momentum score at -34, with 46% of Canadians saying their opinion of the incumbent prime minister has worsened since the start of the campaign. Bernier (-24) and Scheer (-17) also had negative numbers. Singh is the only leader with a positive momentum score (+3), while May is even.

On the “Best Prime Minister” question, Trudeau is first with 33%, followed by Scheer with 24%, Singh with 13% and May with 9%.

The environment is now the top issue facing Canada at 22% (+6), followed by the economy and jobs (21%, +2), health care (18%, -1) and housing, homelessness and poverty (17%, +4).

Health care is identified as the top issue in Atlantic Canada (33%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (23%), while the environment is top among Quebecers (33%). Housing, homelessness and poverty is the most important matter for British Columbians (24%), while the economy and jobs is first in Alberta (38%) and Ontario (23%).

Trudeau is the preferred leader to handle foreign affairs (32%)  health care (28%), and housing, homelessness and poverty (25%). May is clearly ahead on the environment (28%, with Trudeau at 21%)

The Liberal and Conservative leaders are tied or virtually even on four issues: crime and public safety (Scheer 26%, Trudeau 25%), economy and jobs (Trudeau 28%, Scheer 27%), energy and pipelines (Trudeau 25%, Scheer 25%) and accountability and leadership (Scheer 25%, Trudeau 24%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 24 to September 26, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. 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, 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.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca