Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/8/2021 (288 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The federal Liberals appear set to declare a snap pandemic election, but a new poll says most Canadians aren’t on the same page.
The poll, commissioned by Torstar and conducted by Mainstreet Research over two days this week, found 65 per cent of respondents think this is not a good time to have an election.
Across Canada, support for an election was lowest in British Columbia, with 75 per cent of respondents opposed, and highest in the Prairies, where 48 per cent said now is the time for a federal campaign. Opinion was closer to the national average in Ontario, where 67 per cent oppose an election call, with 34 per cent in favour.
Generally, “people who do want an election right now are not happy with this current government,” Mainstreet CEO Quito Maggi told the Star. Meanwhile, support for a snap call is lower among those who do support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s incumbent Liberals, he said.
Those opinions may change once the campaign starts, Maggi added, noting that Canadians are dealing with post-pandemic exhaustion and the end of summer vacations.
People often say they don’t want a campaign — even before a legislated election date — “until they’re in the midst of the election, and more of the population is paying attention,” he said. “We find that when people are engaged in that electoral process, they finally reveal to us that they will go out and vote.”
Federal MPs from all parties are on a pre-election footing as speculation in Ottawa continues to stir. Trudeau has declined to say when the campaign will begin, but most bet the prime minister will visit the governor general within days.
Meanwhile, party leaders have been touring the country during Parliament’s summer break to make announcements and draw attention to local candidates.
According to the Mainstreet poll, which Maggi described as a “snapshot” in time, Trudeau’s Liberals currently hold the largest share of support, at 35 per cent. The Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole, follow at 26 per cent, and Jagmeet Singh’s NDP is in third nationally at 16 per cent. Both the Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party enjoy five per cent support. Six per cent said they’d vote for another party, and 12 per cent were undecided.
Maggi said the Liberal lead can be attributed to voters’ opinions on vaccine rates, pandemic management and the government’s handling of the crisis. The valuation of government performance has been higher during the pandemic, he said.
The Liberals won their current minority government with 33.1 per cent of the national vote in the last federal election on Oct. 21, 2019.
The Mainstreet poll is based on an automated telephone survey conducted on Aug. 10 and 11. It sampled 909 adults intended to represent the voting population of Canada. The polling company considers the results accurate within 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Find the Star's federal election coverage here
Danica Samuel is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Reach her via email: email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @danicasamuel