A new poll suggests Canadians still believe Justin Trudeau is still the best man for the job of prime minister — but he has only a slight lead over new Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.
Leger has released the findings of an online survey conducted from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18 with 1,522 respondents.
The results come 10 days after Poilievre’s landslide victory in the Conservative leadership race, which many Tories hope signals the beginning of a unified Conservative party.
The poll shows support for the Liberals fell a dramatic five points since early August, while the Tories gained six points. The NDP also rose by two and the People’s Party of Canada fell by two.
The poll suggests the Liberals’ popularity has declined since one year ago, when Trudeau was re-elected for a second time to form a minority government.
Around 28 per cent of respondents said they would cast a ballot for the Liberals if an election were held today, as compared to the nearly 33 per cent who did last September.
The results suggest some of the former Liberal voters may have shifted left and right.
About 34 per cent of respondents said they would park their vote with the Tories. That returns the Tories to popularity levels posted when Canadians last went to the polls, and a big improvement from the 26 per cent support it found after losing last year’s election.
Another 23 per cent of respondents in the survey said they would pick the NDP, an increase from the nearly 18 per cent recorded in the election.
Three per cent of respondents opted for the Green Party and another three per cent chose the People’s Party of Canada.
When it comes to who would make the best prime minister, however, the data suggests Trudeau has the edge over both Poilievre and the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh.
Trudeau was top choice for 24 per cent of respondents, three points ahead of Poilievre and seven points over Singh.
It cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered truly random samples.
Tuesday marks the return of members of Parliament to the House of Commons, which is where Poilievre and Trudeau are expected to have their first significant exchange during Question Period later in the week.
The pair briefly met last week when MPs offered condolences to Queen Elizabeth II.
When it comes to the poll’s regional breakdowns, the survey suggests Poilievre has the weakest support in Quebec and strongest in Alberta as compared to Trudeau, who is the strongest in Atlantic Canada and weakest in Alberta.
The data suggests Ontario is a much closer toss-up, with 34 per cent of respondents in that province saying they would pick a Poilievre-led Conservative party as compared to 32 per cent who said they would choose the Trudeau Liberals.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2022.