Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

January 17, 2006 05:59 ET

CANADIANS OFFER THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE ELECTION AS IT HEADS INTO ...

Most (65%, +37 Points) Expect Conservative Victory Attention: News Editor TORONTO/ON--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 17, 2006) - According to the latest Ipsos Reid survey of voters, conducted on behalf of CanWest News Service/Global News, most (65%, +37 points from a survey conducted just before the start of the election) now believe that the Conservatives will win the upcoming election, while just 20% (-42 points) feel the Liberals will win.

But while most believe a Conservative victory is probable, they are split when it comes to the question or whether or not they believe Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have enough candidates who are capable of being effective cabinet ministers: Half (50%) believe that they do, while the other half (50%) do not believe so.
Further, more than half (56%) agree Stephen Harper is too extreme to be Canada's prime minister (essentially unchanged from 55% who felt this way at the outset of the election campaign).

However, eight in ten (79%) believe that Stephen Harper has run "a good campaign", and 66% feel Paul Martin has run a "bad campaign".

And just as many Canadians now choose Stephen Harper (33%) as the candidate that would make the best Prime Minister of Canada as choose Paul Martin (30%) -- 26% believe Jack Layton would make the best Prime Minister.
Come Election Day, 57% say they would prefer a majority government outcome (-8 points from a survey conducted in early December 2005), versus 43% who say they would prefer a minority.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News from January 13th to January 15th, 2006. A total of 8256 Canadian voters were surveyed via the internet, yielding results which are accurate to within ± 1.1% (19 times out of 20). The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The data were statistically weighted to ensure that the sample's age, sex, regional and party support composition reflects that of the actual Canadian voter population. The sample was drawn from a pre-recruited panel of over 12,000 voters drawn from Ipsos Reid's internet panel.

* Residents of Quebec (78%) and Alberta (71%) are the most likely to believe a Conservative victory is imminent.

* Residents of Atlantic Canada (29%) and British Columbia (24%) are the most likely to believe a Liberal victory is likely.

But Half Doubt The Conservatives Ability To Field An Effective Cabinet…

Half (50%) believe that, if elected, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have enough candidates capable of being effective cabinet ministers, while half (50%) do not believe so.

* Albertans (72%) are the most likely to believe the Conservatives are capable of fielding an effective government.

And More Than Half (56%) Agree Stephen Harper Is Too Extreme To Be Canada's Prime Minister…

Most (79%) See Harper As Having Run A "Good Campaign", While 66% Feel Martin Has Run A "Bad Campaign"…

* Residents of Quebec (87%) and Alberta (86%) are the most likely to believe that Stephen Harper has run a "good campaign".

* Nearly half (45%) of Liberal supporters feel Paul Martin has run a "bad campaign".

Thirty-three Percent Choose Stephen Harper As Best PM, 30% Choose Paul Martin, 26% Choose Jack Layton…

* Stephen Harper receives the highest levels of endorsement in Alberta (59%) and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (38%).

* Paul Martin is chosen most often in Atlantic Canada (40%) and Ontario (38%).

* Jack Layton gets chosen most often in British Columbia (32%) and Atlantic Canada (31%).

Fifty-seven Percent Would Prefer Majority Government (Down From 65% At Beginning Of December 2005)…

Fifty-seven percent (-8 points from a survey conducted in early December 2005) say they would prefer a majority government after this election, while 43% would prefer a minority.

* Preference for a majority is most common in Alberta (74%) and Atlantic Canada (61%).

Conservative Led Minority Government Supported By The NDP Most Acceptable Option For Canadians…

* 82% of Conservative supporters would find a Conservative led/NDP supported minority government acceptable vs. 49% who would find a Conservative led/Bloc Quebecois support minority acceptable.

Nearly One In Ten (7%) Indicate They Will Change Their Vote If Conservative Majority Seems Likely…

Nearly one in ten (7%) will change their vote if a Conservative majority victory seems likely, while 93% say they will not change their vote.

Among Those Who Would Change Their Vote If Conservative Majority Seems Likely, Plurality (38%) Would Switch Vote To Liberal…

Among those respondents who say they will switch their vote if a Conservative victory seems likely (7% of all voters), 38% say they would switch to the Liberals, 16% would switch to the NDP, 15% would switch to the Conservatives, and in Quebec 24% would switch to the Bloc Quebecois.

One In Seven Would Be More Likely To Vote If Jean Chrétien Were Leader Of The Party…

One in seven (14%) agree with the statement "I would be more likely to vote Liberals if Jean Chrétien was still the leader" - 86% disagree.

Tracking Attitudes Since Beginning Of Election…

There are charts and tables used throughout this press release which can be viewed at: www.ipsos-na.com/news

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

Dr. Darrell Bricker
President & COO
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

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