Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

November 04, 2005 05:59 ET

GRITS THRASHED IN WAKE OF GOMERY REPORT

Liberals (31%, -7 Points) Fall Into Virtual Tie With Tories (30%, +4 Points); Potential Conservative Minority Looms If Vote Holds - Ontario Gives Tories Boost While Bloc Gains In Quebec Attention: News Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 4, 2005) - Despite Justice John Gomery's report "exonerating" Prime Minister Paul Martin in what has become known as the Quebec Sponsorship Scandal, support for his embattled party among decided voters has plummeted to a low not witnessed since May, 2005 according to the latest Ipsos Reid CanWest News Service/Global News national survey of Canadians. The poll shows that the recent Liberal lead over the Conservatives has all but evaporated, and the Bloc Quebecois now have a stronger stranglehold on Quebec denying Paul Martin any potential post Gomery ruling support momentum at "ground zero" for his party there.

And even though a majority (55%) of Canadians want to wait until after the final report of Justice Gomery, expected in February of 2006, before going to the polls, the party leaders in the House of Commons may be sorely tested by these numbers which expose a vulnerable minority Liberal government.

According to the poll national vote support for each major Federal party current sits at:

* 31% for Paul Martin and the Liberals (-7 points)
* 30% for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (+4 points)
* 19% for Jack Layton and the NDP (+1 point)
* 5% for Jim Harris and the Green Party (unchanged)

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois now have 52% of the Federal vote (+5 points) with the Liberals being thrashed-down a whopping 13 points to only 20%.

But the other story is in seat rich Ontario where the Conservatives (38%, +8 points) have now rebounded to neck and neck with the Liberals (38%, -4 points).

Given the national vote numbers as expressed above, if these decided voters were to hold onto these views in an election, Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party would form a minority government.

Further findings of the national poll are:

* 74% agree with the statement "there were no surprises in the Gomery Report. It pretty much confirmed what I already knew" versus 16% disagree, and 10% "don't know".
* 60% agree that "I don't think the Gomery Report will change anything meaningful about the way the Federal government does things" (-3 points from the last Ipsos Reid survey conducted in late October before the release of the Gomery Report) while 34% disagree, and 6% "don't know".
* 54% agree that "the findings of the Gomery Report show that the Liberal Party is corrupt and does not deserve to be re-elected", versus 38% who believe the government deserves to be re-elected and eight percent "don't know".
* 53% disagree with the statement that "Since Justice Gomery absolved Prime Minister Paul Martin of any blame in his report, I will not be thinking about the sponsorship scandal when I decide who to vote for in the next Federal election" compared with 40% who agree and 7% "don't know".
* 50% agree that "because of the corruption that was confirmed by the Gomery Report, the Martin Liberals have lost their moral right to govern and the opposition parties should force an immediate election"(+2 points since late October) versus 44% that disagree and 7% who "don't know".

When it comes to the question of who Canadians think would do the best job of cleaning up the corruption uncovered by the Gomery Inquiry, slightly more choose Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (25%, +3 points since October) than choose Paul Martin and the Liberals (21%, -4 points) or Jack Layton and the NDP (21%, -4 points). In Quebec, thirty-nine percent choose Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois as the party and leader that would best clean up this corruption (+7 points in Quebec since October).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News and fielded from November 1st to November 2nd 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1012 adult Canadians were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

The National Vote…

According to the survey, if a Federal election were held tomorrow Paul Martin and the Liberals would take 31% of the decided vote (-7 points from an October 25-27th survey) and the Conservatives would take 30% support (+4 points). Trailing behind the front runners are the NDP with 19% support (+1 point) and the Green Party (5%, unchanged).

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois now attracts the support of 52% of decided Federal voters (+5 points), while Liberal support (20%, -13 points) has dropped sharply.

Thirteen percent of Canadians (unchanged) are undecided, refused to say whom they would vote for, or would not vote if a Federal election were held tomorrow.

Most (55%) Feel Election Can Wait Until 30 Days After Gomery Releases Second Report In February…

Most Canadians (55%) are of the opinion that in light of what was revealed in the first Gomery Report, an "election can wait until 30 days after Justice Gomery releases his second report in February". But 22% believe that because of what has been revealed in the report the "Prime Minster needs to call an election 30 days from now". A further 18% feel "the Prime Minister isn't obligated to link the timing of an election to the release of Justice Gomery's reports". The remaining 6% "don't know".

Three-Quarters (74%) Agree There Were No Surprises In Gomery Report…

Three-quarters of Canadians (74%) agree with the statement that "there were no surprises in the Gomery Report. It pretty much confirmed what I already knew" (42 strongly agree). Sixteen percent disagree with this statement (6% strongly). One in ten (10%) "don't know" if the they agree/disagree.

* Agreement is highest in Quebec (79%), Alberta (78%), and Ontario (75%).

Six In Ten (60%) Don't Think The Gomery Report Will Change Anything Meaningful About The Way The Federal Government Does Things…

Six in ten (60%) agree with the statement that "I don't think the Gomery Report will change anything meaningful about the way the Federal government does things" (34% strongly agree). One-third (34%) disagree with this statement (13% strongly disagree) and 6% say they "don't know".

* Agreement is highest in Alberta (70%) and Atlantic Canada (68%).
* Disagreement is highest in Ontario and Quebec (both at 37%) and British Columbia (36%).

Fifty-four Percent Feel Gomery Report Shows The Liberals Are Corrupt And Don't Deserve To Be Re-Elected…
Fifty-four percent agree with the statement that "the findings of the Gomery Report show that the Liberal Party is fundamentally corrupt and does not deserve to be re-elected" (34% strongly agree). Four in ten (38%) disagree with this statement (19% strongly disagree). Eight percent say they "don't know".

* Agreement is highest in Quebec (63%) and Alberta (59%).
* Disagreement is highest in Atlantic Canada (47%) and British Columbia (46%).

Half (50%) Agree That Because Of Corruption Confirmed In Gomery Report Liberals Have Lost Moral Right To Govern…

Half (50%) agree with the statement that "because of the corruption that was confirmed by the Gomery Report, the Martin Liberals have lost their moral right to govern and the opposition parties should force an immediate election" (28% strongly agree) - 44% disagree with this statement (18% strongly disagree). The remaining 7% "don't know" if they agree/disagree.

* Agreement is highest in Quebec (62%) and Alberta (59%).
* Disagreement is highest in Atlantic Canada (63%), followed by British Columbia (48%) and Ontario (47%).

Who Would Be Best To Clean Up Corruption? - Twenty-five Percent Say Conservatives, 21% Liberals And 21% Say NDP (In Quebec 29% Say Bloc Quebecois)…

When it comes to the question of who Canadians think would do the best job of cleaning up the corruption uncovered by the Gomery Inquiry, slightly more choose Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (25%, +3 points since October) than choose Paul Martin and the Liberals (21%, -4 points) or Jack Layton and the NDP (21%, -4 points). In Quebec, thirty-nine percent choose Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois as the party and leader that would best clean up this corruption (+7 points in Quebec since October).

Fourteen percent choose "none of the above" and 8% say they "don't know".

Federal Vote Support by Region:

-30-

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Dr. Darrell Bricker
President & COO
Ipsos-Reid Public Affairs
(416) 324-2900

For full tabular results, please visit our website at www.ipsos.ca.
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