Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

November 12, 2005 05:59 ET

MAJORITY OF CANADIANS (57%) FEEL SPRING ELECTION IS BEST

Liberals Continue To Have Negative Momentum (-44 Points, Essentially Unchanged From June), But Conservatives (-8 Points) Are Up 18 Points Attention: News Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 12, 2005) - According to the latest Ipsos Reid national survey conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News, the majority of Canadians (57%) feel that there should not be a federal election until the spring as there's a lot of important work that still needs to be done by the government. Thirty-nine percent, however, believe that politics in Ottawa have become dysfunctional and that we need an election now to clear the air.

The survey, conducted among 1000 Canadians from November 8th to 10th 2005, also reveals that Paul Martin and the Liberal Party continue to suffer from strong negative momentum among the Canadian public (-44 points/essentially unchanged from a June 2005 survey). Meanwhile Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, while still experiencing negative momentum overall (-8 points), have made some positive gains in the past few months (+18 points from a -26 score in June) - these gains have largely been driven by an improved impression of this leader and party among Ontarians (-7 points/ up 24 points from -31 points in June).

Jack Layton and the NDP (+4 points) continue to enjoy positive momentum, but have dipped somewhat from June (-8 points from this time). In Quebec, Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois have positive momentum (+9 points), but are down 7 points from +16 points in June.

When asked to consider the likely outcomes of the next federal election, slightly more Canadians say they would prefer a minority government led by Paul Martin and the Liberals (48%) over one led by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (42%).

And as for vote intention, this survey indicates that Paul Martin and the Liberals have rebounded slightly from the survey conducted last week and now attract 34% of the decided vote (+3 points). Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (28%, -2 points) now trail the Liberals by a 6 point margin, with the NDP (19%, unchanged) and the Green Party (4%, -1 point) registering far back from the front runners.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois (56%, +4 points) and the Liberals (21%, +1 point) hold steady in federal vote support.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for CanWest News Service/Global News and fielded from November 8th to November 10th 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 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.

Majority (57%) Want Election Held Off Until Spring - 39% Want Election Now To Clear Air In Ottawa…
A majority of Canadians (57%) are of the opinion that "there's a lot of important work that still needs to be done by the government, so the spring is the earliest we should be holding an election". Thirty-nine percent, however, feel "politics in Ottawa has become dysfunctional, and we need an election now to clear the air". The remaining 5% "don't know" which of these opinions is closest to their own.

Party and Party Leader Momentum…

As part of the survey, Ipsos-Reid asked Canadians whether their opinions of the various major parties and their leaders has improved, stayed the same, or worsened over the last few months. The results from this question were used to track changes in "momentum" from previous national surveys.

Paul Martin And Liberal Party's Momentum Remains Strongly Negative (-44 Points)…

Momentum for Paul Martin and the Liberal Party now sits at -44 points: Fourteen percent say their impression of this party and leader has "improved" over the last few months, while 58% say their impression has worsened. One-quarter (24%) say they have had "no change" in the impression, a further 4% "don't know".

Since June 2005, momentum for the Liberals has remained steady (-1 point).

*Momentum for Paul Martin and the Liberals has remained relatively consistent across all regions of the country.

Momentum For Stephen Harper And Conservative Party Remains Negative (-8 Points), But Is Up Substantially From June 2005 (When It Sat At -26 Points)…

Today, 25% of Canadians say that over the last few months their impression of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party has "improved" versus 33% who say their impression has "worsened" - representing a negative momentum score of -8 points. Another one-third (33%) express "no change" in their opinion over this time, while 8% "don't know".

Since June 2005 Stephen Harper's momentum has improved by +18 points.

*Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have seen the biggest shifts positive shifts in momentum in Saskatchewan/Manitoba (+2 points/+30 points from June 2005), Atlantic Canada (-8 points/+27 points from June), and Ontario (-7 points/+24 points from June).

Momentum For Jack Layton And The NDP Remains Positive (+4 Points) But Is Down Slightly From June…
Jack Layton and the NDP (+4 points) continue to enjoy positive momentum, but have dipped somewhat from June (-8 points from this time). Thirty percent of Canadians hold an "improved" impression of this leader and party over the last few months, 26% have a "worsened" impression, and 33% have had "no change" in their impression. A further 11% "don't know" if their impression has changed.

*Regionally, Jack Layton and the NDP have lost the most in Ontario (+1 point/down 17 points from +18 points in June) and British Columbia (-3 points/down 14 points from +11 points in June).

Gilles Duceppe And Bloc Quebecois Down 7 Points To +9 Points…

Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois have positive momentum among the Quebec public (+9 points), but are down 7 points from +16 points in June . Thirty-four percent of respondents from Quebec have an "improved" impression of Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois over the last few months, 25% have a "worsened" impression" and 33% have had "no change". Eleven percent "don't know" if their impression has changed.

When Considering Likely Outcomes Of Next Federal Election, Slightly More Would Prefer Liberal Minority Government (48%) To Conservative Minority (42%)…

When asked to consider the likely outcomes of the next federal election, slightly more Canadians say they would prefer a minority government led by Paul Martin and the Liberals (48%) then say they would prefer one led by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives (42%). One in ten (10%) "don't know" which they would prefer.

*Endorsement for a Liberal led minority government is highest in Atlantic Canada (61%), British Columbia (58%), and Ontario (51%).
*Endorsement for Conservative led minority government is highest in Alberta (58%) and Quebec (49%).
*Over half of Bloc Quebecois supporters (56%) and 28% of NDP supporters would prefer a Conservative led minority over a Liberal one.

The National Vote…

According to the survey, if a Federal election were held tomorrow Paul Martin and the Liberals would take 34% of the decided vote (+3 points from a November 1-2nd survey) and Stephen Harper and the Conservatives would take 28% support (-2 points). Trailing behind the front runners are the NDP with 19% support (unchanged) and the Green Party (4%, -1 point).

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois (56%, +4 points) and the Liberals (21%, +1 point) hold steady in federal vote support.

Fourteen percent of Canadians (+1 point) are undecided, refused to say whom they would vote for, or would not vote if a Federal election were held tomorrow.

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For more information on this news release, please contact:

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

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