Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid

May 20, 2005 06:00 ET

ON EVE OF BUDGET, CANADIANS ASSESS CONFIDENCE VOTE & DECIDED VOTE

Majority Want Even Narrow Budget Confidence Vote To Decide Fate Of Government Attention: News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 20, 2005) - ON THE EVE OF THE BUDGET, CANADIANS ASSESS THE CONFIDENCE VOTE AND THEIR DECIDED VOTE

Majority Want Even Narrow Budget Confidence Vote To Decide Fate Of Government

Grits Jump Into Lead (34% Vs. 28% For Conservatives) -- But Viewed As Most Responsible For Parliamentary Turmoil, And Most Don't Believe They Deserve Re-Election

Canadians Divided On Whether Or Not An Election Will Clear The Air

A new poll conducted for CanWest/Global by Ipsos-Reid while the defection of Conservative Belinda Stronach to Paul Martin's Liberal cabinet was taking place, and leading up to the eve of the Federal budget confidence vote, indicates that if an election were held today 34% of decided voters would cast their ballot for the Liberals (up 7 points), 28% for the Conservatives (down 3 points), 17% for the NDP (down 2 points), and 6% for the Green Party (unchanged). In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois continues to dominate with 54% (down 2 points) decided vote support - leading the Liberals (24%, up 9 points) by 30-points.

As for the budget vote scenarios and fall-out, a majority of Canadians want even a narrow budget confidence vote to decide the fate of the government, specifically:

·"If the government loses by one or two votes" - 54% feel it would be necessary to have an immediate election;
·"If the opposition and government tie the vote, and the tie is broken in favour of the government by the Speaker of the house, who is a Liberal" - 60% feel it would be acceptable for the Liberals to remain in power; and
·"If the government wins by one or two votes" - 68% feel it would be acceptable if the Liberals remain in power.

When asked whom they blame most for the problems we're having in Parliament these days, nearly half of Canadians (46%) point to "Paul Martin and the Liberal Party" while only 32% point to the "opposition parties lead by Stephen Harper and Gilles Ducceppe".

And most Canadians (57%) are of the opinion that the "Liberal party does not deserve to be re-elected and it's time for another political party to be given a chance to govern the country" (down 8 points from the 65% who said this in an April 8-10th, 2005 survey). This compares with 37% who believe the Liberals deserve to be re-elected under the leadership of Paul Martin (up 7 points).

But Canadians are divided as to whether the next election will clear the air and get the government in Ottawa back on track: Forty-six percent are confident it will compared to 52% who don't think so.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted for CanWest/Global and fielded from May 16th to May 18th, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1002 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 most recent Ipsos-Reid survey, if a Federal election were held today, 34% of decided voters would cast their ballot for the Liberals (up 7 points), 28% for the Conservatives (down 3 points), 17% for the NDP (down 2 points), and 6% for the Green Party (unchanged).

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois sits at 54% support (down 2 points) and now holds a 30-point lead over the Liberals (24%, up 9 points).

Among all Canadians, 12% are undecided, refused to say whom they would vote for, or would not vote if a Federal election were held tomorrow.

Parties Election Results June 28, 2004 April 22-24, 2005 April 26-28, 2005 May 3-5, 2005 May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Movement From Last Poll Since 2004 Election

The Conservative Party 30% 34% 33% 31% 31% 28% -3% -2%
The Liberals 37% 31% 30% 32% 27% 34% +7% -3%
The New Democratic Party 16% 18% 17% 16% 19% 17% -2% +1%
The Bloc Quebecois 12% 11% 12% 12% 13% 14% +1% +2%
The Green Party 4% 5% 5% 5% 6% 6% 0% +2%

Regional Vote Highlights…

·In Ontario, the Liberals are up 14-points and now lead with 46% vote support, followed by the Conservatives (31%, down 3 points), the NDP (17%, down 5 points), and the Green Party (5%, down 3 points).
·In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois now sit at 54% (down 2 points), as the Liberals (24%, up 9 points) trail distantly. The NDP (9%, down 2 points), the Conservatives (7%, down 3 points), and the Green Party (4%, unchanged) are battling for positions further down.
·In British Columbia, the Conservatives (31%, unchanged) and the Liberals (30%, down 2 points) are virtually tied, while the NDP (25%, up 2 points) trails closely - the Green Party attracts 14% support (up 2 points).
·In Alberta, the Conservatives lead with 48% of decided votes (down 11 points), as the NDP (23%, up 12 points) slides into second spot and the Liberals (20%, down 4 points) fall to third. The Green Party sits at 7% support (up 2 points).
·In Saskatchewan/Manitoba the Conservatives are down 12 points but continue to lead with 40% of the decided vote, followed by the Liberals (31%, up 10 points), the NDP (26%, up 3 points), and the Green Party (3%, up 2 points).
·In Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives (41%, up 7 points) and the Liberals (38%, up 3 points) are in a tightly contested race, as the NDP (20%, down 7 points) trails - the Green Party garners 1% of the decided vote (up 1 point).
*Regional vote tables are included at the bottom of this report.

Majority Want Even Narrow Budget Confidence Vote to Decide Fate of Government…

As part of the survey, Canadians were asked to speculate on three potential scenarios that may emerge from the vote of confidence that will be held in Parliament this Thursday and offer their opinions about what they would consider to be an appropriate outcome for each of these scenarios.

The survey results show that a majority of Canadians want even a narrow budget confidence vote to decide the fate of the government, specifically:

·"If the government loses by one or two votes" - 54% feel it would be necessary to have an immediate election (42% believe it would be acceptable for the Liberals to remain in power);
·"If the opposition and government tie the vote, and the tie is broken in favour of the government by the Speaker of the house, who is a Liberal" - 60% feel it would be acceptable for the Liberals to remain in power (36% feel it would be necessary to have an immediate election); and
·"If the government wins by one or two votes" - 68% feel it would be acceptable if the Liberals remain in power (29% feel an immediate election would be necessary).

REGION VOTE SUPPORT
NAT BC ALB SK/MB ONT QUE ATL CONS LIBS NDP BLOC GRN
"If the government loses by one or two votes"
Need to have immediate election 54% 55% 59% 54% 50% 61% 44% 79% 29% 43% 79% 71%
Acceptable for Liberals to remain in power 42% 41% 38% 42% 45% 35% 50% 19% 68% 54% 18% 23%
"If the opposition and government tie the vote, and the tie is broken in favour of the government by the Speaker of the house, who is a Liberal"
Need to have immediate election 36% 31% 50% 39% 30% 45% 31% 59% 14% 27% 59% 42%
Acceptable for Liberals to remain in power 60% 65% 50% 59% 65% 52% 63% 38% 85% 70% 38% 49%
"If the government wins by one or two votes"
Need to have immediate election 29% 18% 42% 41% 23% 38% 22% 49% 7% 19% 52% 37%
Acceptable for Liberals to remain in power 68% 79% 56% 58% 74% 59% 72% 48% 91% 80% 46% 59%

Plurality Of Canadians (46%) Blame Paul Martin And The Liberal Party For Problems In Ottawa...

When asked whom they blame most for the problems we're having in Parliament these days, nearly half of Canadians (46%) point to "Paul Martin and the Liberal Party". Thirty-two percent point to the "opposition parties lead by Stephen Harper and Gilles Ducceppe", and only 2% point to "Jack Layton and the NDP".

Among remaining Canadians, 10% say they blame "all" of these groups, 6% blame "none", and a further 5% "don't know".

·Residents of Quebec (55%) are the most likely to blame Paul Martin and the Liberal Party, followed by residents of Alberta (50%), and British Columbia (44%).
·Residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (37%) are the most likely to blame the opposition parties of Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper, followed by residents of Ontario (35%), and Atlantic Canada (34%).

And Most (57%) Don't Believe The Grits Deserve To Be Re-Elected…

Most Canadians (57%) are of the opinion that the "Liberal party does not deserve to be re-elected and it's time for another political party to be given a chance to govern the country" - down 8 points from the 65% who said this in an April 8-10th, 2005 survey.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents believe the Liberals do deserve to be re-elected under the leadership of Paul Martin - up 7 points from this question's last sounding.

In the regions:

·Residents of Alberta (70%, down 4 points) are the most likely to believe it's time for a change in the ruling government, followed by residents of Quebec (69%, down 2 points), and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (57%, down 3 points).
·Residents of Ontario (44%, up 7 points) are the most likely to believe the Liberal party deserves to be re-elected, followed by residents of Atlantic Canada (43%, up 7 points), and British Columbia (42%, up 16 points).

REGION VOTE SUPPORT
NAT BC ALB SK/MB ONT QUE ATL CONS LIBS NDP BLOC GRN
Liberal party deserves to be re-elected May 16-18 37% 42% 26% 37% 44% 25% 43% 8% 86% 28% 8% 17%
April 8-10 30% 26% 22% 34% 37% 23% 36% 8% 80% 17% 8% 22%
Change +7% +16% +4% +3% +7% +2% +7% 0% +6% +11% 0% -5%
Time for a change May 16-18 57% 54% 70% 57% 49% 69% 49% 91% 11% 67% 89% 75%
April 8-10 65% 69% 74% 60% 58% 71% 61% 91% 16% 79% 87% 71%
Change -8% -15% -4% -3% -9% -2% -12% 0% -5% -12% 2% 4%

Canadians Divided On Whether Or Not An Election Will Clear the Air…

Canadians are divided in their opinions after being read the statement "I'm confident that the next election will clear the air and get the government in Ottawa back on track": Forty-six percent agree with this statement (17% strongly/29% somewhat) and 52% disagree (26% strongly/25% somewhat). The remaining 3% of Canadians "don't know".

·Residents of Alberta (54%) are the most likely to agree with this statement, followed by residents of Saskatchewan/Manitoba (50%), and Quebec (50%).
·Residents of British Columbia (59%) are the most likely to disagree with this statement, followed by residents of Ontario (55%), and Quebec and Atlantic Canada (both at 48%).

Please Refer To The Tables Below To Review Vote Support By Region:
Parties Ontario
May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Change

The Conservative Party 34% 31% -3
The Liberals 32% 46% +14
The NDP 22% 17% -5
The Green Party 8% 5% -3

Parties Quebec
May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Change

The Conservative Party 10% 7% -3
The Liberals 15% 24% +9
The NDP 11% 9% -2
The Bloc Quebecois 56% 54% -2
The Green Party 4% 4% 0

British Columbia
May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Change

The Conservative Party 31% 31% 0
The Liberals 32% 30% -2
The NDP 23% 25% +2
The Green Party 12% 14% +2

Parties Alberta
May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Change

The Conservative Party 59% 48% -11
The Liberals 24% 20% -4
The NDP 11% 23% +12
The Green Party 5% 7% +2

Parties Saskatchewan/Manitoba
May 3-5, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Change

The Conservative Party 52% 40% -12
The Liberals 21% 31% +10
The NDP 23% 26% +3
The Green Party 1% 3% +2

Parties Atlantic Canada
May 10-12, 2005 May 16-18, 2005 Change

The Conservative Party 34% 41% +7
The Liberals 35% 38% +3
The NDP 27% 20% -7
The Green Party 0% 1% +1

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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

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

For full tabular results, please visit our website at www.ipsos.ca.
News Releases are available at: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/
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