Leadership poll: Mulcair trailing despite good reviews in spring sitting - Macleans.ca

Leadership poll: Mulcair trailing despite good reviews in spring sitting


OTTAWA – NDP Leader Tom Mulcair closed out the spring sitting of Parliament on an apparent high note, but a new poll suggests his widely lauded work in question period has not translated into public support.

“There’s no question that the first two years of consolidation after the orange wave of 2011 have now prepared us to look at Canadians and say that we’re the government in waiting,” a beaming Mulcair, flanked by NDP MPs, said last week as the House of Commons broke for the three-month summer recess.

“This was a pivotal session for the NDP as official Opposition.”

The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll suggests otherwise.

The telephone survey of just over 1,000 respondents placed Mulcair behind both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on a range of leadership attributes.

A majority of respondents, 56 per cent, reported having had a favourable impression of Trudeau; 39 per cent said the same of Harper and 37 per cent Mulcair.

The national poll was conducted June 13-16 at the end of the last full week the Commons was sitting.

Mulcair fared better on the flip side of the favourability ratings. Thirty-two per cent of respondents said they had an unfavourable impression of the NDP leader, which put him between Trudeau (29 per cent unfavourable) and Harper (54 per cent unfavourable).

Harris-Decima asked the same set of questions in April, and found that Mulcair’s favourability rating actually fell five points and his negatives rose four points during those last frenetic weeks in the House, which featured his prosecutorial grilling of the prime minister on the Senate expense scandal.

Harper’s favourability numbers barely budged between April and mid-June, scandal notwithstanding, and Trudeau’s numbers also held firm.

The pollster also asked a series of questions about specific leadership attributes that provided some potentially counter-intuitive results, given the media narrative of a disastrous spring for the prime minister, a Mulcair renaissance and Trudeau somewhat adrift.

“Mr. Harper (31 per cent) and Mr. Trudeau (30 per cent) are neck and neck on the question of who would make the best prime minister,” Harris-Decima said. “A further 15 per cent feel Mr. Mulcair would make the best prime minister.”

Fully 40 per cent of respondents said they felt Harper was most capable on economic matters, followed by Trudeau at 21 per cent and Mulcair at 14 per cent.

Harper also prevailed on best judgment, 29 per cent, followed by Trudeau at 23 and Mulcair at 19.

Asked which leader “shares your values,” 31 per cent chose Trudeau, 26 picked Harper and just 16 per cent chose Mulcair.

And when asked “who cares most about people like you,” respondents chose Trudeau (31 per cent) ahead of Harper (21) and Mulcair (19).

Harper, after seven years in the job, easily led on the question of experience required to be prime minister with 47 per cent, while Trudeau and Mulcair were tied at 16 per cent each.

The survey carries a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

— With files from Joan Bryden

Filed under:

Leadership poll: Mulcair trailing despite good reviews in spring sitting

  1. It appears that the Fall session will be a gang up job on Trudeau.
    Not only does Harper see him as his real opponent, but so will Mulcair.

    • The more Harper in particular gangs up on JT the more it blows up in his face. They should just leave Justin alone, he makes enough rookie mistakes on his own. I don’t see the NDP doing themselves any favours by piling on. My advise to the other parties – leave Justin alone; of course the Harper clownbots will never be able to resist. Which is why JT is probably going to pull Harper down without actually having to run on specific policies…amazing thing to watch really.
      Can’t figure out why Mulcair isn’t doing more damage, other than the NDP is still widely distrusted on the economy.

      • If people knew anything about economics, they would widely distrust Harper on the economy. Harper plays politics with the economy, especially with boutique tax cuts that attempt to buy votes instead of providing economic efficiencies.

        Trudeau could really hammer Harper if he campaigned on cleaning up the mess Harper made of the tax code and with the savings cut personal income taxes.

        The NDP represents the left-leaning vote. That’s about 20%. If Canada was a democracy, the NDP would play a greater role in government. (Here we dole out absolute corrupt power to minority parties — the ironic interpretation of democracy.) But the 20% number is why Mulcair comes third in the poll…

        • Having majored in economics, and therefore considering myself to have a smidgen of economic savvy, I don’t see it your way. But that’s life, and what makes it interesting.

          • Harper is certainly good at taking credit for the work of others. According to The Economist, “Much of the country’s resilience stems from policies—such as bank regulation and sound public finances—which predate Mr Harper.” (Harper wanted to deregulate, which would’ve caused a financial market meltdown in Canada, and blew the $14B surplus before the recession hit.)

            Harper also wanted to take the “expansionary austerity” route David Cameron took which made a mess of the UK economy. The Liberals and NDP forced a stimulus package on Harper (in the fall of 2008.) He turned around and spent $80M/yr on “Economic Action Plan” ads promoting the stimulus package, which continue to run today years after the funding ran out.

            Harper also brought in mortgage deregulation (40-year no-money-down mortgages fully insured by the CMHC.) This led to a housing bubble and record levels of personal debt. During the 2008 recession, the CMHC paid out $69B to cover junk mortgages.

            Since Harper has come to power we have lost over 300,000 manufacturing jobs and productivity growth is at record lows.

            Now Harper wants to turn Canada into a “resource super-power” because we’re presently in a resource boom.

            What has Harper brought to the table beside sheer incompetence?

        • Those boutique tax cuts are pretty meaningless except on an extremely abstract level. Adding, ending or leaving them alone will have essentially zero overall effect.

          • Putting tens of billions of dollars to more effective use will not have zero overall effect. It would have a significant impact on the economy.

      • Distrusted on the economy
        . . . . and on Don’t you know who I am?
        . . . . . . . .and on You’re really going to be sorry for this.
        . . . . . . . . . .. . . . and ad nauseum.