Election 2011: The leaders

by Aaron Wherry

For the next little while, I’m going to dig through the Canadian Election Study‘s data from last year’s election and pull out some of the more interesting survey results. You can dig through all the CES data yourself via the Canadian Opinion Research Archive. First up, the party leaders.

As part of its campaign period survey, the CES asked respondents to consider four possible descriptions of Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton.

How well does the term “competent” describe Stephen Harper?

Very well 21.1%
Fairly well 51.5%
Not well at all 23.6%
Don’t know 3.7%

How well does the term “strong leader” describe Stephen Harper?

Very well 22.5%
Fairly well 46.9%
Not well at all 26.1%
Don’t know 4.3%

How well does the term “honest” describe Stephen Harper?

Very well 11.2%
Fairly well 42.9%
Not well at all 40.5%
Don’t know 5.3%

How well does the term “really cares about people” describe Stephen Harper?

Very well 13.2%
Fairly well 44.0%
Not well at all 37.3%
Don’t know 5.3%

How well does the term “competent” describe Michael Ignatieff?

Very well 9.1%
Fairly well 41.7%
Not well at all 37.6%
Don’t know 11.5%

How well does the term “strong leader” describe Michael Ignatieff?

Very well 7.1%
Fairly well 38.1%
Not well at all 45.2%
Don’t know 9.4%

How well does the term “honest” describe Michael Ignatieff?

Very well 8.7%
Fairly well 39.1%
Not well at all 36.7%
Don’t know 15.4%

How well does the term “really cares about people” describe Michael Ignatieff?

Very well 6.9%
Fairly well 41.4%
Not well at all 37.1%
Don’t know 14.1%

How well does the term “competent” describe Jack Layton?

Very well 24.3%
Fairly well 53.8%
Not well at all 12.4%
Don’t know 9.5%

How well does the term “strong leader” describe Jack Layton?

Very well 25.3%
Fairly well 52.3%
Not well at all 14.4%
Don’t know 7.7%

How well does the term “honest” describe Jack Layton?

Very well 27.7%
Fairly well 50.4%
Not well at all 12.9%
Don’t know 8.9%

How well does the term “really cares about people” describe Jack Layton?

Very well 36.9%
Fairly well 46.0%
Not well at all 8.2%
Don’t know 8.4%

As in the 2006 and 2008 elections, the CES also tested the idea that “Stephen Harper is just too extreme.” Somewhat surprisingly, at least to me, reactions to that idea didn’t change very much.

2006
Strongly agree 22.1%
Somewhat agree 28.9%
Somewhat disagree 24.5%
Strongly disagree 14.2%
Don’t know 9.8%

2008
Strongly agree 24.5%
Somewhat agree 24.1%
Somewhat disagree 20.1%
Strongly disagree 18.5%
Don’t know 11.8%

2011
Strongly agree 24.7%
Somewhat agree 28.2%
Somewhat disagree 24.9%
Strongly disagree 15.7%
Don’t know 5.4%




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