Poll: Even post-Khadr, Trudeau Liberals stay afloat - Macleans.ca

Poll: Even post-Khadr, Trudeau Liberals stay afloat

Voter support has held steady for Trudeau, despite blowback from the payout to Omar Khadr. For that, the Liberals can thank the economy.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, November 3, 2016. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, November 3, 2016. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

We have news of a new poll this morning that may come as a surprise. A large-sample online survey by Abacus Data, conducted entirely after news leaked of the Trudeau government’s $10.5 million settlement and apology to former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr, shows voter support for the Liberals holding steady at 43 per cent.

That’s the same level of support Abacus found for the Liberals in May, and three points higher than the party scored in the 2015 federal election.

Conservative support is up four points in the first Abacus poll since Andrew Scheer became the party’s new leader in late May. That support seems to have come essentially at the expense of the NDP, which is down four points from May. The Conservatives now stand at 31 per cent, down one point from the party’s 2015 election score, while the NDP continues to slump at 16 per cent, down three points from 2015.

RELATED: The shady business of paying Omar Khadr

This Abacus survey was conducted online with 2,036 Canadians aged 18 and over from July 14 to 18. (Two Liberal cabinet ministers announced the settlement on July 7, but the Globe and Mail reported on the settlement three days earlier.) Data were weighted to ensure the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of 2,036 is +/- 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

So what’s going on? Abacus asked respondents about the Khadr settlement directly, but have decided not to release those numbers until Friday. But already there are hints. Abacus found approval of the government’s general direction is up slightly, as are impressions of Trudeau’s performance on the job. (Scheer has lower positive and negative impressions than his predecessor Rona Ambrose, and is also lower on both measures than Trudeau. This is the classic profile of a new leader about whom many Canadians haven’t yet formed opinions.)

A strong possible explanation for the Liberals’ endurance, Abacus CEO David Coletto said, is that Canadians’ mood on the economy is improving fast. In January 2016, only 28 per cent of respondents felt the economy was growing. That figure is now up to 68 per cent, up 14 points since the beginning of 2017. Positive feelings about economic growth now outnumber fears that the economy is shrinking in every region of the country, at every income level and in every age group.

READ MORE: Here’s how fast Canada’s economy is now growing

In a release accompanying the poll, Coletto said: “Despite a series of difficult decisions by the federal government, we find little evidence that Canadians feel any worse about the government today than they did in May. The government’s approval rating is up slightly, its share of the vote remains stronger than it received at the last election, and most Canadians are feeling good about their current and future economic prospects. The Liberal party’s electoral coalition of young, urban and suburban middle-class voters, new Canadians plus well-educated Boomers remains intact.”

None of this is a direct measure of Canadians’ reaction to the Khadr deal in itself, nor do any poll results constitute a prediction about how voter opinions will evolve as debates continue. The 2019 election is still more than two years away. But for now economic optimism is strong, and in the early aftermath of the Khadr settlement, that optimism seems to be shielding the Liberals from nasty political fallout.



Poll: Even post-Khadr, Trudeau Liberals stay afloat

  1. You must be on sniffin glue Macleans. One the Canadian economy is in the dumps and two no Canadian in their minds would agree to a 10.5 million dollar secretive payout to a terorist and murderer and three polls are worth the toilet paper they are written on.

    What counts will be in 2019 or if Canadians are lucky to kick out Trudeau and Liberals on their butts. That is why no one really reads Maclean’s rags and CBC Liberal propaganda.. Or fluff and stuff from our other medias and no one cares a whit about polls lately because they have had a tendancy to be askewed.

    • You are just so incorrect.

      One: The economy has been far surpassing expectations for over a year now. Our unemployment rate is at its lowest in over a decade, and many of the jobs are good, full-time work.

      As for Khadr, Canadians see through the Conservative nonsense. They realize that, regardless of which party happened to be in power, that we would either be settling out of court with Khadr, or going to court, losing and paying out more.

      Going to court would have been the easiest path, politically. The Conservatives, as is their habit, would avoid political damage by blaming the courts. The Liberals are less willing to demonize the judicial branch of government for partisan political gain. I’m happy it is only the usual folks who are screaming bloody murder over this.

      • Amen Patrick.

      • With 71% of Canadians believing the Khadr settlement was wrong, how can you possibly view this as partisan “Conservative nonsense”. Looks like there must be a lot of Liberal snow flakes who didn’t like it either. It’s encouraging to see that at least a few of them can still think!!

        • So, you’ll believe the poorly worded Angus Reid poll, but call this one out of touch? This is what happens when people get the facts, finally, and see the issue for what it is, not the slant to induce a political party’s base to foam at the mouth.

          • After a lot more data was delivered, 60% still felt the settlement was wrong. Also, I didn’t say this one was out of touch. Later I said Trudeau being held afloat by an improved economy is unwarranted.. Our crappy Canadian $ is responsible for that-Trudeau has done NOTHING to make it improve.

        • Sorry, only 44% think the government should have made a different decision, and around 77% of that number are Conservative voters. Many think it was the right decision, and more think they don’t have enough information to form an opinion of it.

          Regardless of how people who may or may not know the facts feel, what I said previously stands. A Conservative government would either settle, or go to court and pay more later. Their faux-outrage campaign might be good for fundraising, but the dishonesty of it is unbecoming of any individual or party that wants to one day form government.

          • Your statement is absolutely wrong. It was 71% of all Canadians surveyed who felt it was wrong. After they heard the changing rationale that Trudeau spouted, it dropped to 60%.

    • Kim you need to get on to the newly-legalized pot and sever the cord that runs between your backside and your eyeballs giving you such a sh*tty outlook on life!

      You probably missed last week’s .5 percent increase in the prime rate? That was done, not to stimulate the economy but in a effort to slow down the hot spots. It’s the first since the last PM was a backward cowpoke. Along with house prices and real estate values, the economy is adding jobs and , gasp, growing.

      I think a large part of that is a monthly infusion of cash to Canada’s families. I’m waiting for somebody to weigh-in on the effect of that ‘surprise’ for I think it has pulled us along more than it has sunk us in debt.

      Trudeau may not be perfect but he’s a lot better than most other world leaders. For someone of his age and experience he’s got some ‘world creds’ – who else was asked to open the concert that took the G20 protesters off the streets for a couple of hours – and they cheered him.

      Not only is he imperfect he reminds us that Canadians (Tories excepted – but that’s self-inflicted perfection) generally are works in progress and come with warts. Omar Khadr is one and Trudeau got us a deal on the screwing Harper, the assoholic, so richly deserved. If i were Prime minister I’d drop the tab on the Tory Caucus – they caused it.

      Our new GG is just dandy. Yep she’s got a couple of dings, too, but they’re on the outside. Her soul has of has seen where we live in ways we can only dream about. That cuts some mustard with me, so does our ‘Chief’.

      Trudeau’s doing great.

      • Trudeau has yet to spend a dime on his only economy boosting policy-infrastructure. The only reason the economy has improved is because of our continuing weak dollar-not a thing to do with Mr. Selfie. All he has done so far is to triple the deficit he originally promised. Like father like son.

        • Meanwhile the governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, directly gives credit for some of our country’s unexpected growth to the Liberal’s Canada Child Benefit.

          So I guess the ONLY reason isn’t a weak dollar, but who are you to let some facts get in the way of your unsubstantiated opinion?

          • The detailed analyses indicates 3% of the improvement came from the Child benefit, 32% from the improvement in the U.S. economy and 65% from our depressed $.

          • Who pays the governor of the Bank of Canada, wait would that be the liberal government, and since we know the world of government is CYA, I think Stephen Poloz said what he needed to say to stay employed. Remember what happen to Dion when he didn’t satisfy baby boy, gone from cabinet.

    • I try to understand your comments regarding “Liberal propaganda” being printed in the Maclean’s, CBC, in “fake polls” and other “liberal” news media, but I have hard time understanding why do you read them?
      Why do you read these “rags” that give you heartburn reflected in your comments? I do not read Sun media, Fox news or watch their TV programs and I sleep much better.
      I suggest you do the same and you would feel much better and less bitter.

  2. I can’t imagine why the media is losing credibility.

  3. I have no problem with the Khadr payment. Both the US and Canadian governments messed up badly with respect to this mans’ basic human rights.
    What I do take serious umbrage with is the money given to the Clinton foundation. The foundation is a seriously flawed “charity”/political slush fund.

    • This man’s basic human rights? He through a grenade that killed a doctor. Left his wife a widow and his children fatherless. He was basically put in jail for this just as if it had happened inside of Canada. What human rights are you specifically talking about?

  4. I saw some tweets by Wells that seemed to be disingenuous to say the least –
    claiming that people were allowed to disagree about the settlement (nobody said they weren’t) and that it shouldn’t be hidden fro other countries(it wasn’t) but that is different than Conservative MPs and their Rebel friends gong on Fox, Trumps favourite news source,to sensationalize the settlement and trash Trudeau and the government and doin their best to inflame Trumps base just as the Canadian government is preparing to negotiate with Trump on NAFTA.
    As Roland Paris said:”Weeks before NAFTA talks open, they’re waving a flame over a pile of dynamite that could blow up in CANADA’s face.That’s irresponsible”
    Even John Ivison the Conservatives biggest booster has objections:


    What would be interesting to see now is a poll on whether or not people agree with the Conservative/Rebel antics on Fox News..

    • Prior to Trumps election while holding Obama’s hand Trudope mocks and dissed Trumps Presidential ambitions. Trudope led a ridiculous spectacle when Obama addressed the Canadian Parliament chanting 4 more years’ for Trumps arch nemesis. Trudope pulled Canadian Jets out of the US led coalition against ISIS. Trudope in defying Trump and is amassing unvetted Muslim terrorists creating a threat on the US’s Northern border. Rewarding a self confessed Gitmo terrorist with a $10.5 million wind fall for killing and maiming US soldiers. Never fear Trump likes Trudope because he’s takes his trash.

      • Yeah, that never happened by why confuse yourself with reality when you can just dream up nonsense to please yourself.

  5. Emperor Justinian.
    He’s got what it takes to take what you’ve got.

    • And he’ll be back for more since prioritization and efficiency are not words he’s familiar with. Like father, like son.

  6. Ask the right question of the right demographic at the right time of day and you can get the answer you’re seeking. Sadly so many of today’s millenials aren’t interested in the ongoing scandals, ethics violations, vacations with billionaires or code of conduct this government has managed to achieve in just 2 short years. As long as Trudeau and party are ready to legalize weed there’s nothing else of value that concerns them. But with 71% of Canadians who abhor the blood money we’ve recently paid, the only poll that counts will be in 2019.

  7. This poll was conducted by abacus data whose CEO is the liberal shrill machine bruce armstrong, so it it tainted and bias. Nothing released by abacus has any validity when it is nothing more then a different version of the very fake cbc Canadian Bullshit Corp. Try getting a poll from a real company with no such obvious political affiliation.