Monday, April 27, 2009

Leadership and Taxes

The Angus-Reid poll I posted about over the weekend also included some leadership polling.

Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff were tied at 24% as to who would make the best Prime Minister. Harper's best numbers came in Alberta (48%) and the Prairies (46%). His worst were in Quebec (8%) and Ontario (24%). That Quebec result is horrific. Ignatieff's best results were in Atlantic Canada (42%) and Quebec (29%), his worst in the Prairies (11%) and Alberta (15%).

Jack Layton received 9% nationally, with no great variation throughout the country. Gilles Duceppe received 14% in Quebec, and Elizabeth May did best in British Columbia with 5%. Quebec had the highest "none of these" results at 24%, no doubt representing the Bloc vote.

As to characteristics, Layton is most "honest and trustworthy" (35%), Harper "has a vision for Canada's future" (40%), Layton "understands the problems of Canadians" (41%), Harper "can manage the economy effectively" (31%) and "is a strong and decisive leader" (39%), Ignatieff and Harper "understand complex issues" (39%), Layton "generally agrees with you on issues you care about" (31%), Ignatieff "inspires confidence" (32%), and Layton "cares about the environment" (50%).

Layton, apparently, is liked by Canadians but they don't trust him with running the country. Both Harper's and Ignatieff's numbers were relatively consistent, but Layton's would be as high as 50% or as low as 13% (running the economy).

Ignatieff has had the greatest improvement in opinion at 27%, while Harper has had the greatest worsening of opinion at 33%. The Bloc has the highest approval rating (Quebec only) a 36%. Of the pan-Canadian parties, that honour goes to the Conservatives (31%), though the Liberals are one point behind. The highest disapproval rating also goes to the Conservatives at 48%.

As to taxes, Harris-Decima asked Canadians what they thought about Ignatieff's radical comment that to get Canada out of debt taxes would need to be raised. Virtually no one was surprised by this comment (81% not surprised, 12% surprised).

Overall, only 16% of Canadians said that this would make them more likely to vote for the Liberals. Conversely, 30% said it would make them less likely to vote for them. The highest regional result came in the Atlantic provinces, where 44% said it would make them less likely to vote for Ignatieff. The lowest "less likely" came in Quebec, where only 10% said it would make them hesitant. Quebec had the highest "more likely" response, with 29%.