Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trudeau support holding steady

The weekly check-in from Nanos Research (expect another 200 or so before the next election) shows no change of significance over the last month.

Justin Trudeau remains in front by a very wide margin, with 52.6% of Canadians choosing him as the best person to be prime minister. Rona Ambrose edged ahead of Tom Mulcair with 12.1% to 11.6%, while Elizabeth May had 4.8%.

While this is the first week-to-week improvement in Ambrose's numbers since she took over the interim leadership of the Conservatives, she is still down from the last independent sample. But none of the leaders have experienced any shift since the previous independent Nanos sample larger than 1.6 points, well within the margin of error.

Being prime minister is wearing well on Trudeau, at least so far. Shortly before the election campaign began the country was split on whether Trudeau had the qualities of a good leader. Now, Trudeau is at 71%, and has held steady at around that level since winning the election.

Mulcair stands at 56% on this score, while Ambrose is at 27%. That is primarily because she is still largely unknown (38%), but the number who say she does not have the qualities of a good leader stands at 35%.

One wonders, though, how much the approval ratings of new, low-profile leaders is reflective of the approval rating of the party they lead. Fully 48% of Quebecers think Rhéal Fortin, who is the interim leader of the Bloc Québécois, does not have the qualities of a good leader. That isn't markedly different from the numbers that Daniel Paillé, André Bellavance, Mario Beaulieu, and Gilles Duceppe managed in their brief tenures since 2012. But how many of those 48% of Quebecers have even seen or heard a single thing about Fortin?

12 comments:

  1. While I don't think he's being particularly calculating or cynical about it, Trudeau's approach to governance is well-suited to maintaining strong approval.

    Because he lets his ministers speak their mind, and it's clear that he doesn't run the government with an iron fist, small slip-ups don't get blamed on him (as they always did with Harper).

    His pledge to eliminate income splitting is still going to cost me money (as it will for all single-income households), though, which doesn't make me happy.

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  2. This ought to have the Tories in an absolute spin !!

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    1. Why? Trudeau's election is still fairly recent, and the PM he defeated was in no way popular (even his supporters didn't like him).

      If this is still true when the Tories are selecting a permanent leader, then they might begin to entertain the possibility of perhaps considering to start to worry.

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    2. I would be worried if I was a Liberal. The chart has already begun to turn negative-short honeymoon!

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  3. Eric,

    Will you conduct analysis on Mulcair's review vote?

    Cheers.

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  4. The interesting thing is that the National Post columnists seemed to have double down in their just-not-ready attacks on Trudeau. Every day they come up with one reason or another why his government is a failure e.g. he missed the refugee deadline by two weeks... gasp.

    There are ways to get Trudeau off his high perch, but first you need to wait until a real mistake happens.

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    1. Even the Globe and Mail had an eyebrow raising editorial on Christmas Day - "Justin Trudeau's hope and hubris". I found it somewhat tone deaf during a time when Canadians are willing to give Trudeau a chance to govern.

      The media tried to proclaim Trudeau's honeymoon over back in November. Some parts of the media tried to make the nanny non-issue a scandal - who even remembers it now?

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    2. This is a repeat of "show up with his pants on" strategy that so back fired on the PC. The lower they set the expectations the better Trudeau is going to look when he actually achieves what he's promised, even if just partially.

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  5. Is it even financially viable for Nanos to be conducting these surveys weekly? Wouldn't a biweekly or monthly analysis be better?

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    1. I agree Jay, and there really hasn't been much to shift the numbers. In fact the only big controversy so far of the new government was the post Paris attack refugee timeline which the government backed off on. There has been some other minor details that have gone wrong but these are just paper cut type things that won't have much short term impact bar them building up over time.

      The honeymoon phase is very much still on, and the CPC and Bloc have an interim leader, and no one is quite sure whether Mulcair will survive his confidence vote at the NDP meeting.

      These constant updates seem rather pointless at the moment, I think you have a point with moving them to monthly that would still be somewhat frequent but a lot less costly and less repetitive.

      I think the real challenges lie ahead for Trudeau and company. The electoral reform issue, Aboriginal relations. Fiscal realities etc. These could be the major issues that move votes but its going to take time to see how they play out.

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    2. Mulcair will not survive, but, he may not resign immediately either. Joe Clark opined 75% was a bare minimum to remain as leader during the 1983 leadership review ever since, the threshold seems to fall. Mulcair may get the minimum 50% or 55% and hold on but, his leaderhip will be irrepairably damaged. I think it unlikely he'll get 75% or even 66% whereby he would have a plausible claim to fight another election.

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  6. What I also found interesting was the size of the "Undecided" vote. Bigger than the combined CPC/NDP vote I think? Don't know what it tells me except that big chunks of the public don't care ??

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