Nearly seven in 10 Canadians don’t believe that the Senate performs a useful and necessary political function, according to a new poll.

The online poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of CTV News, found that 69 per cent of Canadians “disagree” with the statement that “the Senate of Canada performs a necessary and useful political function.” (34 percent “strongly” disagree while 35 per cent “somewhat” disagree).

Support for the Senate was the lowest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where only 24 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement. In Ontario, support was the highest, with 38 per cent agreeing. In Quebec and British Columbia, 26 per cent of respondents agreed that the Senate performed a useful function, while 25 per cent agreed in Atlantic Canada. 

Ipsos Reid surveyed 2,535 Canadians online between Dec. 9 and Dec. 13. The poll is accurate to +/- 2.2 percentage points.

The poll comes on the heels of a scandal-ridden 2013 in the Red Chamber, after several senators’ improper expense claims were revealed.

Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb all had their expense claims audited after red flags were raised.

Ottawa became consumed by the scandal in May when CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife revealed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, gave a $90,000 cheque to Duffy to repay his ineligible expense claims.

Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau were suspended by the Senate without pay in November for the remainder of the parliamentary session. Harb had previously resigned.

CTV News’ Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme wrote that the Senate scandal was voted by CTV as the top story of 2013 because it resonates with Canadians.