Tories steady despite robocall accusations, poll shows
Published Monday, March 5, 2012 10:51AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 7:39AM EDT
While allegations surrounding robocalls have mesmerized media and triggered enraged accusations in the House of Commons, they have had little effect on Canadians' support for the Conservative party, according to a new poll.
A new study by Nanos Research for CTV and The Globe and Mail found the Conservatives holding steady as the top choice for 35.7 of those polled.
The Liberals were second with 29.5 per cent support and the New Democrats were in third place with 25 per cent support when respondents were asked which federal party they would consider voting for.
Support for the Conservatives was essentially unchanged from polling a month earlier. The Liberals were up slightly from 27.6 per cent, while the NDP's numbers also held steady.
The telephone survey sampled 1,203 Canadians between Feb. 25 and 29 -- just as reports were breaking about an Elections Canada investigation into misleading automated phone calls made to voters on election night 2011.
It is believed the calls are linked to someone using a throwaway cellphone, and an obvious alias calling themselves Pierre Poutine.
It's not just the robocalls storyline that has dominated news reports in recent weeks.
The Conservatives' omnibus crime bill, with its provision to allow authorities greater access to Canadians' Internet records, enraged the opposition and many ordinary Canadians and led to the creation of the Twitter account which revealed details of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews' messy divorce.
Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae apologized last week after it emerged a Liberal staffer was behind the account.
When respondents were polled about their top national issue of concern, 25.8 per cent listed jobs and the economy -- a drop of 2 percentage points from January polling.
Another 15.9 per cent listed healthcare as their top concern, a drop of 4.4 percentage points, while just 6.4 per cent said the environment was their top issue of concern, down 4.3 percentage points from January. Education and debt/deficit followed as the fourth and fifth place issues of concern among those polled.
When asked which leader has the best vision for the future of Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was well out in front as the choice of 32.6 per cent of those polled.
Liberal interim leader Bob Rae came second with 16.2 per cent. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was third with 8.1 per cent and Nycole Turmel, interim leader of the Official Opposition NDP, ranked in fourth spot among the leaders with just 7.8 per cent of those polled saying she had the best vision for Canada.
Turmel was hand-picked by former NDP leader Jack Layton before he died, to guide the party to its next leadership convention.
In total, 10.5 per cent of those polled said none of the leaders had the best vision for Canada's future.
Harper was also rated as the most trustworthy leader by 38.1 per cent of respondents.
The random telephone survey of 1,203 respondents was conducted between Feb. 25 and Feb. 29, 2012. The results are considered accurate to within 2.8 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. The data was weighted for gender and age to match Canadian census results.