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Majority of Canadians not even considering voting for the Liberals: Nanos


Fewer Canadians than at almost any point since the party was elected with Justin Trudeau as leader are considering voting for the federal Liberals, according to the latest tracking by Nanos Research.

The polling firm has tracked "accessible voters," that is, how many Canadians would consider voting Liberal, each week since before the party was elected with Trudeau as leader in 2015.

While between 50 and 60 per cent of respondents said they would consider voting for the Liberals when surveyed in the months leading up to the 2015 federal election — when former prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservative party was still in power — only 36.2 per cent would consider casting their ballot for Trudeau's Liberals right now.

That figure is only slightly a little higher than the Trudeau Liberals' all-time low in November, when 34.6 per cent of respondents said they would consider voting for the party.

"That means a majority of Canadians don't even have them on the radar as a vote choice," said Nik Nanos, CTV's official pollster and Nanos Research founder, in an interview with CTV News' Trend Line on Wednesday.

(Nanos Research)


At the party's peak popularity among accessible voters, 66 per cent of Nanos survey respondents in August 2016 said they would consider voting for the Liberals.

Nanos told Trend Line host Michael Stittle the latest numbers speak to the further collapsing of an already "narrow and fixed" subset of voters to which the Liberals still appeal.

Moreover, Nanos' latest ballot tracking finds the Conservatives with a 20-point lead over the Liberals.

In other words, Pierre Poilievre's Conservatives would capture 43 per cent of the vote if an election were held today, while the Liberals would get 23 per cent, the NDP 21 per cent, the Bloc six per cent and the Green Party about four per cent.

(Nanos Research)

"I guess the good news for the Liberals is that the election's not today, because if the election was today, it would be a political spanking, for all intents and purposes," Nanos said, adding that his latest ballot tracking shows there is a "massive appetite for change" among voters.

As for the kind of change Canadian voters are seeking, it might come down to the popularity of the individual steering the ship. After all, Nanos said, the Liberals have "tried everything" to win voters back.

"They've thrown the kitchen sink … the kitchen counters, the kitchen cupboards, the kitchen," he said. "They've thrown everything at Pierre Poilievre (and) the Conservatives, and right now the Conservatives still have a big advantage."

(Nanos Research)

Meanwhile, only 30 per cent of Canadians recently surveyed by Nanos feel Trudeau has the qualities of a good political leader – down from more than 70 per cent in 2015 and 2016.

Adding to the pain for the Liberals, 37 per cent of Nanos survey respondents, as of the week ending March 1, listed Poilievre as their preferred prime minister, compared to 19 per cent who selected Trudeau.

(Nanos Research)

With Canada's next general election due to take place by October 2025 at the latest, there is still some time for the Liberals to turn things around, and Nanos said this year's federal budget could prove a key opportunity for the party to win voters back.

"The big question is: Is it going to be a big spending or a restraint budget? And I think that's going to be the tricky part for the Liberals," Nanos said. "Many Canadians are tightening their belts because they're worried about paying for the bills, and that's probably what they're going to expect from the government, too."

Watch the full episode of Trend Line in our video player at the top of this article. You can also listen in our audio player below, or wherever you get your podcasts. The next episode comes out Wednesday, March 20.


Each week, Nanos measures the political pulse of Canadian voters through hundreds of telephone surveys. The data is based on random interviews with 1,000 Canadian consumers (recruited by RDD land- and cell-line sample), using a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents each week, 18 years of age and over. The random sample of 1,000 respondents may be weighted using the latest census information for Canada. The interviews are compiled into a four-week rolling average of 1,000 interviews where each week, the oldest group of 250 interviews is dropped and a new group of 250 interviews is added.

A random survey of 1,000 respondents in Canada is accurate 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20




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