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Majority of Canadians view a politician's open support of trucker protest as negative: survey

Most Canadians say they would hold a negative view of a politician who openly supported the trucker protest that took place in Ottawa earlier this year, a new survey from Nanos Research shows.

The survey, which was conducted by Nanos and commissioned by CTV News, found about 70 per cent of participants would have a more or somewhat more negative impression of a politician in such a case, with residents in Quebec more likely to hold a more negative view (70 per cent) than those from the Prairies (58 per cent).

"These negative impressions cut across gender, they cut across every age group, they cut across every region. The fact of the matter is, is with seven out of every 10 Canadians having a negative view… This is not a growth strategy for anyone or any party that wants to try to win a majority, I would say even a minority government," Nik Nanos said in an interview on CTV's Power Play Tuesday.

According to Nanos, about 13 per cent of respondents said they would view a politician who openly supported the protest more positively, eight per cent said they would hold a somewhat more favourable view, eight per cent said it would have no impact, and two per cent were unsure.

Nanos found women were more likely to say they would view a politician more negatively at approximately 66 per cent, compared to men at 61 per cent.

"I think the fact of the matter is, is that for many Canadians, they saw it as disruptive. You know, even though many sympathized with what I'll say is the frustration of the pandemic and the frustration with the lockdowns, I think the fact of the matter is, is where the truckers protest ended, and now it's ended up in court with criminal charges, it's basically bad news," Nanos said.

The survey found there is also a generational divide when it comes to public sentiments about the protest and the politicians who support it.

A little more than 58 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 said they would hold a more negative impression, along with 59.5 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 35 to 54 compared to 71 per cent of those age 55 and older.

"Could it be a disruptive and important force in the election? Absolutely. But is it a winning strategy? Absolutely not," Nanos said.

"I think it's an overall negative because it will hinder anyone who tries to win or build a winning coalition. So the question is, whoever wins the Conservative leadership, their first step has to be not just winning the leadership, but how can they try to form a government and get the greatest number of seats in the House of Commons? And this is a fundamental obstacle to that."


Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land and cell lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,073 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between Aug. 27 and 29, 2022, as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land and cell lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. Individuals randomly called using random digit dialing with a maximum of five callbacks.

The margin of error for this survey is three percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.



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