Trudeau's attempt at Senate reform popular, but fails to boost votes: poll
Published Sunday, February 9, 2014 11:44AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 9, 2014 4:17PM EST
Although Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's decision to remove Liberal-appointed senators from his caucus was met with approval from many sides, his surprise move did not result in more votes, according to a new CTV News/Ipsos Reid poll.
Among those surveyed, 68 per cent agreed that "Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper now needs to follow Justin Trudeau's lead and expel all Conservative-appointed Senators from the Conservative caucus."
Even among Tory supporters, 48 per cent believe that Harper should remove all Conservative-appointed Senators from caucus in an effort to give the Upper Chamber more independence, while 52 per cent disagreed.
But although Trudeau's controversial move appears to be popular, the Liberal lead over the Conservatives has slipped to four points from six points in late November, according to the poll.
The poll is accurate to within 3.5 percentage points.
If an election were held tomorrow, this would be the vote breakdown:
- Liberals: 33 per cent (-2 points since November),
- Conservatives: 29 per cent (unchanged),
- NDP: 27 per cent (+ 1)
- Bloc Quebecois: seven per cent (+1)
- Other (including Green Party): 4 per cent (+1)
- Fifteen per cent of those surveyed remain undecided.
An equal proportion of those surveyed -- 68 per cent -- said that Trudeau's decision to expel Liberal senators from the caucus shows that he's more serious about Senate reform than Harper and that he's willing to make tough decisions.
However, 55 per cent of voters agreed that Trudeau's decision is "just a publicity stunt."
IPSOS CEO of public affairs Darrell Bricker said support is beginning to "solidify" for the Liberal Leader.
"We've seen a pretty good level of support for Justin Trudeau, but what we're seeing now is a solidifying of that lead, a real feeling that maybe people should be seriously considering him for prime minister," he told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
The poll also found that of the 53 per cent of Canadians who said nothing short of an "unforeseen emergency" would prevent them from casting a ballot in the next federal election, 38 per cent would vote Liberal, compared to 28 per cent for the Conservatives.
When asked which leader would make the best prime minister, 42 per cent of respondents chose Trudeau, followed by 34 per cent for Harper and 24 per cent for Mulcair.
Bricker said a "huge" part of Trudeau's popularity likely stems from his image.
"Justin Trudeau's got a certain amount of celebrity. He seems like a likeable individual, looks visibly younger and more charismatic than the prime minister. I think people have gotten interested in that," he said. "The prime minister is seen as a 'steady Eddy’ and right now, I think people are contemplating more change than more of the same.”
The poll surveyed 1,001 Canadians online between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4.