Federal Politics: Trudeau’s approval slides among NDP, Liberal voters

Federal Politics: Trudeau’s approval slides among NDP, Liberal voters

Two-in-five (41%) say Liberal-NDP confidence-and-supply agreement working, 45% disagree

June 19, 2023 – The Liberal-NDP confidence-and-supply agreement has been successful in keeping the Liberal minority government in power – and Canadians away from ballot boxes for now – but the reviews are mixed if it is helping the government get things done.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians lean slightly towards believing the government is operating poorly (46%) under the agreement than well (41%).

Discontent with what the government is getting accomplished under the NDP-Liberal agreement is higher among past Conservative voters (85%), but past Liberal (73%) and NDP supporters (59%) are both satisfied at majority levels.

Meantime, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sees his approval dip to a low since the 2021 election – 36 per cent. Sliding approval from past Liberal (74%) and NDP voters (46%) is pulling down appraisal of the prime minister after an end-of-2022 bump that pushed the Liberal leader to 43 per cent.

Trudeau’s rival, Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, is in no better shape when it comes to evaluation by Canadians. Half (50%) view Poilievre unfavourably, while his favourability matches Trudeau’s approval at 36 per cent. However, there are more Canadians – 59 per cent – who say they have a negative view of the prime minister than Poilievre.

Perhaps no measure better shows the current division between the two leading parties than the fact that, overall, just three per cent of Canadians hold a positive view of the parties’ two leaders. More – one-in-five (19%) – view both men in a negative light.

More Key Findings:

  • Comparing these Trudeau-Poilievre views further, one-in-three (33%) Canadians view Trudeau negatively and Poilievre positively, while close to the same number view Trudeau positively and Poilievre negatively (29%).
  • Men are more likely to view Poilievre positively (47%) than Trudeau (29%) or Singh (38%). Women have higher appraisal of Singh (53%) and Trudeau (43%) than Poilievre (26%).
  • Canadians aged 18- to 34-years-old are three times as likely (6%) as other age groups to view both Poilievre and Trudeau favourably.
  • There is a large sentiment that the government isn’t getting done what it needs to under the NDP-Liberal agreement from those under economic duress. Half (47%) of the “Struggling” according to the Angus Reid Institute’s Economic Stress Index believe the government is operating “terribly” since the NDP and Liberals signed the confidence-and-supply agreement.


About ARI

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.



Part One: Assessing the leaders

  • Trudeau approval

  • Poilievre and Singh favourability

  • Perceptions across party lines

  • Men and women offer differing views

  • The economically stressed prefer Poilievre

Part Two: Does anyone have a positive view of both Poilievre and Trudeau?

Part Three: Views of confidence-and-supply agreement

  • Liberals, New Democrats largely satisfied


Part One: Assessing the leaders

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal minority government have had a rocky first half of 2023. They’ve been dogged by a scandal involving potential Chinese government interference in Canadian elections, with much dissatisfaction with how they have responded. The latest twist in the saga saw the Trudeau-appointed special rapporteur on foreign interference, former governor general David Johnston, step down after the House of Commons passed a motion asking for him to resign.

Though Canada has stepped up to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, its commitment to defence spending has come under scrutiny after leaks revealed Trudeau privately told North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials that Canada would never reach the NATO goal of spending two per cent of its GDP on nation defence.

Canadians, already offering mixed reviews of federal government services, had to endure longer waits for passports and potential delays during tax season as a public sector strike swept the nation for 12 days. The resulting agreement, though not as much as the union had demanded, boosted wages for public sector employees, as half of Canadian workers themselves had not seen a raise in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, inflation continues to squeeze Canadians’ finances. The federal government has responded with measures offering relief in its budget, but faced roadblocks from a Conservative opposition which argued that it needed to do more to rein in the rising cost of living.

Trudeau approval

In the face of a half-year of challenges, approaching three-in-five (59%) of Canadians disapprove of the work of Trudeau, including more than two-in-five (42%) who strongly do so. One-third (36%) are more positive in their appraisal:

After a slight bump at the end of 2022 in the wake of his testimony at the public inquiry into the invocation of the Emergencies Act, Trudeau’s approval has declined to the lowest level since his party was re-elected to a minority government in the fall of 2021:

The confidence-and-supply agreement between the NDP and the Liberals has offered Trudeau’s minority government some measure of stability. Those who voted NDP in 2021 are split on their assessment of Trudeau – 46 per cent approve while half (49%) disapprove.

Past Liberal voters offer the most positive assessments (74% approve) while past CPC voters are overwhelmingly negative (93% disapprove):

Across each group of political party supporters, Trudeau’s approval has taken a considerable hit in 2023. Comparing these data with his two-year high mark at the end of last year, he is down nine points among past NDP voters and 13 points among past BQ supporters. This, while also enduring a drop in approval among his own supporters from 83 to 74 per cent:

Poilievre and Singh favourability

Trudeau and the Liberals are currently facing a vote intention deficit to the Conservatives and leader Pierre Poilievre. While eight points may separate the two men’s parties, there is no separation between the two when it comes to praise from Canadians. One-third (36%) say they have a favourable view of Poilievre, while half (50%) do not.

The leader of the New Democratic Party, Trudeau’s partner in the confidence-and-supply agreement, is the most favourably viewed of the leaders of the three largest national parties. As many have positive views of Jagmeet Singh (45%) as do negative ones (45%).

Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet – evaluated by Quebecers only – is viewed more positively than Poilievre, Trudeau or Singh, with half (49%) saying they have a positive impression:

Perceptions across party lines

Comparatively, Poilievre is viewed more favourably by his own party (39% very favourable, 40% favourable) than Trudeau is by his (17% strongly approve, 57% moderately approve).

But Poilievre does not find much favour elsewhere on the political spectrum. Past Liberal and NDP voters’ assessments are overwhelmingly negative. At most, 15 per cent of past Bloc voters say they have a positive impression of Poilievre:

Men and women offer differing views

There are clear differences between men and women in assessments of the three major party leaders. Half of men (47%) say they view Poilievre favourably but are less positive towards Singh (38%) and Trudeau (29%). Women are negative in their assessment of Poilievre (26%), but more generous when it comes to Trudeau (43%) and Singh (53%):

The economically stressed prefer Poilievre

The Angus Reid Institute’s Economic Stress Index assesses factors such as household costs, debt and self-financial appraisals to provide a measure of the financial pressure facing Canadians (read more about the index here).

Those found to be “Struggling” financially by the index offer a more positive assessment of Poilievre than those under less economic stress. Poilievre has been hammering the Trudeau and the Liberals on the issue of inflation, blaming government spending and pointing his finger at the carbon tax as another measure putting undue pressure on Canadian households. Poilievre’s favourability gap over Singh and Trudeau among those in dire financial straits suggest that perhaps his message is resonating.

At the other end of the index, Trudeau and Singh find more positive appraisal:

Part Two: Does anyone have a positive view of both Poilievre and Trudeau?

There is a lot of negativity in the current political environment in Canada. The leaders of the two largest political parties in the country – and the two men most likely to contest for the job of prime minister whenever the next election occurs – each currently face an electorate where at least half say they view them unfavourably.

While the assessments of both leaders are highly polarized, with political affiliation significantly affecting evaluations of the leaders as noted above, there is some overlap on both positive and negative sides of the spectrum. However, only a handful – three per cent – of Canadians offer a positive assessment of both leaders. Negative impressions of both are much more common at one-in-five (19%).

The proportion holding twin negative views of Poilievre and Trudeau is similar across demographics. Meanwhile, 18- to 34-year-old Canadians are the most likely to say they have positive impressions of both leaders:

Past CPC voters (78%) are more likely to offer high assessment of their own leader and low assessment of their rival than past Liberal voters (64%). This, as the CPC outpace the Liberal party in vote retention from the 2021 federal election. Notably, 10 per cent of those who voted Conservative in 2021 and one-in-seven (14%) of those who voted Liberal say they view both Trudeau and Poilievre negatively.

Though a plurality of NDP voters (41%) offer a positive view of Trudeau and a negative one of Poilievre, one-third view both unfavourably. They are joined by half (50%) of those who voted Bloc Québécois in 2021:

Part Three: Views of confidence-and-supply agreement

It has been 15 months of Liberal minority governance under a confidence-and-supply agreement. The arrangement, which sees the NDP support the Liberals on the budget and confidence votes, has provided stability for a minority government which otherwise could have potentially fell at any point due to a failed vote of confidence. Though there have been some disagreements between the NDP and the Liberals – most recently on the government’s handling of the investigation into foreign interference in Canadian elections – it has not been enough to dissolve the deal.

Canadians are split as to how they feel the agreement is working. Two-in-five (41%) believe it is going “well” or “great”, while slightly more (46%) instead believe it is going “poorly” or “terribly”:

Liberals, New Democrats largely satisfied

Supporters of the official opposition Conservative party, sitting on the outside of the agreement, are the most likely to believe things are going terribly – two-thirds (64%) say this. Among supporters of parties inside the agreement, past Liberal voters are more likely to believe the agreement is going well or great (73%) than past NDP voters (59%). Past Bloc voters are split (great or well 36%, poorly or terribly 41%):

Those who are struggling financially are less likely to believe the confidence-and-supply agreement is working “well” or “great”. Instead, approaching half (47%) believe it is working “terribly”. Half (50%) of the Comfortable and a majority (56%) of the Thriving say the government is operating at least well under the arrangement:

Survey Methodology:

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from May 30 – June 3, 2023, among a representative randomized sample of 3,885 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

For detailed results by the Economic Stress Index, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – Adam Scotti/PMO


Shachi Kurl, President: 604.908.1693 shachi.kurl@angusreid.org @shachikurl

Dave Korzinski, Research Director: 250.899.0821 dave.korzinski@angusreid.org

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