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WE Charity Scandal Had Clear Impact but May Be Dissipating

[Ottawa – July 25, 2020] The WE Charity Scandal appears to be registering and the federal horserace has tightened significantly. The 11-point lead the Liberals enjoyed a month ago has shrunk to just five points. However, there is evidence that the impacts of the scandal are already beginning to dissipate; at 35 points, the Liberals are up two points from our previous poll (July 15-16, see Methodology section for full results).

Despite their reduced lead, the Liberal Party would still very much be in contention for a majority government if an election were held today. There are two reason for this. First, while the WE Charity Scandal clearly hurt the Liberals, there is no evidence that it has helped the second-place Conservatives, who haven’t budged in the polls since the election. Instead, the NDP has been the exclusive beneficiary of this affair. Second, Conservative support is heavily concentrated in the Prairies which will translate poorly in terms of seat efficiency. The Liberals, meanwhile, lead in British Columbia and every province east of Manitoba.

The Conservative Party have a slight lead with men (but they are down from last week), while the Liberals have a huge lead with women. The Liberals also win all age categories save the under 35 group, where the NDP enjoy a statistically insignificant lead. The Conservatives continue to do extremely well with college educated, but the university educated do not seem interested. Liberal support rises with social class and the Conservatives lead among working class voters, which is new feature of ordered populist support for Conservatives.

Our data on public priorities may explain why the diminished Liberal lead may be a dead cat bounce. While the WE Charity Scandal is certainly seen as a serious issue, it is eclipsed by the COVID-19 where the Liberals get good marks.

Methodology:

This report draws on data from two separate surveys. Both surveys were conducted using High Definition Interactive Voice Response (HD-IVR™) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. In an effort to reduce the coverage bias of landline only RDD, we created a dual landline/cell phone RDD sampling frame for this research. As a result, we are able to reach those with a landline and cell phone, as well as cell phone only households and landline only households.

The field dates for the first survey are July 15-16, 2020. In total, a random sample of 694 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The field dates for the second survey are July 17-22, 2020. In total, a random sample of 1,505 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as region, sex, age, education). All the data have been statistically weighted by age, gender, and region to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Please click here for the data tables from the first survey (July 15-16, 2020).

Please click here for the data tables from the second survey (July 17-22, 2020).

Please click here for a copy of the questionnaire that was used for the first survey (July 15-16, 2020).

Please click here for a copy of the questionnaire that was used for the second survey (July 17-22, 2020).

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