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Liberals Hold Steady Lead


[Ottawa – January 29, 2021] It appears neither the arrival of multiple effective COVID-19 vaccines nor fears of potential vaccine shortages have impacted the federal horserace. At 34 points, the Liberals hold a small, but stable lead over the Conservatives who, at 31 points, have not seen any real movement in over a year. The NDP remain in third place at 15 points.

Regionally, the Conservatives maintain a commanding lead in Alberta and Saskatchewan and are in a dead heat with the Liberals in Manitoba. The Liberals lead in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic. Interestingly, a large proportion of Alberta and Saskatchewan residents opted for the “other” option which, given the demographic composition of “other” supporters (young men, lower socioeconomic status, Indigenous people, visible minorities – all groups that have found themselves at the losing end of the growing gap between rich and poor), this finding could indicate significant pockets of support for the new Maverick Party in the Prairies.

The Conservative Party has a comfortable lead with men (indeed, they would easily win an election if voting were limited to men), but they are at just 26 points with women, the largest gender gap of any party. The Liberals and, to a lesser extent, the NDP, do comparatively better with women.

Vaccine rollout

Lately, vaccine acceptance appears to be stable. Three-quarters of Canadians say they would be willing to receive a vaccine, meaning vaccine acceptance is critically balanced at the minimal levels to secure what most experts believe would produce herd immunity. In some areas, however, vaccine acceptance is below the safe standard. Of particular concern are youth, visible minorities, Indigenous people, and those of lower socioeconomic status (i.e., lower income and educational attainment).

Four in ten Canadians (40 per cent) believe that cases are rising in their communities (though this is down from 55 per cent in December). Regional differences on this indicator largely mirror the patterns of the pandemic. Perceptions of local COVID-19 case numbers are correlated with vaccine acceptance; those who are not willing to a receive a vaccine are more much likely to say cases are declining.

Lastly, Canadians appear comfortable with the current pace of the vaccine rollout, as public expectations for vaccine rollout are in line with current projected schedules. While the public would clearly welcome faster rollout in our experimental testing, this would be seen as a bonus by most of the public, not a yardstick for basic success. Naturally, results vary by political affiliation, with Conservatives comparatively less impressed. However, the results are not particularly dramatic.


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 December 31, 2020 – January 27, 2021. In total, a random sample of 13,730 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 0.8 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 a copy of the questionnaire that was used for this survey.

Please click here for a copy of the data tables.

1 comment to Liberals Hold Steady Lead

  • I find it shocking that a party such as the Liberals are ahead in the polls. Does anybody realize just how dishonest not to mention the constant scandals taking place. Two senior ministers Dr. Philpott and Jody Wilson Raybould resigned due to Trudeau’s dishonesty. SNC Lavalin, We Charity, Governor General and on and on it goes. Trudeau and his cronies and totally botched the Covid crisis, pipelines and the list goes on and on. Can the Liberal lovers not see the lack of transparency with this government. In my 78 years I have never seen anything like it. A government that continually lies to Canadians. A health minister who is a graphic artist and actually tells Canadians that closing the borders is harmful and masks are not required. Why would a so called health minister actually tell Canadians such false information. Other countries did the correct thing and closed their borders immediately. So called politicians like Patti Hajdu enter politics for the ludicrous amount of money they will recurve as a pension and perks and will receive that after only five or six years of service. This has to stop now and Canadians need to have some input when it comes to politicians salaries and when pay raises are due. The Liberals decided to give themselves a raise during a pandemic. Think about it. What a selfish decision to make in these times. I just don’t have the time to list all the other blunders Trudeau has made and some Canadians are still going to vote for him which is shocking to me to say the very least.

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