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Federal Landscape Frozen


[Ottawa – January 19, 2022] As we enter the New Year, only one party manages to exceed the pretty humble yardstick of 30 per cent – barely. At 30 points, the Liberals have an insignificant, fraction-of-a-point lead over the Conservatives. The NDP is at 20 points and the Bloc is at 25 per cent in Quebec. At five points, the leaderless Green Party is not a factor and the People’s Party is at nine points.

The Liberals do better with urban residents, university graduates, and older voters, particularly older women. The Conservative Party fares better with rural voters, residents of the Prairies, and non-university educated voters, though even among these demographics, their support is rather tepid by normal standards. The NDP do better with the vote-rich but sketchy-turnout millennial cohort, particularly women under 35.

Interestingly, the People’s Party is up from the last election, but those same voters were less likely to say they voted People’s Party in the fall. This finding suggests that support for the People’s Party will not express itself in the ballot booth for a number of clear reasons (no representation due to First Past the Post, fear of inadvertently electing Liberals, etc.). It will, however, pose a challenge for Erin O’Toole who much straddle this constituency and the roughly half of his current constituency who share similar outlooks as People’s Party voters, particularly on the critical issue of vaccine mandates.

The sour public mood probably explains the lack of convincing support for any federal party and this is reflected in modest approval ratings. At 29 points, Erin O’Toole has roughly the same approval rating as Doug Ford and also shares the problem of straddling the more populist right wing portion of his constituency and the more traditional status quo conservatives. This is causing considerable tension for O’Toole. Justin Trudeau has a better approval rating at 40 points, while Jagmeet Singh enjoys the approval of 51 per cent of Canadians.

There is nothing particularly clear in the federal voter landscape beyond the obvious topline results which suggest an election would produce an outcome similar to the last two elections. We suspect nothing much will change until the outcome of the latest Omicron wave becomes clear, along with the impacts on the economy and, in particular, affordability and inflation. The big issues around what post-pandemic Canada will look like have yet to come into clear focus, but there is a formidable set of challenges looming. The issue of mandates and vaccines is hugely polarized with a clear and growing majority favouring strong measures to end the current, critical wave.

The issue of mandatory vaccinations has been flown by some leaders and we have tested the idea here. Although there is slim majority support, it falls short of the much higher support for vaccine passports as a tool to convert non-vaccinators to vaccinated status. Support for mandatory vaccines in schools is another matter with strong majority support. As in all of these related issues, there are sharp partisan differences with support for vaccine mandates much stronger among centre-left voters.

The country faces huge challenges beyond the pandemic. How do we deal with the massive spending and economic dislocation from the pandemic? Most think that the country should be different based on lessons learned from the pandemic. Many feel that a climate emergency will be an even bigger crisis than the pandemic. What will the future of work look like? Virtually none of these issues were seriously enjoined in the last election, nor are they having much impact on current political landscape.

The public are caught in a dark mood but this might all shift quite rapidly if this current wave marks the transition to a more ‘normal’ and manageable period. The future and its impacts on the political and societal landscape has never been so uncertain.


This survey was 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 this survey are January 7-17, 2022. In total, a random sample of 2,612 Canadians aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 1.9 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.

EKOS follows the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements.

Please click here for a copy of the data tables from this survey.

Please click here for a copy of the questionnaire that was used for this survey.

4 comments to Federal Landscape Frozen

  • michael lirette

    How can I participate in these surveys.

  • Michael Joseph

    Really liek this and would like to participate

  • Paul Feinstein

    You should read some more history books. How many governments that went full authoritarian, like Hitler did with the Juden. They carried typhoid. Were contagious. Needed to be excluded, marked, carry papers, then finally sent away to camps.

    Who are the fascists? The people in the liberal cities who work for the huge multi-national corporations? Who owns the mining companies? Tech? Etc?

    Like The Metals Company in BC, formerly Deep Green. What will “liberals” think to know the lefty company is “sustainably” bulldozing the ocean floor, crushing the rocks, the beginning of the ocean food web, to sustainably sift thru and look for precious metals.

    I bet the Metis and others would not be happy.

    Try and realize, tyranny has never been the good guys. I bet folks who liked Hitler’s rules thought he was great too.

    But especially since some people can NOT get the vaccine for health reason and also it does not stop the transmission. How do you mandate something that does not stop the spread, or stop you from carrying the virus??

  • Todd Henneberry

    You should do a poll for the prospects for the new conservative leader…would be interested in seeing public opinion on the new leader options…and see later what the party did by comparison…

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