Trudeau approval drops below 50 per cent for first time since election


As Canadians bask in the warmth of goodwill and cheer over the holiday season, bundling up across the country to stay warm, it may feel a touch colder at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.

For the first time since the 2015 election, the Angus Reid Institute’s quarterly analysis of polling data finds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval below one-half. Further, half of Canadians (49%) now say they disapprove of the PM.

This finding comes after a season that has seen Trudeau rebuffed in his effortsto secure a trade deal with China and repeatedly forced to defend Finance Minister Bill Morneau against accusations of unethical behaviour and conflicts of interest. The season has also seen his government secure an agreement with the provinces on marijuana taxation and a pair of byelection victories for his Liberal Party in ridings vacated by Conservative Party MPs.

Amid this mixed political climate, Trudeau’s approval rating – though diminished – remains higher than those either of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer or New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh.

However, his disapproval rating is also higher than those of his opponents, and more Canadians say it is “time for a change” in government (46%) than say Trudeau’s Liberals should be re-elected (32%).

trudeau approval

More Key Findings:

  • Trudeau’s approval rating has fallen by at least 10 percentage points across all regions and age groups since he became Prime Minister, and has fallen dramatically in certain regions – notably Quebec and Atlantic Canada – in the last 12 months as well
  • New NDP leader Singh debuts with the approval of 39 per cent of Canadians and the disapproval of 33 per cent (28% are unsure about him). Canadians have a slightly less favourable view of Scheer (35% approve, 36% disapprove, and 29% are unsure)
  • “The economy” (chosen by 25% of respondents), “the deficit/government spending” (25%), and “health care” (24%) top Canadians’ list of the most important issues facing the country today

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