Trudeau’s support base mostly unfazed by groping allegation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Weeks of unflattering headlines and uncomfortable questions about an allegation of inappropriate touching almost two decades ago appear to have had only minimal impact on Justin Trudeau’s standing in the eyes of his support base.

The issue has forced the Prime Minister to attempt to reconcile his initial denial and subsequent explanation of this alleged conduct – which took place long before he entered politics – with his current public stance supporting women who come forward with allegations of sexual harassment.

While this has led critics and observers to accuse Trudeau of hypocrisy, a new Angus Reid Institute study finds that a majority of Canadians (62%) – and, indeed, eight-in-ten women who voted for Trudeau’s Liberal Party (83%) – say the Prime Minister’s response to these allegations has been “adequate”.

Overall, women are less likely to criticize the Prime Minister’s handling of this situation than men, and less likely to say their opinion of him has worsened as a result.

Past Conservative voters, however, are significantly more likely to voice concern over Trudeau’s response, and twice as likely as New Democrats or Liberals to say that their opinion of him has worsened as a result (58% say this).

Ultimately, Canadians offer competing views when considering allegations of inappropriate conduct. Nearly all say that men need to take responsibility for their actions toward women (91%). That said, more than six-in-ten (63%) say this specific incident is overblown and garnering too much attention.

More Key Findings:

  • Eight-in-ten (79%) of Trudeau’s 2015 voters say that his response to inappropriate touching allegations has been adequate, while seven-in-ten (69%) New Democrats agree. Two-thirds of Conservatives (64%) disagree
  • Six-in-ten Canadians (61%) say that their opinion of the Prime Minister has not changed after hearing of this event. Three-in-ten (33%), however, say that their view of him has worsened
  • Women and men and of all age groups are equally likely to say that this issue has received too much attention. Divisions emerge based on political affiliation, with past Conservative voters disagreeing

Read the rest of the story here: www.angusreid.org/groping-allegations-trudeau