As political watchers across the country await with bated breath testimony from former Attorney General and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, the latest public opinion poll from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows the SNC-Lavalin affair taking a toll on the fortunes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government.
While it remains unclear exactly how much – if any – pressure Trudeau and his staff put on Wilson-Raybould not to prosecute the Quebec-based engineering firm for fraud and corruption charges stemming from its business in Libya, most Canadians (66%) say they believe there is a deeper scandal in the Prime Minister’s Office. Moreover, a similar number (63%) say they believe SNC-Lavalin should be fully prosecuted under the criminal code, rather than allowed to negotiate a remediation agreement, as the PMO reportedly would have preferred.
These findings correspond with low marks for Trudeau himself. Fully six-in-ten Canadians (60%) say they have an unfavourable view of the Prime Minister, and a nearly identical 59 per cent say their opinion of him has worsened over the last month or so. While this is driven largely by the negative views of right-of-centre voters, it’s notable that three-in-ten (28%) who would vote for Trudeau’s Liberal Party in an election held tomorrow also say their view of the PM has worsened.
All of this creates a political landscape in which Trudeau’s Liberals would find themselves trailing Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party of Canada by seven percentage points (38% to 31%) in the event an election were held tomorrow.
More Key Findings:
- Trudeau isn’t the only party leader viewed unfavourably by a majority of Canadians. Most also hold unfavourable opinions of Scheer (54% do) and New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh (64%)
- Political preference informs opinion on the SNC-Lavalin affair, with those who would vote for the Conservatives in an election held tomorrow overwhelmingly taking the view that there is a deeper scandal to uncover (95%), while most Liberal supporters feel it has been overblown (72% do)
- Trudeau stands out from the other major party leaders because of the number of Canadians whose opinion of him has worsened in recent weeks. Six-in-ten (59%) say this of Trudeau, while roughly half as many say this of Scheer (25%) or Singh (29%)
The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.
Read the rest of the story here: www.angusreid.org/snc-lavalin