A poll conducted exclusively for True North finds that the two most important issues to Canadians are getting through the COVID pandemic (36%) and climate change (30%), but this varies strikingly by which party they support.

When asked to choose the two most important issues facing Canada today Conservative voters are most concerned about government spending and debt (51%), jobs and the economy (32%) and getting through COVID (28%). Liberal voters care most about getting through COVID (52%), climate change and the environment (45%) and health care, excluding COVID (29%). It is worth pointing out that high-profile issues like foreign affairs and terrorism (2%) and indigenous reconciliation (7%) are not top of mind for voters.

Views on lockdowns

Lockdowns have made 35% of Canadians more concerned about the power of the government, while 65% are grateful for governments taking action to protect Canadians. The backlash against lockdowns is highest in Quebec at 48%, with the lowest in BC at only 24%. 49% of Conservatives and 44% of BQ votes feel that lockdowns have made them more concerned about the power of government. Whereas 84% of Liberals and 78% of NDP voters are grateful that government can take action to protect them.

Middle aged men (47%) and younger women (42%) are the most concerned about government power as a result of the lockdowns. While older women (77%) are the most grateful for them. Gratitude for government having the power to impose lockdowns increases with education levels.

Housing plans

Housing affordability has been one of the big issues of the campaign with both the Conservative and Liberal housing plans being extensively covered and discussed. The two plans, without saying which party they were from were presented in neutral language to respondents to see which one was more popular.

The Liberal plan was preferred by 62% of Canadians compared to 38% for the Conservative plan. The Conservative plan was most popular on the Prairies (41%), in Quebec (41%), with middle-aged men (47%), those with graduate degrees (42%) and people in households under $50,000 (41%). The only group who preferred the Conservative plan to the Liberal one was Conservative voters who sided with it 52% of the time.

Progressive Strategic Voting

In past elections, the Liberals have scared progressive voters into supporting them to stop the conservatives from winning. Is this still a viable plan? The answer is a resounding “Yes.” 41% of NDP and Green voters say they are very likely or moderately likely to vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives from winning. Even if only those who say they are “very” likely to vote strategically actually do so, those voters represent 4.6% of voters, enough to put the Liberals back in the lead.

Likelihood of voting

Elections have been decided by which party has the most enthusiastic supporters. We asked all respondents how likely they were to vote on a scale from 0 to 10. Looking at the percentage who answered a “10” meaning they are absolutely certain to vote is a good indication of enthusiasm for the election and their parties.

Nationwide 68% said they were “10/10 absolutely certain to vote” which indicates that turnout will probably be lower than in 2019. BQ voters were the most likely to vote with 90% saying they were absolutely certain to vote. Liberals were at 77% and Conservatives at 75%. While these numbers are very close it is rare for an incumbent party running for its third term to have a higher enthusiasm level than a challenger who is actually leading in the polls.

Methodology

854 Canadians were surveyed using a nationally representative online panel in either English or French. The survey was conducted between September 2 and 4, 2021. The margin of error is +/-3.4%, nineteen times out of twenty. The margin of error is higher for sub-groups. The results have been weighted for accuracy by age, gender, past federal vote and turnout using the most recent census data. The survey was conducted by ONE Persuasion Inc.

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