A new poll suggests that 31% of Canadians strongly disapprove of prime minister Justin Trudeau’s pandemic response, while only 14% strongly approve.

The survey conducted by Angus Reid from Mar. 1 to 4 used responses collected online from 2,550 Canadians 18 and older who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. 

Of the different regions polled, voters from Alberta and Saskatchewan were most disappointed with Trudeau’s performance, with 45% in both provinces saying he has done a very bad job.

Canadians in British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces were most approving of Trudeau’s handling of the pandemic, with 62% and 70% respectively saying he had done a good or very good job.

The poll also looked at support for Trudeau’s performance along party lines.

A majority of  Bloc Quebecois, Conservative Party of Canada, and People’s Party of Canada (PPC) voters found that Trudeau did a bad or a very bad job, with the disapproval being strongest among PPC voters at 95%.

Support for Trudeau’s pandemic response was strongest amongst Liberal voters with 88% approving followed by 67% of NDP voters.

The poll also looked at Canadians’ satisfaction with their premiers’ and provincial governments’ performances, again showing the least satisfaction in the Prairie Provinces and the highest approval in B.C. and the Atlantic provinces.

Angus Reid Institute president Shachi Kurl said the results seem to confirm the political divide that many Canadians were already aware of.

“Sometimes it’s a confirmation of a trend … it just tells us where we are as a country,” Kurl told CBC News.

A probability sample of the poll’s size would comparably carry a margin of error of +/-  2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

The new poll comes after a survey last week found that 82% of Canadians say they believe the pandemic has “pulled people further apart,” with nearly 80% of those polled saying the pandemic has “brought out the worst in people.” 

At the start of the pandemic, Trudeau experienced high approval ratings as Canadians rallied around the prime minister during uncertain times. 

Over time, however, and due to issues including botched vaccine procurements, hotel quarantine scandals and poor handling of the Freedom Convoy, the prime minister’s popularity has plummeted, especially among traditionally conservative regions and voters.

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