WE scandal hits Trudeau’s approval ratings

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval has dropped five points in the first reading of public opinion since questions arose regarding his government’s – and family’s – ties to the WE group of organizations, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute shows.

The study indicates that half of Canadians (50%) are in approval of the prime minister’s performance while nearly the same number (48%) disapprove[1]http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020.07.13_Trudeau-Approval.pdf. This represents a slight drop from his 55 per cent approval in May but still a considerable increase over his pre-COVID-19 era approval in February (33%).

The intensity of positive versus negative appraisal is striking – twice as many Canadians now say they strongly disapprove (34%) of Trudeau’s performance as strongly approve (16%).

This slip in approval is largely attributable to diminishing praise from non-Liberals. While 91 per cent of his party’s voters say they approve of the PM, his approval is down nine points among NDP voters and seven points among CPC voters since May.

That Trudeau’s approval is still at fully half may be driven by the issues on which Canadians are focused most. Overall, Canadians say they are most concerned with the response to the COVID-19 outbreak (38%) and the economic (33%) and healthcare (29%) challenges that the country is facing. That said, one-third of past Conservative voters (32%) identify ethics and corruption as a top issue, compared to just four per cent of past Liberal voters and seven per cent of past NDP voters.

Across all groups, women are significantly more likely to approve of Prime Minister Trudeau (58%) compared to men (41%), the survey found.

Half of men, however, say that Trudeau has done a good job of handling the COVID-19 outbreak (50%). This jumps to two-thirds (67%) among women.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted the online survey from July 10-11, 2020 among a representative randomized sample of 1,503 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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