We didn’t need a poll to tell us Canadians don’t want another election. Nevertheless it’s Nik’s business to poll, so he has and here are the results. Underlining is ours.
The most recent Nanos Poll shows that Canadians overwhelmingly do not want a fall election.
The poll was conducted days after Michael Ignatieff’s September 1st speech in Sudbury where he withdrew the Liberal party’s support for the government, immediately bringing the prospect of a fall election into play. When asked whether they would prefer or oppose a fall election, nearly three quarters of Canadians (72.6%) opposed a fall election, while 22.6% would prefer to have one. Only 4.8% were unsure.
Despite a succession of minority governments, Canadians strongly preferred majority governments. Eight out of ten Canadians agreed (68.7%) or somewhat agreed (11.9%) they “would like to see a party win a majority government in the next election.” However, while that may be Canadians’ desire, they are resigned to minority governments at least in the near term; three in four Canadians “expect to see more minority governments in the future” (57.0% agreed; 17.6% somewhat agreed).
Canadians were divided about the effectiveness of a minority House, with nearly half saying that the next session of Parliament would be effective (15.2%) or somewhat effective (34.2%), and four in ten saying it would be ineffective (23.4%) or somewhat ineffective (18.2%). Nine percent were unsure.
Even Liberal voters by a 2 to 1 margin were opposed to an early trip to the polls. It is interesting that Nanos found that 8 out of 10 favoured a majority government. We think that this is a real shift in opinion as it seems to us that was not the feeling a few elections ago. The hope was that a minority government could be effective but we are seeing that it isn’t. The opposition parties have not been very cooperative and the tone overall has been very partisan. The electorate wanted the parties to “make it work” for Canadians. Clearly they have failed.
On the subject of which federal party leader Canadians thought had the personal skills necessary to manage a minority government, Harper ranked first at 32.8%, compared to 23.0% for Ignatieff, 14.4% for Layton and 5.9% for Duceppe. Harper leads Ignatieff by noticeable margins across Canada, except in Quebec. In Quebec, Ignatieff is seen as best qualified to manage a minority government by 29.7% of Quebecers, followed by Jack Layton with 19.1% and Stephen Harper at 18.1%.
The complete results can be found on Nik’s website.
We looked at the Atlantic Canada numbers: 76.7% in this region are opposed to a fall election and 77% would prefer a majority government, the highest percentage in the country. But people expect to see more minority governments even though it isn’t their preference and again the percentage was highest in Atlantic Canada at 69%. Other interesting figures from this region: On the question of which federal party leader Canadians thought had the personal skills necessary to manage a minority government Quebecers were least likely to say Harper (18%) but Atlantic Canadians were next at only 29% and 7% answered Elizabeth May, the highest in Canada and almost twice the number elsewhere!!! What does this tell you?