2019 Federal Election | Breaking Issues

This is the second release on the results of an online survey conducted between September 20th and September 25th, 2019.

On September 18th, the first photo of Justin Trudeau in blackface was leaked. Not long after, two more photos surfaced. More than a week later, the Liberals have made it through the blackface controversy with their lead intact. There is no significant change in Liberal support at the national or regional level. There are also no major changes in Trudeau’s favourability and his lead on our measure of best Prime Minister is marginally stronger.

When it comes to issue management, the rule is, “It’s not the break-in, it’s the cover-up.”  That phrase means whatever the controversy, it is not the initial controversy but the way you respond that will determine what the ultimate damage will be. When we ask about the “break-in”, more Canadians (43%) are angry at the Conservative candidate comments than at Trudeau’s blackface and brownface incidents (37%).

When we look at the “cover-up”, the Liberals come off far better than the Conservatives.  Four-in-ten (41%) voters approve of the way the Liberals responded to the blackface controversy once the issue emerged with 29% disapproving.  A number of Conservative party candidates have been accused of making racist or homophonic comments in the past. Andrew Scheer responded by supporting these candidates, so long as they apologize. Only one-in-five (22%) voters approve of the Conservative response it’s candidate comments with 34% disapproving.

The Conservatives are losing the “framing” battle as well. More voters say the Conservative candidate’s comments are the symptom of a deeper problem (43%), rather than a one-off issue (29%). For the Liberals, we see the opposite. A majority of voters (52%) say Trudeau’s past behaviour does not reflect who he is today.  Just over a third (36%) say the issue is a symptom of deeper issues.

In this survey, we found one-in-four Liberal identifiers report experiencing discrimination on a daily basis.  They judge Justin Trudeau’s actions more harshly than other Liberals.  Three-in-ten (29%) of these Liberals were angry. One-in-four feels the issue is a symptom of deeper problems. Trudeau’s favourability, image attributes, and vote are down among these Liberals. But the losses among Liberals who experience discrimination is more than made up by gains among the larger group of Liberals who have not.

Check out the full report below for analysis on:

  • Federal Vote Tracking,
  • Party Identification Tracking,
  • The Blackface Photos,
  • Comments made by Conservative Candidates,
  • Views of the Liberal vs. Views of the Tories,
  • Discrimination,
  • Leadership Tracking,
  • SNC Lavalin Tracking and,
  • Liberal Identification
2019 Federal Election - Breaking Issues