2019 Federal Election | English Leaders Debate | 2019-10-09

An online survey of 1,726 adult Canadians was conducted between October 8th and 9th for Maclean’s.

The following report shows whether people have read, seen or heard anything about each leader (and party) and whether it has left them more or less favourable. These two measures are key indicators of momentum.

There are a number of findings that stand out right away. First, Canadians are rather disengaged in this election despite how much media volume has been dedicated to covering the election. In addition to media coverage, we also know how much party effort has been expended on reaching voters. Despite these facts, the highest awareness is 52% for the Liberals and 48% for Scheer. Singh and the NDP are at 37% and the rest trail down to 23% for Bernier and the PPC.

Second, Blanchet and Singh are doing much better compared to the main parties. Both main parties have 20% more people who are aware of them saying they are less favourable rather than more favourable. Blanchet and Singh have 40% more favourable than less. This indicates a huge positive momentum among those who have heard something about Blanchet and Singh. Their challenge is being heard.

What is driving this strong momentum? The debates.

At 27%, Jagmeet Singh was the first choice for who won the English language debate. He was more clearly the winner among those who watched it themselves than among those who just heard about it. As expected, New Democrat identifiers were most likely to see him as the winner. Unexpectedly, Singh was seen as the winner by 25% of Liberal identifiers, just 9 points behind Trudeau. Singh was also strongest among unaligned voters. Singh dramatically beat expectations with 43% saying he did better than expected and just 11% saying worse.

Scheer came second overall at 17%. He was almost as popular among CPC identifiers as Singh was among New Democrat identifiers, but he was not as successful as Singh among supporters of other parties or among the unaligned. This is reflected in Scheer’s debate peformance score with 26% saying worse than expected and only 20% saying better.

Justin Trudeau did not have a good outing. While he was a close third to Scheer overall, he was challenged in his own base by Singh. The bright spot for Trudeau was essentially tying with Singh as the winner among Green and PPC voters and tying for second with Singh among Bloc supporters. While the English debate was not expected to be Blanchet’s night, he was seen as the winner by Bloc supporters and left the same number of viewers impressed as disappointed.

It was also not a great night for Elizabeth May. She was picked as the winner by just 6%, although she did much better among those who saw the actual debate (9%) than among those who just heard about it (2%). As with Blanchet, she left the same number of viewers impressed as disappointed. Maxine Bernier was very much a minor figure in these results. Just 3% said he won, again doing better among viewers (4%) than non-viewers. He disappointed many more (27%) than he impressed (9%). The only silver lining for Bernier is that the 3% saying he won is 3% more than Andrew Scheer was hoping he would he score.

Click to read the Maclean’s article on our most recent polling release below.

2019 Federal Election - Maclean's Release (2019-10-09)