According to an Ipsos poll conducted for Global News, the federal Conservatives are considered most competent on big-picture economic management. But the NDP has won voters’ confidence when it comes to tackling the cost of living.
While the Tories and NDP alternate dominance on a host of issues, the Liberals are nowhere to be seen. ‘We don’t really see the Liberals popping on any of the issues,’ said Ipsos analys Darrell Bricker. ‘That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. There’s a long way to go.’
The plurality of those polled favoured the Tories on managing the economy, keeping taxes low, dealing with the so-called Islamic State and crime. The NDP are in the lead when it comes to health care, child care, the cost of living, retirement, helping small businesses and climate change. Even when it comes to dealing with the Senate, the NDP squeaks out ahead. The two are tied when it comes to creating jobs.
It’s interesting, Bricker noted, that the Tories are still seen as the most trustworthy economic stewards given that the opposition parties have been hammering their record. By far the Conservatives’ biggest advantage is when it comes to fighting terrorism: They’re a good 31 percentage points ahead of the other parties on that score. But the Islamic State isn’t top of mind for many voters: Only 38.9 per cent identified it as an ‘absolutely crucial’ issue.
The Tories need to either make terror the most important issue of the campaign, Bricker said, or widen their lead on managing the economy, which is deemed crucial by a far higher percentage of respondents. The challenge for the NDP, Bricker said, is framing the economic question in more micro terms, and appealing to the day-to-day struggles of Canadians. The Liberals, in the meantime, have their work cut out for them in making an impression and owning issues.
Perhaps one of the most telling things about this poll is how little the past two weeks have shifted public perception of the parties. ‘It’s reinforced opinions people already have,’ Bricker said. ‘There’s been a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’
“Issues Poll: Which party do Canadians think would do best on each issue?”
Canada Election 2015 – “Absolutely Critical” Issues