Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are tied for support as the impact of Trudeau’s blackface scandal continues to sink in, according to a new poll from Forum Research.
In a survey of 2,449 voters taken late last week, Forum found that 33 per cent said they would support the Conservative party if the election were held now. The exact same share, 33 per cent, said they would support the Liberals.
The New Democrats and Greens were similarly tied, each with 11 per cent support. But the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh enjoyed the biggest bounce in popularity since the last Forum poll, with 36 per cent of respondents saying they approve of the job he is doing as leader of his party, up 12 points from late July.
Forum collected the data on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Time magazine published the first image of Trudeau in brownface makeup on Wednesday evening, and two more instances of blackface had emerged by Thursday morning.
Trudeau offered a lengthy apology on Thursday afternoon, calling the decision to wear the racist costumes “something that I deeply, deeply regret.”
“Of course, that could change with four weeks of campaigning left to go. What should concern the Liberal campaign is the approval numbers of Jagmeet Singh. The Liberals are the primary beneficiaries of a weak NDP, and if Singh’s approval continues to rise, we can expect to see NDP support rise with it.”
The national polling numbers would translate into a 147-seat minority for the Liberals, with the Conservatives winning 144 seats and the NDP 20, Forum calculated.
The Bloc Québécois would win 22 seats and the Greens five.
Canadians are split on who would make the best prime minister, with slightly less than a third naming Scheer (29 per cent) and Trudeau (31 per cent).
More than half of Canadians (54 per cent) said they disapprove of the job Trudeau is doing as prime minister. Similarly, exactly half disapprove of the job Scheer is doing as leader of the Opposition.
Canadians continue to rate the environment and the economy as their most important election issues during the campaign — at 27 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. Health care is in third place, with 14 per cent saying it is their primary issue, a ranking that has been consistent in Forum’s polling.
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The poll results are based on an interactive voice response telephone survey of 2,449 randomly selected Canadians across the country. The polling company considers the results accurate within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The federal election will be held on Oct. 21.