After a divisive election campaign that saw the Liberals reduced to a minority government, a new Broadbent Institute-commissioned poll suggests that a majority of Canadian voters either want or could at least accept the Liberals and the New Democrats working together.
In a post-election survey conducted by Abacus Data of 1,517 people aged 18 and over, 41 per cent of respondents either support or strongly support co-operation between the two federal parties, with 23 per cent saying that they can accept it.
On the other hand, 25 per cent of respondents said they either oppose or strongly oppose a possible agreement. Eleven per cent of participants said they were unsure if they could support them working together.
When it comes to political affiliation, Liberal party and NDP respondents were more likely to support co-operation. Conservative party respondents were more likely to not.
“I think what this poll shows is a very, very strong basis of co-operation to make this minority Parliament work” across party lines, said Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute. “We’re clearly in an era of minority governments. Canadians across the board… are quite comfortable (with them).”
On possible areas of co-operation, Abacus says the survey shows that issues like universal pharmacare — a hallmark of the NDP’s platform during the federal election campaign — and raising taxes on wealthy Canadians are popular.
For David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, this means that “there’s broad support for a fairly progressive agenda coming out of this election and in a Parliament where the parties will have to work together to get significant things done.”
When asked about the disparity between the Conservatives’ share of the popular vote and a poll result that indicates there’s at least a small portion of Conservatives who could accept the Liberals and the NDP working together, Coletto said that those respondents “liked the idea that no one party has a blank check or complete control over what will come out of that Parliament.”
The poll was conducted through an online survey of 1,517 randomly selected Canadians between Oct. 22 and 24. The results are considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Get more politics in your inbox
Make sense of what’s happening across the country and around the world with the Star’s This Week in Politics newsletter.