NATIONAL PULSE – Fourth wave concerns might benefit the Liberals

Two-in-five 2019 Green voters jump ship to the Liberals


August 12, 2021 – As members of the fifth estate speculate about the exact date the prime minister is expected to call a general election, Canadians are more occupied by fears of a fourth wave of COVID-19 than politics.

Amid a surge in new infections, anxiety among parents over the safety of unvaccinated children returning to school in person, and other worries, the latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that the number of people in this country expressing concern about personally contracting COVID-19 increased five points from July to 52 per cent.

As much as this nation and its leaders may wish for nothing else but a permanent end to the pandemic, politically speaking, this situation represents a great risk – and a potential opportunity – for the governing Liberals.

Nearly half (45%) of those who are personally concerned about falling ill with COVID-19 also say they intend to support the Liberal Party in the next election.

Further, just over half of Canadians (51%) are of the view the PM has done a “good job” managing the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest mark Justin Trudeau has received in 2021 and 11 points higher than his personal favourability (40%). A similar, but slightly higher number (55%) say his government has done well on the same file.

In terms of vote intention, the incumbent party continues to hold a five-point advantage over the opposition Conservatives – both parties up one point each, but statistically unchanged in the last week. The NDP (19%), Bloc Quebecois (7%), and Green (3%) parties have also seen little movement over the last seven days.

Beneath the surface, however, a concerning revelation lurks for the already troubled Greens. While all of the other major national parties are generally succeeding in holding onto their 2019 voters, fully 43 per cent of those who cast a ballot for the Greens two years ago have moved to the Liberals, nearly double the number (22%) who say they will vote Green again in the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are not only holding onto past voters, but the party’s base is also home to those who are most certain about their vote. Half (48%) of those who intend to vote for the CPC are absolutely committed, compared to just 28 per cent for the incumbent Liberals and 29 per cent for Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats.

Chart, bar chart Description automatically generated

More Key Findings:

  • While COVID-19 concern rises, it is still outpaced nationally by concern over health care (36%), the environment (36%), housing affordability (27%), and the economy (27%).
  • At least three-quarters of supporters for each of the four largest federal parties say they will support the same party they voted for in 2019.
  • Erin O’Toole (27%) continues to place last in favourability when compared with Jagmeet Singh (47%), Yves-Francois Blanchet (46%) and Justin Trudeau (40%) (see detailed tables).

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (9233 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – Fourth wave concerns might benefit the Liberals

  1. Ian MacKenzie // August 12, 2021 at 11:23 AM // Reply

    These are frightening percentages. And all the more reason for immediate election reform so that 1% of the vote gets 1% of the power. As well, the most recent horrific U.N. broadside report on climate change and its effects, by itself, should convince us to change our outdated and dangerous FPTP election policies.

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