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Harper Falls to Third Place behind Rivals on Previously Key Attribute Advantages 

Harper Now Trails Mulcair and Trudeau on both Who is Best to Deal with Canada’s Shaky Economy and Who Would Make Best Prime Minister

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Toronto, ON – The traditional advantage that the Harper Conservatives have had on economic files has evaporated and has turned into an advantage for Thomas Mulcair and the NDP, while at the same time Mulcair continues to solidify his lead as the man voters believe would make the best Prime Minister, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.

Thinking about which party and leader voters see as best able to deal with the weak performance of Canada’s economy, four in ten (36%) believe that Thomas Mulcair and the NDP are best suited to deal with this file. By comparison, one third (33%) believe Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would be best on this issue, while only three in ten (31%) believe Harper and the Conservatives would be best, placing them last on an issue that they’ve traditionally dominated in the past.

In April of 2015, when asked which leader is “best to manage during tough economic times”, Stephen Harper (45%) was by far the clear choice of Canadians over Mulcair (28%) and Trudeau (27%), underscoring how perceptions can completely change in just a few months’ time.

Moreover, four in ten (39%) believe that Thomas Mulcair is the leader that would make the best Prime Minister, up 2 points, solidifying his lead over Justin Trudeau (32%, unchanged) and Stephen Harper (29%, down 2 points).

The economic policy platforms of each of the major parties have yet to be revealed in great detail. In the poll, Canadians were presented with eleven different ideas that have been crafted by the various political parties, and were asked whether or not they agreed that Canada’s next government should pursue such a policy. Interestingly, fewer than half (46%) of Canadians believe that sticking to the current approach to managing the economy is the best way forward (a majority of 54% disagrees with this approach), which perhaps underscores the Harper Conservative’s present struggles. Interestingly, more agree with balancing the budget (81%) than running deficits to increase infrastructure spending in order to create jobs (61%).

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These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 4 to 8, 2015 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 949 Canadians eligible to vote was interviewed online via the Ipsos I-Say Panel. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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