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Values Issues Blows Up Tory Leadership Race

Sept. 13,2016, (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the Conservative Party leadership race has blown wide open. With 5,250 Canadians surveyed from September 7-8, the Mainstreet/Postmedia Phone Poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.35%, 19 times out of 20.

Liberals Supported by Majority of Canadians
“Canadians are giving Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals an extended honeymoon as we near 11
months since their election to a majority government,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research.

“Their support is increasing in fact and now represents a clear majority at 51% among decided and leaning voters.”

“These numbers are unprecedented and signal growing support for the Prime Minister and his
government’s aggressive agenda. This is being driven by Trudeaus’ personal popularity and his
international attention highlighted this summer with a visit to China that was widely followed.”
“The Conservatives continue to maintain their support with Interim leader Rona Ambrose at the helm. Just under 3 in 10 voters say they support the Conservatives (29%) with their leads in Alberta and Saskatchewan continuing, although down slightly since April 2016. As the Conservative leadership contest comes in to full swing and media attention increases exposure for some lesser known candidates, we would expect these numbers to move but with continued strength for the Liberals and the popularity of Trudeau, it’s unclear in which direction.”

“Meanwhile, the federal NDP spiral continues as their support continues to plumb new depths under interim leader Thomas Mulcair. Recent reports of a movement to see him exit ahead of the next NDP leadership as planned may lead to greater instability and little change in support. It is hard to imagine that a year ago at this time, Mulcair and the NDP were largely considered as the likely successors to Harper and the Conservatives. Their support across Canada now sits at just 12% among decided and leaning voters, down another 2% from their previous levels.”

“The NDP leadership contest has done little to draw attention or interest in the NDP as most early favourites have opted to pass. New candidates may emerge in time that bring some energy and attention to the federal NDP.”

Conservative Leadership Race Blown wide open
“It appears that the fortunes of Kellie Leitch have risen from the ashes in her bid to become the next leader of the Conservative Party. Recent media attention surrounding her controversial proposal to screen immigrants for “Canadian values” has resulted in a significant increase in her profile and her popularity among Conservative voters. Although her support and approvals remains behind the front runner, Peter McKay, at 15% she trails by only 4 to his 19% support and leads a large field followed by Tony Clement at 11% and newcomers Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole who both came in at 9% support among Conservative voters. This race has now been blown wide open.”

“Beyond the level of support for Kellie Leitch, this issue has resulted in her approval to increase from just 12% in April to 28% although her disapproval has also increased from 12% to 23%. Most significantly, overall awareness of her among Conservative voters is up with just 24% saying they weren’t familiar with Ms. Leitch compared to over one third in April. (34%)”

“The exit of Jason Kenney from this race and the less and less likely candidacy of American reality TV star Kevin O’Leary has opened the door to new contenders. Whether this increase in support for Kellie Leitch, or the significant support for Scheer and O’Toole is a long term trend remains to be seen.”

“The biggest losers in this race appear to be those candidates that have most vocally opposed immigrant
screening. This includes Michael Chong and Maxime Bernier who both remain flat. Bernier’s lead among
Quebec Conservative supporters has evaporated. This reminds me of Mulcair during the 2015 federal
election, where his position on the niqab debate, alienated supporters in Quebec.”

Canadian support for core Values and Immigrant screening 

“65% of Canadians support the reproductive rights of women, including two thirds of women with just 25% against and 1 in 10 not sure. (11%) When asked about a same sex couple’s rights to marry, 70% agree while 16% disagree and 14% are unsure. 37% of Canadians say immigrants who don’t support reproductive rights or same sex marriage rights should be allowed to come to Canada compared to 24% who would bar those who don’t support reproductive rights and 36% who would say the same for those who don’t support same sex marriage.”

“Conservative voters are more likely to support screening immigrants for support of both reproductive
rights or same sex marriage rights when compared to Liberal and NDP voters, 33% of Conservatives, 27% of NDP voters and just 18% of Liberals.”

“Most interestingly, 26% of those who don’t support abortion themselves say that immigrants who oppose should not be allowed in Canada. Similarly, 43% of those who disagree with same sex marriage themselves say immigrants should be barred who don’t support same sex marriage.”

Majority Concerned about “lone wolf” terrorist attacks
“A Majority of Canadians (54%) are concerned about the possibility of “lone wolf” terrorism in Canada
including almost 1 in 3 who are very concerned (29%). An equal majority (54%) are confident in the abilities of the RCMP to prevent these types of attacks, but just 18% are very confident. Those concerned includes a majority of Conservative (65%) and Bloc voters (63%) and just 48% among NDP supporters and 45% among Liberals. Confidence in the RCMP is highest among Liberal voters (62%) compared to 53% of Conservative supporters and just 46% of NDP voters,” finished Maggi.

About Mainstreet Research
Mainstreet is a national public research firm. With 20 years of political experience at all three levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian public affairs. Differentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling firm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling firm to correctly predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

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Mainstreet – Nat. CPC Values Final by Mainstreet on Scribd