New poll: Canadian voters want Jagmeet Singh as prime minister

Voters find him more favourable than Trudeau or O’Toole and think he would do a better job as prime minister than the other two.

Last week, Angus Reid released their latest election poll results, and it seems that Canadians really want Jagmeet Singh as prime minister.

Most favourable

When the 1,606 participants were asked to rate the federal party leaders as either favourable or unfavourable, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh rose to the top with 46% seeing him either as favourable or very favourable. Justin Trudeau, on the other hand—leader of the Liberal party and current prime minister—got only 37%. Conservative Party leader, Erin O’Toole was even lower, at 28%.

Speaking of low, Singh had the lowest unfavourable rating: 44% rated him as either unfavourable or very unfavourable. Compare that to Trudeau and O’Toole, each of whom received 59%.

The only demographic where Singh did worse than any other leaders was among men 55 years old and older. He tied for second place with Trudeau, at 29%, behind O’Toole, who had the old men vote secured at 45%. Singh got first place in all other age and gender combinations, and women across all age groups viewed him more favourable than the other two party leaders.

When broken down by party allegiance, Singh once again outperforms the other two, by a landslide. Among NDP voters, 92% view Singh positively. Only 78% of Liberal voters see Trudeau in a positive light. And it’s slightly lower for O’Toole, at 75% of CPC voters.

Not only that, but he performs better among other supporters of other parties, too.

Projected performance

Here, take a look at what happens when respondents were asked which party they would vote for and how they thought each party leader would perform if they party ends up winning. I combined “excellent” and “good” together:

Probably vote NDP78%29%4%
Probably vote Liberal40%68%5%
Probably vote CPC10%3%68%

Clearly he does better than the other party leaders among the NDP, but look at Trudeau’s and O’Toole’s numbers among those who intend to vote for their parties. They perform 10 points behind Singh among their party’s faithful.

Plus, among the voters of other parties, Singh does better than the current prime minister and the leader of the opposition. He gets 40% and 10% among the non-NDP parties, compared to 29% and 3% for Trudeau among non-Liberal voters and 5% and 4% for O’Toole with non-CPC participants.

Overall (not just based on party allegiance), Singh again came in first place, with 34% of participants thinking he’d make either an excellent prime minister or a good one. Trudeau managed to get a close 30%, and O’Toole came in nearly 10 points behind Singh, at 25%.

Looking at the opposite side of the spectrum, 37% said Singh would do a poor job or a terrible job as prime minister, compared to 48% for Trudeau and 45% for O’Toole.

Here’s a summary of the three leaders showing how many people find them favourable and how many think they’d do a good or excellent job.


Unsurprisingly, O’Toole performs best in Alberta, where 45% of participants thought he was favourable and 41% think he’d do a good or excellent job as prime minister. Both ratings are the highest in the country.

Singh came in second place in Alberta, with 31% favourability and a 26% positivity rating for job performance. Trudeau got 16% and 13% respectively.

All that being said, the poll shows 33% of respondents saying they’d probably end up voting Liberals when it came down to it, with CPC at second—just barely—at 30% and the NDP still in the low 20s: 21%.

If the NDP are going to be able to translate Singh’s popularity into vote share, they’re going to have to figure out something soon. They haven’t been able to break the 25% mark in 6 years.

UPDATE (4 August 2021): Since I wrote this story, I’ve learned of two other recent polls regarding the expected autumn federal election, one by Léger and one by Nanos. Both polls asked participants to rate party leaders for the role of prime minister.

Léger participants had to pick the “best prime minister” and Nanos participants had to choose their “preferred prime minister”. The 3 main party leaders performed as follows:

Justin Trudeau27%38.0%
Erin O’Toole11%17.3%
Jagmeet Singh19%15.7%

Keep in mind, however, that these two polls don’t negate the findings of the Angus Reid poll, as they’re measuring different things.

Léger and Nanos asked participants to choose just one party leader as the best/preferred prime minister. On the other hand, Angus Reid asked participants to rate each party leader on favourability and expected performance, which would, of course, lead to more crossover between party lines.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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