Singh’s Dip in Support Might Indicate NDP Supporters Turning to Liberal Party

With only one more week left to go in the election campaign, a recent dip in support for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh could indicate that some of his party’s supporters are swinging to the Liberals, according to pollster Nik Nanos.

According to Nanos Research’s nightly tracking data conducted for CTV News and the Globe and Mail, support for Mr. Singh as the preferred prime minister has steadily declined over the past four days. The latest polling data, which was released Monday, put him at 16.3 percent support – a marked drop from the 21.2 percent support he enjoyed on Thursday.

“The one definitive trend in the last four days is Jagmeet Singh and the big question is: ‘Is that a leading indicator that some New Democrats might swing to the Liberals?’” Mr. Nanos asked during Monday’s edition of CTV’s Trend Line podcast.

While Mr. Nanos said it’s too early to tell how Mr. Singh’s waning support might affect the final results, he said a leader’s polling numbers usually provide an early indication of the party’s overall support.

“For people that are supporting the New Democrats, it’s not like one day they support the New Democrats and another day they support another party,” Mr. Nanos said. “So Singh should be a little worried about his numbers declining because it may suggest that some of this support might decline perhaps later this week.”

As for why Mr. Singh’s popularity appears to be dropping, Mr. Nanos said the leader’s support has been consistent throughout the campaign and the decline has only been over the past four days, which coincides with when the English-language leaders’ debate aired on Sept. 9.

In addition to the debate, Mr. Nanos said the NDP recently revealed how they would pay for their election promises with the release of their costed platform on Saturday. According to the party’s calculations, the NDP’s platform would cost $214 billion over five years, with $166 billion in projected revenues from the Parliamentary Budget Office.

“Within the context of the other two parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, they’re still spending more money, and now the New Democrats with their platform, want to outspend both the Liberals and the Conservatives,” Mr. Nanos said.

“We’ll see in a couple of nights whether perhaps people aren’t hot on that much of a deficit and that much of an increase in spending.”

In terms of support for the other party leaders, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau continues to maintain his slight lead on the preferred prime minister front with 33 percent support, followed by Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole with 28 percent. The People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier leads among the remaining parties with six percent support, trailed by Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet at 3.5 percent and Green Party Leader Annamie Paul at 2.6 percent.

Interestingly, Mr. Nanos noted that the percentage of Canadians who are undecided in their choice of preferred prime minister has plummeted to 10.6 percent.

“It’s the lowest that we’ve seen in the campaign and it’s quite low,” he said.

With advance polling already underway and the clock ticking, Mr. Nanos said the parties will have their work cut out for them during this final “white-knuckle week” of the campaign.

According to the nightly tracking data released on Monday, here’s how Mr. Nanos’ daily ballot tracking numbers break down:

  • Liberals 33.2 percent;
  • Conservatives 30.2 percent;
  • NDP 18.6 percent;
  • Bloc Quebecois 6.8 per cent;
  • People’s Party of Canada 6.6 percent; and
  • Green Party 3.8 percent

“It’s still a statistical tie. I know it shows the Liberals numerically ahead, but it’s still very close between the Liberals and the Conservatives,” Mr. Nanos said. “[It’s] a toss-up right now.”

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