Trudeau’s convoy response gets a failing grade, but even fewer protesters support: poll

As the so-called “freedom convoy” draws to a close in Ottawa, Canadians remain divided on what they think of the protests.

According to a new Ipsos poll released Thursday, Canadians’ approval of Justin Trudeau’s handling of the convoy blockade was just seven points higher than that of protesters.

The poll conducted exclusively for Global News showed that 43% of Canadians approved of Trudeau’s handling of the three-week protests in Ottawa, while 36% supported the way truckers behaved throughout the occupation.


In Ontario, where most protest activity was concentrated, 49% approved of Doug Ford’s handling of the situation, narrowly beating 46% who approved of Trudeau’s performance.

“Particularly worrying is that 52% of people we polled said the Prime Minister’s divisive rhetoric and the way he approached the protest was primarily responsible for what happened,” Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, told Global News. .

Read more:

46% of Canadians sympathize with the trucking convoy, but many disagree with their tactics: poll

Bricker explained that Trudeau characterized the people who were part of the protest as those who voted for opposition parties, particularly the People’s Party and the Conservative Party, but “the data shows that people are not particularly united. around a kind of partisan choice. ”

“It’s really about a group of the population…who really feel left out, left out and very concerned about how the government is not only handling the pandemic, but also how the economy is going. right now,” Bricker said. .

“They have a very contested sense of hope. But it’s not defined in partisan terms. The Prime Minister has chosen to define it in those terms, and the public reaction to it has been quite negative. As we saw in the poll results, 52% of the population said he had added fuel to the fire,” he added.

According to the poll, nearly 46% say that while they disagree with everything convoy participants have said and done in Ottawa, their frustration is legitimate and worthy of people’s sympathy.

“So even though things got worse during the protest, it really didn’t affect what people thought of the protesters themselves,” Bricker said.

About 48% of people also said the protest probably wouldn’t have happened if people weren’t feeling the level of economic frustration they are feeling.


On top of that, 54% of Canadians also believe the protests in Ottawa have at least partially contributed to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

Bricker said the problem here is that “while the authorities may not like it,” the data shows the protesters have won some sympathy among the Canadian public.

The poll also indicates that “a deep generational divide is evident”, with a majority of people aged 18-34 (58%) and 35-54 (53%) sympathizing with the protesters, compared to only 32% of the elderly. over 55 years old.

Bricker said younger Canadians feel very insecure in this economy and sympathize more with the frustration the convoy presents than older Canadians and those who are more economically secure.

“Usually we see things through a partisan lens or we see it through a regional lens. Not this time. It’s a different kind of division that we see,” he said.

Polling results also show that Trudeau is not the only person Canadians blame for handling the protests.

According to the poll, 50% of Canadians agree that the Conservative Party and its senior leaders are responsible for these protests because they initially encouraged the protesters.

Four in 10 (39%) agree that premiers are primarily responsible for these protests because they imposed unreasonable restrictions that have lasted too long, and half (48%) agree that if Canadians weren’t suffering as much economic hardship as it is, these trucker protests would never have happened.


However, Bricker said that while people are looking for winners and losers in these numbers, there are none.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it’s the most divided and frustrated I can remember seeing Canadian public opinion. And there doesn’t seem to be any leadership on the horizon… where people would most expect to find leadership that improves this,” Bricker said.

“(The country) is very divided and unstable in terms of how the public feels about things right now. And we look for signs of hope in the data, and we just don’t see them,” he added.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 18 and 22, 2022 on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 and over was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were used to ensure that the composition of the sample reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The accuracy of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadians aged 18 and over had 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.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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