Majority Want Conservatives and Liberals to Get New Leaders

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The latest Canadian Press/Harris Decima survey probed perceptions about the leadership of political parties

According to Harris/Decima Chairman Allan Gregg: “These findings point both to a lack of enthusiasm for the leadership options available to Canadians and also go a long way to explaining why we have seen so little change in voter choice in the recent past. First, with a majority of voters voicing a preference for a leadership change in both major parties, it is clear they have little motivation to give there current preference the due consideration necessary to change their mind. When you look below the surface however, you also can see that resistance to Stephen Harper's leadership comes almost exclusively from outside of his Party's support base, whereas antipathy to Michael Ignatieff is not only found among non-Liberals but also within his own Party. Harper's leadership is very secure (in fact, he has more support within his base than even Duceppe has within the BQ's) but he cannot grow beyond his base. The lack of enthusiasm for Mr. Ignatieff on the other hand makes it very difficult for him to capitalize on the antipathy non-Conservatives exhibit towards Mr. Harper."
 

  • Half believe the Conservative Party needs a new leader. Nationally, 50% express this view, with 30% saying the Conservatives definitely need a new leader, and 20% saying they probably need a new leader. The desire to see a new Conservative leader is most pronounced in Quebec where 63% would like to see someone else lead the Conservatives. A majority of respondents on the Prairies believe the Conservatives probably or definitely do not need a new leader, while across gender lines women (54%) are more likely than men (45%) to say the Conservatives need a new leader.
  • Across voting intention lines, the Conservative base remains quite confident in their leader. Just 7% state the party definitely needs a new leader, while 14% indicate they probably need a new leader. Three in four Conservatives (74%) believe the party does not need a new leader.
  • Canadians are even more likely to say the Liberals are in need of a new leader. Roughly two-in-three Canadians (64%) are of the view the Liberals need a new leader; including 40% who say the party definitely needs a new leader. The sense the Liberals need a new leader is relatively consistent from coast to coast. Similarly, across income and gender lines, opinion was almost uniform in the view the Liberals need a new leader.
  • The Liberals face problems within their own base on this issue as well. A majority of Liberals (59%) believe the party needs a new leader, with 34% being of the view they definitely need one. Just over one in three Liberals (35%) believes the party does not need a new leader.
  • Canadians have a more favourable view of the leadership of the NDP. Nationally, 36% believe the NDP needs a new leader with half of this group (18%) saying the NDP definitely needs a new leader. Those under the age of 50, along with residents east of Ontario are most likely to say the party does not need a new leader, while a majority of Albertans (51%) believe the party does need a new leader.
  • There is slight resistance among NDP voters to the party’s leadership, with 36% believing the party definitely (11%) or probably (25%) needs a new leader. A majority (60%), however, believes the party does not need a new leader.
  • A similar number of people in Quebec (37%) believe the BQ needs a new leader, while 52% believes they do not need a new leader. Among BQ voters this number drops to 26% who feel the party needs a new leader, while 71% feel they do not need a new leader.
  •  Nationally, 24% of respondents believe the Green Party needs a new leader, while 44% believe they do not need a new leader. Those intending to vote Green are more likely to have an opinion on the matter, with 25% believing the party needs a new leader, and 64% saying they do not.

Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1000 Canadians through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey. The most recent data were gathered between November 11 and November 14, 2010. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.