Perceptions of Justin Trudeau's leadership abilities have tumbled, according to a new poll, while Stephen Harper regained the lead as the top choice for prime minister.
A Global News/Ipsos Reid poll released Monday found that Mr. Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, was the choice of 38 per cent of respondents as "best prime minister," an increase of three points since September of 2014. He was followed by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair with 31 per cent support (up seven points from September) and Mr. Trudeau, the Liberal Leader, with 30 per cent (down 12 points).
Support for Mr. Trudeau also fell on a number of specific leadership questions, compared with February of 2014. On the measure of "someone you can trust," Mr. Harper was the choice of 36 per cent of respondents (up five points), followed by Mr. Mulcair with 32 per cent (up two points) and Mr. Trudeau with 31 per cent (down seven points).
Mr. Harper led on most of the 11 traits, including "someone who will get things done," "someone who is best to manage during tough economic times," and "someone whose values best represent my own," many of which previously went for Mr. Trudeau.
Mr. Mulcair narrowly edged ahead of his rivals as the choice of which leader would best "provide an open, responsible and ethical government" with 34 per cent support.
On the question of which leader was best described as having a "hidden agenda," 48 per cent chose Mr. Harper, 33 per cent picked Mr. Trudeau and 19 per cent said Mr. Mulcair.
The poll was conducted from April 2 to 7, and surveyed 1,001 Canadians online. The results were demographically weighted and are considered accurate within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Other results from the same Global News Ipsos Reid survey indicated that, when decided voters were asked which party they would vote for, 35 per cent of respondents supported the Conservatives, 33 per cent supported the Liberals and 25 per cent supported the NDP. Nearly half of respondents said they approved of the performance of the Conservative government, and about the same number said Mr. Harper deserved to be re-elected.
The next federal election is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015.