Almost 70 per cent of Canadians say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent cabinet shuffle will have no impact on their likelihood of voting Liberal in the next federal election, according to a new poll.
The same poll, conducted by Nanos Research for The Globe and Mail, found that almost 20 per cent of respondents said the shuffle will make them less likely to vote for the Liberals.
The cabinet moves, which Mr. Trudeau announced late last month, left only eight ministers in their previous jobs.
Among seven ministers who were removed from cabinet entirely were familiar faces such as now-former justice minister David Lametti and now-former public safety minister Marco Mendicino. Anita Anand moved from national defence to the Treasury Board, Sean Fraser moved from immigration to housing, government house leader Mark Holland became health minister and Pablo Rodriguez went from heritage to transport.
In announcing the shakeup, Mr. Trudeau promised to place a greater emphasis on the economy and housing, for the “millions of Canadians who are struggling.”
Because of the confidence and supply agreement between Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals and the NDP, in which the NDP supports the government in exchange for action on key issues, no election is expected before 2025. Mr. Trudeau has said he will lead the Liberals into that election.
Nik Nanos, the chief data scientist for Nanos Research, said in an e-mail that research suggests Canadians do not consider the cabinet shuffle a reset for Mr. Trudeau’s government, which has been in power since 2015.
“The government will most likely be judged by what it does, and not the shuffling of cabinet members. Right now Canadians are focused on economic issues like inflation,” Mr. Nanos wrote.
“Putting a new face on portfolios may be a first step but is not enough to materially change the political landscape where the Conservatives have been enjoying a sustained advantage in popular support over the Liberals.”
Respondents to the poll were asked, “Does this cabinet shuffle make you more likely to vote Liberal, less likely to vote Liberal or does it have no impact on your likelihood to vote Liberal in the next federal election?”
A total of 69.5 per cent said “no impact.” Another 7.9 per cent said they were more likely to vote Liberal, 18.4 per cent said they were less likely to vote Liberal, and 4.3 per cent said they were unsure.
A total of 52.7 per cent said, in response to another question, that the cabinet shuffle would have “no impact” on their impression of the Liberal government, while 21.8 per cent said it would have a somewhat negative or negative impact. Another 17.4 per cent said the shuffle would have a positive or somewhat positive impact.
The polling also found that respondents were divided over whether Mr. Trudeau is the leader most trusted to support economic growth, or whether that distinction belongs to federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.
Twenty-nine per cent supported Mr. Poilievre, and 27 per cent supported Mr. Trudeau. At 7.1 per cent, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh finished behind “none of them,” at 20.1 per cent, and “unsure,” at 9.1 per cent. In April, the same question in another Nanos survey resulted in 27 per cent for Mr. Poilievre and 30 per cent for Mr. Trudeau.
Mr. Nanos noted that Mr. Trudeau had an eight-percentage-point advantage in this category in 2019, when his closest competition was then-Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. That advantage disappeared under Mr. Scheer’s successor, Erin O’Toole.
“Now the numbers are close between Poilievre and Trudeau. Usually incumbent prime ministers enjoy an advantage on economic issues just by being prime minister. That is not the case today.”
The same research found 39 per cent of respondents said the rising cost of living is the issue that should be the top priority for the House of Commons this fall. Fifteen per cent said health care and 12 per cent said the environment. The deficit or debt was tied with housing at 10 per cent.
Nanos conducted a hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,081 Canadians 18 years of age or older between July 30 and Aug. 2, as part of an omnibus survey.
The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.