Singh's popularity soars, but party fails to follow suit: Nanos

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh makes his way through a crowd of university students in Toronto, on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TORONTO – Over the course of the campaign, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s personal popularity has been steadily increasing, but the same can’t be said for his party.

That’s according to polling data from Nanos Research, commissioned by CTV News and The Globe and Mail, which saw the NDP leader’s support surge 10 points from the beginning of September.

Pollster Nik Nanos said Singh’s support has grown from 36 per cent on Sept. 13 to 46 per cent on Oct. 8. in a survey asking respondents which party leader possesses the qualities of a good political leader.

“What the research clearly shows is that the one big winner on the brand front has actually been Jagmeet Singh,” he told CTV’s Trend Line podcast on Wednesday.

You can subscribe to Trend Line with Nik Nanos and Michael Stittle on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and Spotify.

By comparison, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s support has hovered around 40 per cent throughout the campaign and currently sits at 42 per cent.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s support has fallen from 41 per cent at the beginning of the campaign to 36 per cent. Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet enjoys 43 per cent support while People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier sits at 15 per cent in this survey.

The only leader with more popularity than Singh in this category is Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who enjoys 48 per cent support, a slight dip from the start of the campaign when he had 51 per cent of support.

“On the brand power, Singh is the big improver and Bernier is the loser,” Nanos said.

Some of the NDP leader’s rise in popularity has been attributed to the way he responded to several racist confrontations on the campaign trail as well as his performance at the first official English-language debate on Monday night.

In fact, the day after the debate, during which Singh delivered a number of well-received one-liners, large crowds of young supporters mobbed the NDP leader at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Among those surveyed by Nanos Research between the ages of 18 and 29, 56 per cent said he has the qualities of a good leader.

The politician’s popularity among younger generations appeared to be cemented when mega-popstar Rihanna followed him on Instagram last week. Toronto rapper Drake also recently briefly followed Singh on the social media platform.

NDP continues to trail

While Singh, himself, is rising in the polls, his party has failed to follow suit.

Citing their latest nightly tracking data, Nanos said the NDP have only 13 per cent of support, well behind the Liberals at 36 per cent and the Conservatives at 35 per cent.

“That same type of lift that we’ve seen for Jagmeet Singh’s personal brand has not occurred in the ballot box,” Nanos explained.

The Green Party continues to sit in fourth place with 9 per cent while the Bloc Quebecois and the PPC trail behind at 5 per cent and 1 per cent support, respectively.

In terms of polling data for preferred prime minister, Trudeau has a slight edge with 31.8 per cent while Scheer has 30.4 per cent. Singh received 10.9 per cent of support followed by May at 8.3 per cent, Blanchet at 2.3 per cent, and Bernier at 1.6 per cent.

With the Liberals and the Conservatives still duking it out for first place, Nanos said the next three days of the campaign will be pivotal for all of the parties ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. He said the holiday weekend usually drives numbers in a particular direction after families have an opportunity to sit around the dinner table and discuss the election.

“Trying to pivot the campaign next week is probably going to be a little too late,” he said. “After people have their turkey and make a decision, I’m not sure if you’re going to be able to turn back the clock.”

Methodology

The Nightly Nanos Election Tracking is produced by Nanos Research, CTV News and the Globe and Mail. The data is based on dual frame (land + cell-lines) random telephone interviews using live agents of 1,200 Canadians using a three night rolling average of 400 respondents each evening, 18 years of age and over.

The random sample of 1,200 respondents may be weighted by age and gender using the latest census information for Canada. The interviews are compiled into a three night rolling average of 1,200 interviews, where each evening the oldest group of 400 interviews is dropped and a new group of 400 interviews is added.

A random telephone survey of 1,200 Canadians is accurate ±2.8 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.