Justin Trudeau is boosting the fortunes of the federal Liberals in Atlantic Canada, according to a new Corporate Research Associates survey.
The federal Liberals opened up a wide lead in party support in May, earning the support of 49 per cent of Atlantic Canadians, compared to 24 per cent for both the Conservatives and the NDP.
Don Mills, the chief executive officer of Corporate Research Associates, said the Liberals received the jolt in popularity after Trudeau won his party’s leadership.
"He has had, obviously, a pretty significant impact in the resurgence of the Liberal party. It was only in 2011, just before the election, where the Liberals fell to the lowest support ever in 25 years of tracking in Atlantic Canada," Mills said in an interview.
"Now we see the NDP are falling back to more traditional levels of support and the Liberals are seeing the highest amount of support in eight years.
'You can only attribute it to one thing. The only big thing that happened in the last quarter is the convention to elect Trudeau.' —Don Mills, Corporate Research Associates
"You can only attribute it to one thing. The only big thing that happened in the last quarter is the convention to elect Trudeau."
Trudeau won the federal Liberal leadership in April.
The CRA poll showed the Liberals took support from both the Conservatives and the NDP between the February and May polls.
The Liberals gained 15 percentage points, while the Conservatives lost five percentage points and the NDP dropped seven percentage points.
The federal Liberals have their highest amount of support in Prince Edward Island, where Trudeau’s party has 60 per cent of the province's decided voters.
By comparison, 59 per cent of decided voters in Nova Scotia and 49 per cent of decided voters in Newfoundland and Labrador are picking the Liberals as their preferred political party.
In New Brunswick, the federal Liberals have 43 per cent support, which is the lowest amount of support for the party in the region.
The federal Conservatives are the strongest in Nova Scotia, where they have 29 per cent support and are in second place.
The NDP, meanwhile, are in second place in Newfoundland and Labrador with 32 per cent support, which is that party's highest rating in the region.
The Atlantic numbers are tracking a similar path to federal polls, where the Liberals are in top spot followed by the Conservatives and the NDP.
Trudeau is the most popular leader
Trudeau was picked by 42 per cent of respondents as the most popular federal leader, followed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (18 per cent) and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair (15 per cent).
|Which one of the following party leaders would you most prefer as prime minister of Canada?|
|Stephen Harper||Justin Trudeau||Tom Mulcair||Elizabeth May|
Mills said Harper's personal support had held up in the region until recently.
The Harper government continues to be unpopular in the region, according to the survey.
The CRA poll indicated 62 per cent of respondents were either mostly or completely dissatisfied with the overall performance of the federal government, compared to 31 per cent who were mostly or completely satisfied.
In February, 58 per cent of respondents were mostly or completely dissatisfied with the federal government.
Mills said the high number of people who are dissatisfied with the federal government should concern the Tories.
"The levels of satisfaction with the federal government really tell the tale, more than six in 10 are dissatisfied. That makes it very hard for those Conservative incumbents to get re-elected," he said.
CRA’s Mills also said provincial Liberals in Atlantic Canada could be receiving a boost in popularity thanks to their federal leader.
"You can't attribute that only to local politics, not now, not with these numbers," Mills said.
CRA surveyed 1,500 Atlantic Canadians between May 8 and 30. The poll’s margin of error is 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The provincial sample sizes were smaller, which increases the margin of error.
There were 400 people surveyed in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. The margin of error in those provinces is 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The margin of error for Prince Edward Island is 5.6 percentage points, where 300 people were surveyed.