Politics

Justin Trudeau, babysitter? Poll tests leaders' images on range of questions

A new poll suggests more Canadians believe Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is the federal political leader who'd best be able to survive in the wilderness, while NDP Leader Tom Mulcair comes out on top if they need to borrow $100, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is thought to be able to give the best career advice.

Liberal leader seems to be most fun, while PM chosen to offer advice and NDP leader to lend money

A poll by Abacaus Data found more respondents would choose to have Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau babysit their children for an evening. Trudeau is seen here balancing his five-month-old son Hadrien on his hand last summer. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Justin Trudeau could take care of your pet and suggest a great movie. Stephen Harper would offer solid career advice and help your teen figure out what to do with her life. Tom Mulcair would have your back if you needed to borrow some cash.

new poll released Wednesday by Abacus Data took a decidedly new spin on the oft-cited question, "with which federal political leader would you most want to have a beer?"

The survey queried 1,005 Canadians 18 years and older on 16 scenarios, including which federal political leader would be best able to figure out how to survive in the wilderness, which would be most likely to stop and help with your car if you're stranded, and which would offer the best investment advice (the answers respectively are Trudeau, Trudeau again, and Harper).

(Abacus Data)

The online survey was conducted between Jan. 26 and 28, with a random sample of panellists. The respondents were chosen from a large representative panel of Canadians and has a margin of error comparable to plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20, but no margin of error can be assigned because the survey was conducted online. 

Mulcair, the New Democrat leader, was chosen by a plurality of Canadians polled on only one of the 16 scenarios: 38 per cent thought he is the leader most likely to lend them $100. The same number thought he'd be most likely to stop and help them if they were stranded in their car, although Liberal Leader Trudeau narrowly edged him out with 40 per cent of the vote.

Prime Minister Harper was far back of both opposition leaders on that question, clocking in at 22 per cent.

Harper scored the best when people were asked who they would prefer to negotiate a contract on their behalf (38 per cent of respondents), give life advice to their children (37 per cent) or approach for career advice (41 per cent). Mulcair wasn't far behind Harper on those categories, while Trudeau ranked third.

Trudeau scores high on social activities

Harper soared far above the two other party leaders on the question of which leader would have the best ideas about where to invest money (46 per cent) and who would make the best CEO of a large company (47 per cent). Mulcair scored second to Harper on those questions.

It seems Trudeau is seen to be best-suited of the three leaders for domestic tasks: the poll respondents picked him as the leader they'd:

  • Most like to have over for dinner with their family (43 per cent).
  • Most like to go on vacation with (55 per cent).
  • Prefer to have babysit their children (44 per cent).
  • Cook the best meal (41 per cent).
  • Trust to look after their pet (40 per cent). 
  • Most want to hear sing their favourite song (47 per cent).

Although Harper registered a solid 30 per cent support himself, that last one may sting Harper in particular. The prime minister is known to love music and has performed publicly, singing and playing the piano.

Perhaps the poll respondents were concerned he'd want to sing some Nickelback, being a fan of the Canadian band.

The poll's data was weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada's population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region.

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