Canadian public's faith in Trudeau's ethics sinks due to SNC affair: Nanos survey

A boost in support for Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and steady numbers for Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

Lucas Holtvluwer Montreal QC

New polling from Nanos Research reveals that the SNC-Lavalin scandal, particularly after the damning testimony of former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould last Wednesday, is making a dent in the "Sunny Ways" brand of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Prior to the testimony of Wilson Raybould, Justin Trudeau's ethical rating sat at 17% This was good enough for third place among the party leaders, with 21% of Canadians viewing Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer as the most ethical topped only by Green Party leader Elizabeth May at 23%.

However, following the testimony of Wilson-Raybould, trust in Trudeau's ethics has dropped five points to 12%. Scheer's numbers remained unchanged at 21% but May's received a big boost, climbing up to 29%.

Notably, throughout both waves of polling, the percentage of Canadians who remained unsure or did not view any of the party leaders as ethical remained at 27%.

Party ethics

On a party level, the Liberals are not faring any better. In the first wave of polling done from February 23-26, only 14% of Canadians viewed the governing Liberals as the most ethical political party.

The numbers for the Greens and Conservatives remained the same from the leadership polling, with the parties sitting at 23% and 21% respectively.

The NDP, however, received a boost at the party level with 12% of Canadians saying they were the most ethical political party, as compared to only 7% who viewed Jagmeet Singh as the most ethical party leader.

Government ethics

Canadians, when given a binary choice between an Andrew Scheer Conservative government and a Justin Trudeau Liberal government in the first wave of polling, chose Trudeau's Liberals as the more ethical option at 39%, followed by Scheer's Conservatives at 34%.

However, in the second wave of polling, faith in the ethics of Trudeau's government fell five points, tying him with Scheer's Conservatives at 34%. The difference was carried over into the unsure category, with 32% of Canadians being unable to make up their minds, up from 27% in the first wave.

Influential at the ballot box

The Nanos survey also asked Canadians how this recent SNC-Lavalin controversy would affect their vote this October. The response in the first wave of polling was fairly low with only 17% of Canadians saying the SNC-Lavalin controversy would affect their vote.

However, in the second wave, that number rose to 26%, with one in four Canadians agreeing that it would impact their vote.

While the economy clearly remains the top issue for many Canadians, in the wake of the devastating testimony of Wilson-Raybould last week, the importance of the SNC-Lavalin scandal is certainly increasing in the minds of Canadian voters.

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