A weird phenomenon is starting to show itself in Canadian public opinion polls.
When you ask a man who’s their favorite prime minister, they answer by a wide margin:.this guy (Conservative Pierre Poilievre). When you ask women, the answer also by quite a large margin is: this guy (Liberal Justin Trudeau).
There’s always been a gender gap in Canadian political opinions. Generally, ladies lean progressives and dudes lean conservative. That’s why, after women got the vote in 1918, you suddenly got a whole bunch of progressive policy, like prohibition. But the gender gap is starting to get ridiculous.
This chart from an Angus Reid Institute poll shows the voting intentions of men under age 35. That’s an huge showing for the conservatives, more than enough to give them a majority government, if only young men were voting. When you look at the under 35 women, they want a majority NDP governement with the Tories in third place.
It’s not entirely clear how things got this way. But if these trends continue, pretty soon we”ll just have elections contested by the men party against the women party.
A Deeper Dive Into the Gender Gap
FIRST READING: The vast gender gap between how Canadians think Trudeau is doing
If only men voted, the next election would be a Tory landslide.
If only women, Trudeau might get another term
As the Conservatives claw their way to a steady lead in public opinion polls, a stubborn trend is beginning to show itself in the survey data: Canadian women and men are increasingly at odds over who they think should run the government.
If only men voted in the next election, the Conservatives would skip to an easy majority. If only women voted, Canada could potentially be swearing in history’s first NDP minority.
In a March 16 Angus Reid Institute poll, the Conservatives were the clear favourite across every single category of Canadian men. Even among under-34 males — a group that has reliably leaned NDP since the 1990s — an incredible 40 per cent expressed an intention to vote Tory.
Among under-35 women, the gender gap couldn’t be more pronounced: 44 per cent intended to vote for the NDP, 21 per cent wanted to stick with the Liberals and 20 per cent wanted the Conservatives.
In fact, of all the demographics tracked by Angus Reid, just one still had the Liberals as their favourite party: Women over 54. While every other category of Canadian has long broken for either the Tories or the NDP, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still enjoyed a commanding 42 per cent support among women born before 1970.
A March 13 Leger poll also uncovered evidence of men and women stampeding to different sides of the political spectrum. The NDP, in particular, had 23 per cent of women in their court against just 14 per cent of men.
But after eight years of the Trudeau government, women and men have reached a political divide virtually unknown in modern times. It’s most apparent when it comes to the approval ratings for Prime Minister Trudeau.
“Women prefer Trudeau to Poilievre by almost 20 percentage points. That’s half the electorate, folks,” Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, wrote in a recent op-ed.
According to just-released numbers from Abacus Data, 36 per cent of Canadian men harboured “very negative” views of the prime minister. Women aren’t huge fans of Trudeau, but the dislike wasn’t nearly as intense; just 26 per cent of female respondents checked the “very negative” box.
“It is worth noting that a sizeable portion of men didn’t always hate Trudeau,” wrote Abacus Data CEO David Coletto in a blog post. “When he was first elected, only 10 per cent had a very negative view. Today, it has more than tripled.”
The Trudeau government has worked hard to brand itself as the most climate
conscious government in Canadian history. At the same time,
Canada is famous for having the world’s largest “gender gap”
in terms of concerns about climate change.
In a massive international poll conducted by the United Nations in 2021, Canada ranked number one in terms of female citizens who believed in a “climate emergency” more than their male counterparts.
The Liberals’ tenure has also been defined by a series of pushes for increased gun control. Most recently a sweeping ban on long guns that was eventually withdrawn after widespread opposition from hunters, Indigenous groups and rural MPs.
A mere four per cent of Canadian gun owners are women. And according to Gallup data from the United States, differentials in gun ownership are a primary reason that women are often far more supportive of gun control than men.
And one more poll result to close out the newsletter. According to Nanos, Canadian institutions are absolutely hemorrhaging public goodwill almost everywhere. In just the last two years, surveyors found that everything from the health-care system to the Supreme Court of Canada had lost public approval by double digits. A few examples …
- The Supreme Court of Canada. In 2021, 69 per cent thought it was “making Canada better.” Now, it’s 54 per cent.
- The Canadian health-care system. In 2021, 81 per cent though it was making Canada better. Now, it’s 65 per cent.
- The House of Commons. In 2021, 52 per cent thought it was making Canada better. Now, it’s 38 per cent.
- The Prime Minister’s Office. In 2021, 50 per cent thought it was making Canada better. Now, it’s 41 per cent.