Many analysts are interpreting the Conservative Party of Canada’s commanding lead in public opinion polls as a rejection of Prime Minister Trudeau’s climate change policies. However, a recent survey conducted by Abacus Data suggests that this is not the case.
The survey reveals that a majority of Canadians prioritize a Conservative Party that upholds Canada’s climate initiatives rather than one that rolls them back. This sentiment is shared across all provinces, age groups, and genders. Most strikingly, it’s also shared by a majority of Conservative voters.
The survey indicates that 54% of Conservative voters would be more likely to vote for a Conservative Party that at least maintains Canada’s current climate change and clean energy measures. In addition, one-sixth of Conservative voters are less likely to vote for the party if it weakens Canada’s climate change commitments.
Overall, 42% of Canadians would be more likely to vote for a pro-climate Conservative Party, while only 13% would be less likely.
The Abacus poll also found that Alberta, widely regarded as Canada’s most Conservative province, is almost as pro-clean energy as the rest of the country. 90% of Canadians consider the clean energy sector important to the Canadian economy. 84% of Albertans hold the same view.
The Abacus survey is far from the first poll to indicate that Conservative voters support clean energy. A 2022 poll conducted by Leger found that 62% of Conservatives want the party to take more action to fight climate change.
Other survey findings
The Abacus poll asked many other questions about Canadians’ attitudes towards the clean energy transition. The responses provided further confirmation that Canadians are pro-clean energy.
63% of Canadians recognize that opting for electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps is more affordable than choosing fossil fuel alternatives. Quebec, a province known for its high EV adoption, exhibits particularly high levels of awareness.
When it comes to preferences in power generation, clean energy sources such as solar (74%), wind (67%), and hydropower (67%) receive strong support from Canadians. Notably, only 46% support natural gas, and merely 18% support coal.
Canadians overwhelmingly believe that both federal and provincial governments are responsible for driving the energy transition. 90% view the federal government as very or somewhat responsible, and 89% attribute the same responsibility to provincial governments.
Image Source: Mike Hudema