IN a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1,473 Canadian voters, among the two thirds who are following the Senator Mike Duffy trial in the media (68%), two thirds insist Prime Minister Harper knew about the personal cheque for $90,000 paid by former chief of staff Nigel Wright to Senator Mike Duffy to cover his improperly incurred expenses (68%).
This view is especially common to the youngest (81%), in Atlantic Canada (79%) and Quebec (78%) and among Liberals (89%) and New Democrats (85%). Women are more likely than men to believe the Prime Minister knew about the cheque (73% to 62%). Just one-fifth say the Prime Minister did not know about the cheque (21%), a position he has maintained since the existence of the cheque was revealed in May 2014.
More than half of all voters don’t think PM is telling the truth
More than one half of all voters (not just those following the trial) think the Prime Minister is not telling the truth about his role in the affair (56%), and this is especially the case among the youngest (62%), in Atlantic Canada (64%) and among Liberals (75%) and New Democrats (73%).
Just one fifth believe Harper is speaking the truth (22%), and these are most likely to be the oldest (30%), males (28%), in Alberta (36%), among Conservatives (58%) but not Liberals or New Democrats (9% each).
More than one-fifth do not know whether the Prime Minister is being truthful or not (22%). Those following the trial are more likely to disagree the Prime Minister is telling the truth (64%) than those who are not following the trial (39%).
Duffy trial seen to be “very damaging” to Conservatives by close to half
Three-quarters of voters (73%) say the Duffy trial has been damaging to Conservative hopes in the federal election, and close to half say it has been “very damaging” (44%). Among Conservative voters, close to half say the trial has done damage (46%), and more than a tenth say it has been “very damaging” (13%).
Wright’s testimony seen to be more credible than Duffy’s; most don’t believe either
One quarter of those following the trial find Nigel Wright’s testimony more credible (25%), while about half this proportion believe Mike Duffy’s testimony is credible (14%). Those who believe Wright are likely to be the oldest (30%), in the prairies (30%) and Alberta (34%) and among Conservatives (53%).Those on Team Duffy tend to be the youngest (20%), males (22%) and mid income groups ($40K to $60K – 25%).
The majority believes the testimony of neither (51%), and one-tenth don’t have an opinion.
Two-thirds follow trial
Two-thirds of Canadian voters are following this trial (68%), and they are especially likely to be the oldest (81%), females (70%), in mid income groups ($60K to $80K – 79%), in Atlantic Canada (72%), Ontario (78%) and Alberta (72%). Conservatives (68%) and Liberals (71%) are equally likely to be enmeshed, but more so New Democrats (75%).
“Well, it appears that Duffy matters after all. Many pundits have characterized this trial as “inside Ottawa baseball”, of interest only to the pros. It clearly has caught the popular imagination, however, and is making serious inroads into the brands of both the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party. It has always been assumed that the credibility of the leader is the lynch pin on which a party’s electability hangs, and when that is gone, little but promises remain,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.