Canadians say they don’t put much weight on the personal lives of their political leaders.

Key takeaways

  • 79% of Canadians report no change of opinion about Jagmeet Singh after hearing that he and his wife are expecting their second child 
  • 73% of Canadians report no change of opinion about Justin Trudeau after he announced his separation from his wife 
  • 75% of Canadians report no change of opinion about Pierre Pollievre after learning that his wife immigrated to Canada from Venezuela when she was 8 years old

Pluriel’s survey provided participants with factual information about the federal NDP, Liberal, and Conservative leaders related to their lives outside of politics. Notably, Canadians were largely indifferent to the personal lives of their most prominent politicians. 

Jagmeet Singh, the NDP leader, recently announced his wife Gurkiran’s pregnancy with their second child. For 79% of Canadians, this news did not alter their opinion of him. In fact, 16% report viewing him more positively due to this announcement.

Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leader, disclosed his separation from his wife, Sophie, in August 2023. 73% of Canadians stated that this revelation had no impact on their opinion of him. However, 20% said it made them view him more negatively, underlining a potentially minor effect that this personal event may have had on Canadians’ opinions of the Prime Minister.

Furthermore, the survey highlighted Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative leader, and his wife Anaida’s immigration story from Venezuela. 75% of Canadians said this had no influence on their view of Poilievre, with 21% expressing a more positive opinion of him due to this insight into his personal life—a personal detail Conservatives highlighted at their recent convention. 

Note on methodology: these insights are part of Pluriel Research’s “What Canadians Think” omnibus survey, one of Pluriel’s high-frequency data products. The survey was fielded online from Sept 25-26, 2023, with a total of 1,092 respondents (Canadians 18+), and survey weights were applied to account for any remaining sampling imbalances. The margin-of-error for an equivalent probability sample is +/- 3%. Margins-of-error for subgroups in the sample are larger commensurate with their share of the population.