So it appears that the recent Forum Research poll which I described as being “Good news for Andrew Scheer,” was not an outlier. Now the Angus Reid Group reports that “a new analysis of quarterly polling data – fielded by MARU/Matchbox and donated to the Angus Reid Institute – finds evidence that Canadian public opinion is changing with the autumn leaves.“
The report says that “While Trudeau retains the approval of half of Canadians, more respondents disapprove of his performance “strongly” (27%) than approve strongly (14%) … [and] … though Trudeau’s overall approval rating remains significantly higher than that of Conservative Opposition leader Andrew Scheer, enthusiasm for Trudeau’s party lags behind support for its leader. For the second consecutive quarter, more Canadians say it is “time for a change” in government than say it is not, and more now choose the Conservatives as the best party to lead in Ottawa than Trudeau’s Liberals.“
Additional findings are:
- “More Canadians say Trudeau would make the best Prime Minister than Scheer (33% versus 18%), but slightly more say Scheer’s Conservatives than Trudeau’s Liberals would make the best government (36% versus 33%);”
- “Scheer is seen as the federal party leader best suited to deal with economic issues (29% versus 24% who choose Trudeau);” and
- ““The economy” remains a top issue for one-in-five Canadians (22%), even as Canada’s economic outlook is rated best in the G7, and Canadians express more pessimism than optimism when it comes to their personal standard of living in the coming year.”
It is still an uphill struggle for Mr Scheer. He must make himself better known and he must be more “likeable” than Prime Minister Harper or NDP leader Thomas Mulcair ever managed to be. But the good news is that Canadians are, already, barely two years into Justin Trudeau’s mandate, feeling a need for change. A good leader (which Mr Scheer appears to be), with a good team (which he has) and a good, fiscally responsible and socially moderate platform (which he can craft with the help of his good team and young Conservatives like Natalie Pon and Joseph Heap and others whose ideas must help us move forward).