The reports of Justin Trudeau’s mid term blues continue to proliferate … now the Calgary Sun says that a recent Forum Poll suggests that if an election were held right now the CPC would have a whopping 205+ seat majority with the Liberals reduced to 110± seats; that’s a gain of 100+ seats for the Conservatives and a loss of 75± for the Liberals ~ my guess is that it implies that the Liberals will pick up some BQ andNDP seats while the CPC will pick up a great many more Liberals seats.
My guesstimate is a little less optimistic …
… because, of course, the election will not be held next week and, as I have said, the Liberals will correct their mistakes and reset their course, somewhat. But, even with that a solid CPC majority is within reach in 2019 … if the CPC can unite behind its leader and remain united and offer enough Canadians enough policies that make sense.
Some of the mistakes Prime Minister Trudeau has made are serious enough to provide real campaign fodder for the CPC for the next 18 months. No matter what he does or says, it seems that Justin Trudeau must alienate more and more of the young greenies who flocked to the Liberals in 2015. But even so, the Liberals and NDP are, for the most part, going to split the vote in urban centres: 10± in Vancouver, 5± in each of Winnipeg and Ottawa/Gatineau, 25± in Toronto, 20± in Montreal and 10± in other, smaller cities for a total of 75± seats which, unless Jagmeet Singh can turn around his ongoing fall, will mostly (60/15) go Liberal. The real key to victory, for the Conservatives rests on:
- First ~ retaining the loyalty of most of the 90+ seats they already hold; and
- Second ~ taking about 90 more away from the Liberals and NDP all across Canada.
I am somewhat mistrustful of the Forum Poll results because it assumes, I guess, sometime like this:
- 10 to 15 BQ + NDP seats shift right towards Liberals, giving the Liberals 200 seats;
- 100 Liberals seats shift right to the CPC, leaving the Liberals with only 100 and giving the CPC 200+ seats; but
- 10 CPC seats shift left to the Liberals.
But, right now, it looks like Jagmeet Singh could lose as many as half of his 44 seats, being nearly wiped out in Quebec. I think the Forum analysts see Conservatives coming up through the middle in tight LPC/NDP races in urban centres; if the NDP vote is not strong then I think the Liberals might, nearly, sweep the 75+ urban seats and hold the CPC to a smaller majority.
I know I am repeating myself, but:
The people in, primarily, the suburbs around the big cities can be persuaded to vote Conservative, they did so, in increasing numbers in 2006, 2008 and 2011. They sat on their hands in 2015; they didn’t leave the CPC, they felt that the Conservatives abandoned them. The CPC must recapture that vote, and we know that it looks more and more like this …
… and the Conservatives have to be a lot more than just the party of old, angry, rich, white men if they want to win back those suburban votes. The Conservatives need to prove that Justin Trudeau was correct and we still are the Party of Stephen Harper who reached out and embraced all Canadians, regardless of race or creed, and who offered socially moderate policies that made a lot of good fiscal sense to enough Canadians to earn him a majority mandate.
The real news in the Forum Poll is that Prime Minister Trudeau’s approval rating has tumbled … nearly 60% of us now disapprove of his performance; that will be a much harder hill to climb than the LPC getting from 30% to 40% in national popular support. It is, almost always in my experience, harder to regain lost confidence than to earn respect and confidence in the first place. So his fall from grace will also hurt every Liberal candidate in each of the 338 ridings. But it is not, yet, good news for Andrew Scheer because fewer than ⅓ of Canadians believe he is good prime ministerial material … yet. That is also a steep hill to climb, but easier than the one which now confronts Prime Minister Trudeau.