The (somewhat right-centre biased) Angus Reid Institute has released a new poll which shows that “for Liberal candidates, a disastrous slide in support over the first half of the year appears to have ended, making this a critical – albeit shrinking – period of time to try to regroup and rebuild … [and] … Conservatives, meanwhile, will take comfort in maintaining a wide lead over the governing party … [but the CPC] … must be mindful of a failure to build momentum as their opponent plummeted … [and] … The Liberal decline has benefitted the Green Party, which sees its support among decided and leaning voters reach 12 per cent in this survey. This comes as more Canadians identify the environment and climate change as a top issue facing the country … [but] … That said, sizeable numbers of Green and New Democratic supporters list the Liberals (and each other) as their second choice. Whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party can win any of these voters over will be one of the defining narratives of the fall campaign.“
Other key findings are:
- “The CPC leads in vote intention across all regions of the country, but the race with the Liberals is much closer in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada than it is in the four western provinces;
- Asked if there is a party they could never vote for, one-third of eligible voters (33%) choose the Liberals, but a nearly identical number (32%) say this of the Conservatives. Other parties are less likely to see Canadians ruling them out entirely;
- One-in-three Canadians (33%) approve of Trudeau’s performance as Prime Minister, while 64 per cent disapprove. Other federal leaders are also viewed less than favourably. Only Green leader Elizabeth May receives a net positive rating from the Canadian public (53% favourable, 38% unfavourable).“
Andrew Scheer and the CPC have failed to capitalize on the very real (and clearly worrisome, to most Canadians) Trudeau-Liberal scandals. This must make some Conservatives question his leadership. Some, I amongst them, believe that some potential CPC leadership prospects (Ambrose? Baird? MacKay?) seem to have believed that, as history suggests is most often the case, Justin Trudeau, having won a majority, would be a two or, at least, 1½ term prime minister, and decided to sit-out the 2016/17 leadership campaign … that decision may come back to haunt them and the party.
The survey says that the urban/rural split remains strong. The report says that: “In B.C., this dynamic manifests itself as a narrow Liberal lead within the City of Vancouver and Conservative leads elsewhere in the province. It’s also notable that the Green Party is polling at 20 per cent or better in every region of B.C., as seen in the graph that follows …
… [and] … In Ontario, the Liberals hold a sizable lead within the City of Toronto, but trail the Conservatives by eight percentage points in the rest of the Greater Toronto Area and in the rest of the province …
… [while] … In Quebec, the Liberals hold a commanding lead in Greater Montreal, but trail the Conservatives elsewhere in the province:
The national data are:
The Conservatives lead everywhere … albeit by statistically insignificant margins in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec and in Atlantic Canada. The Greens have jumped ahead of the Liberals and the NDP in BC and are ahead of the NDP in Atlantic Canada … bad news for Jagmeet Singh and for Justin Trudeau if the Green vote holds in October because a three-way Green-Liberal-NDP spit in some urban centres could allow a Conservative to win with, say, only 30% of the vote in some urban ridings if the progressive vote splits 23%–23%–23%. The New Democrats are ahead of the Liberals in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and they are trailing by only another statistically insignificant margin in BC.
We are, still, four months (and a bit), 130 days, away from an election but the data are still favourable for the CPC if not, really, encouraging.