The Conservatives jumped from 4th place and 16% of the vote in the last general election to 52.7% of the vote in the by-election in Chicoutimi–Le Fjord . That is no small feat.
Andrew Scheer should take a moment to pause, inhale and enjoy this moment.
True, the local Conservative candidate had been the coach of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League but let’s admit he last coached them in 2009-10 season. So Richard Martel’s win can’t be simply put down to being the coach of a popular local team, nearly a decade ago.
This was about more than a hockey coach. It is really about Martel working with Scheer’s plan to make greater inroads in Quebec.
So today the Conservatives are sitting pretty high in the saddle. While I don’t normally make a big deal about by-elections, our PM does.
Trudeau spent big, but lost.
Not only does PM Justin Trudeau campaign with his full team in every by-election, this one saw unprecedented pork. Trudeau arrived just days before the by-election was announced, a date he chose, to announce big money for the region.
Trudeau pledged $60 million of your tax dollars to a smelting plant that will try to produce the world’s first zero carbon output aluminium. Sure he used your dollars to boost Liberal fortunes but it was for a good cause.
This is also the riding that the Trudeau Liberals gave a pass to in their quest to get a liquefied natural gas port built. While Trans Canada’s Energy East oil pipeline had to account for upstream and downstream emissions, Energie Saguenay did not.
Jobs for the boys and all, as long as they vote the right way.
But this time they did not vote the right way. Not for Trudeau.
Despite his millions, your millions really, poured into the riding, they lost. The Liberals won this riding last election as part of the Trudeau sweep in Quebec. Now, not even Trudeau’s smile could save them.
Conservatives lead in the polls too.
The news comes as a new poll puts the Conservatives in front nationally according to the latest Global News Ipsos poll.
That poll, from Canada’s top polling firm, puts the Conservatives out in front with 36% of the vote, the Liberals at 32% and the NDP at 20%.
More impressive is the lead in Ontario.
Scheer’s Conservatives are seeing a “halo effect” following the victory of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives in Ontario earlier this month.
In Ontario, federal Tories have a lead of 11 percentage points (38 per cent) over Trudeau’s Liberals. The Liberals also trail behind the federal NDP in Ontario, which has 28 per cent support.
So that means CPC at 38, LPC at 27 and NDP at 28.
So yes, in Ontario, at this moment, the Liberals are in third. Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos polling says don’t read too much into it, it can just be a reflection of the Ontario election where the Liberals were toxic.
I get that. But I’ve also been reading polls, especially Ipsos polls, long enough to see a trend. For some time now Trudeau has only retained his lead and or stayed competitive because of overwhelming support in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Scheer is in the driver’s seat.
Between the Ontario-Quebec border and the Alberta-British Columbia border the federal Liberals are in trouble. They have been for some time.
Now they are also facing a challenge in Quebec. From Scheer’s Conservatives.
Add to that their problem of trying to convince Ontario voters that Doug Ford was wrong and that they should accept a carbon tax and Trudeau has real problems.
I’m not saying that he is done for next election but Trudeau’s fortunes are looking down while Scheer’s are looking up today.
Must be Scheer excitment at CPC HQ.