Back in mid-August when I wrote about the Campaign Research poll showing the Liberals hurting over the WE scandal, there were plenty of people willing to say that poll was an outlier. This was obviously a rogue poll because it had the Conservatives at 33% support and the Liberals at 30% support.
All the wise people said that couldn’t be true. Didn’t I know that Trudeau was the beloved leader who had taken Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s true that Trudeau had a bounce in job approval numbers, as did just about every other politician during the pandemic. What the Campaign Research poll showed was that Liberal voters were pulling their support from Trudeau in mid-August because of WE but they were not backing the Conservatives or NDP.
The Liberals dropped in support in that poll but the Conservatives and NDP didn’t rise.
Just days later Trudeau prorogued Parliament to stop the Commons committees investigating the WE scandal. Here we are three weeks later and other polls are catching up.
Several polls now close
We now have polls from Angus Reid, Abacus and Nanos all showing a tightening race. Angus Reid has the parties tied at 35% voter support while Abacus and Nanos each have the Liberals at 33% and the Conservatives at 31%.
I’m not here to tell you that people are falling in love with the new Conservative leader. Truth is, they don’t know Erin O’Toole and the Conservative numbers have yet to rise.
What these polls show is that Liberal voters are saying, “Ya know what, I’m not impressed.”
Trudeau hopes to turn it around
There is a reason that Trudeau shut down Parliament and is bringing in a new throne speech with promises of never ending spending – it’s to win back voters. The Liberal internal polling is likely similar or worse to what we see in public.
Shutting down the committees and the near daily spread of bad headlines, offering new spending to a public still wary of the economy in the midst of a pandemic is all about gaining back voters who soured on the Trudeau brand due to the WE scandal.
I suspect it will work, to a degree, and bring back some voter support.
How it plays out long term…..well, we’ll just have to wait and see.