I’ve been saying for some time now that under the current circumstances Justin Trudeau and his Liberals would be lucky to get a minority government and could possibly lose power completely. Now a poll from Canada’s premier polling firm, Ipsos, is backing this up.
The latest numbers from the team headed up by Darrell Bricker would see the Conservatives take 38% of the vote to the Liberals 33% and 21% for the NDP. Those numbers shock me, not just because the Conservatives are out in front but also because of how big that lead is.
Why would this be happening? Bricker told Global News that if voters are shifting it is because their views of the Liberals are changing.
“The remarkable thing about it is very little of it has to do with any of the qualities of the opposition parties. This is really people evaluating the government on its own terms and the Liberal Party on its own terms.”
So people are looking at how Trudeau is governing and deciding, at least in some places that they don’t like it. And that is the key part, even in this poll Trudeau and the Liberals are holding their support in some areas and getting clobbered in others.
Part of the reason I’ve thought for some time that the Liberals would lose, even when most polls give them a solid lead is the geographical breakdown. In this poll as in others the Liberals remain strong in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, are weakened in Ontario, are getting decimated on the prairies and fighting for their lives in British Columbia.
That doesn’t add up to a majority government.
In Alberta the Liberals are down to 11% support behind the NDP at 25% and the Conservatives at 62%. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba the Conservatives lead 44% to 24%.
I’d say the Liberals could kiss their four Alberta seats from 2015 goodbye, those are not coming back. Ralph Goodale, the lone Saskatchewan MP trying to sell the carbon tax and soon to bring in more gun control is likely gone under this scenario and in Manitoba the Liberals current seven MPs could be a bit lonelier.
But the real problem for Trudeau’s Liberals is in Ontario right now where 80 Liberal seats could turn into 40 or fewer. According to Ipsos, voters in the biggest province in the country support the Conservatives 46% to the Liberals 33%.
Those numbers spell disaster, like Justin’s trip India disaster level. It would mean a return to the opposition benches, a Conservative majority and great uncertainty over the future of Justin Trudeau in Canadian politics.
This is one poll and the election is 598 days away. Things could change.
Then again it could be the start of a pattern, time will tell.