Support for Liberals in a steady decline

By David Boughton

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party continue to lose support from Canadians, with their lead in the polls now smaller than at any time since the 2015 election. An Abacus Data poll[1] from October 23rd shows an election today would see Canadians vote 39% Liberal, 35% Conservative and 15% NDP.

In the largest provinces, Liberal support is falling. In Ontario, they’re now even with the Conservatives at 42%. Their lead in Quebec is still 21 points, but they now face a surging Bloc Quebecois. In BC, the NDP and second-place Conservatives are gaining, with the Liberal lead now only 7 points.

It’s the Conservatives who have benefited the most from the Liberal decline. They now have their largest level of support across the country since the 2015 election. They are capitalizing in Ontario, where Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal party is struggling with a 12% approval rating. Over half of voters disapproving of the provincial Liberals plan to vote Conservative in the next federal election.

The NDP is not yet showing any gains from its new leader, Jagmeet Singh. Particularly concerning for the party is the sharp drop in support in Quebec, where they have fallen from 21% to 13% in the last month. Singh now has a long road back to the level of support in Quebec from 2011’s Orange Wave.

The Liberals now face polls that show a steady decline, with a 13% drop in support since August 2016. They are perhaps most alarmed with the rising disapproval rating of 38%, which is now nearly even with their 40% approval rating. One reason for the decline may be the performance of Trudeau, whose personal approval rating has fallen 11% in the same time.

Dealing with the question of refugees and handling taxpayers’ money are the two issues with the largest decline in support for the Liberals. However, the party will need to assess their entire performance considering all other areas polled showed diminished support.

The Liberals now look for answers to the steady declines. They are staring at drops in support for the party, its leader, and their performance on many key issues. They will need these answers quickly if they hope to get back to their sunny ways before the 2019 election.

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