Last Updated: November 16, 2023, 10:09 IST
Another survey conducted by polling firm Leger notes the growing sentiment that Canadian PM Trudeau may not be the leader to address current challenges. (AP File Photo)
Canadian PM Trudeau faces challenges as polls dip. Trudeau, in power since 2015, navigates calls to resign amid economic woes and voter discontent
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces increasing challenges on the home front as several polls indicate a decline in popularity, fueled by voter dissatisfaction with the housing crisis and rising inflation. Calls for his resignation have emerged even within his own party, the Liberals, whose future hangs in the balance with a power-sharing deal extending his leadership until 2025.
Trudeau’s leadership is under scrutiny, with the Conservative Party, led by Pierre Poilievre, consistently ahead in successive surveys. Poilievre’s focus on the economy, labeling it “Justinflation,” resonates with Canadians grappling with the rising cost of living. A new survey by Abacus Data found that the Liberals are trailing the Conservatives in national voting intentions, a trend that continued through the firm’s polls for more than a year.
Canadians want change
Forty-one percent of respondents, of the 2,000 surveyed, would vote Conservative if an election were called now, versus 25 percent who would vote Liberal and 19 percent who would support the New Democratic Party (NDP).
“A total of 84 percent of Canadians want a change in government with 52 percent wanting change and feeling there is a good alternative. 32 percent want change but are not completely comfortable with the alternatives. Just 16 percent believe that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals deserve to be re-elected,” the survey said. Impressions of PM Trudeau and NDP’s Jagmeet Singh have become negative. “Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is the only leader with net favourables – 37 percent positive and 33 percent negative for a score of +4,” the survey added.
Another survey conducted by polling firm Leger notes the growing sentiment that Trudeau may not be the leader to address current challenges. Satisfaction with Justin Trudeau’s government remains low, with only 30 percent of Canadians saying they are satisfied, compared with 63 percent who are dissatisfied. Over one-quarter of Canadians (27 percent) think Pierre Poilievre would make the best Prime Minister, putting him well ahead of Justin Trudeau (17 percent).
Half of Canada Wants Trudeau Out
As many as 51 percent of Canadian voters want Justin Trudeau to resign before the next election to make way for a new leader. This percentage is consistent with results obtained in July 2022, which showed that 49 percent of Canadians wanted Trudeau to step down, according to the Leger poll. Despite the political storm, Trudeau and his advisors maintain their stance against resignation. They believe weathering the challenges, particularly the surge in inflation, will demonstrate the Canadian PM’s ability to deliver results regarding the cost of living.
Notably, the recent decision to suspend the national carbon tax on home-heating oil stirred controversy, revealing divisions in environmental policies. The Abacus poll suggests most Canadians want more carbon price carve-outs, and that Ottawa’s decision to lift the levy on heating oil for more than one million households is so far not driving support towards the governing Liberals.
Trudeau faces the monumental task of regaining public support, especially with housing costs soaring nearly 70 percent during his tenure. The household debt in the Group of Seven is at its highest, compounded by rising interest rates. Trudeau’s attempts to spur housing construction and stabilise food prices are met with skepticism. As Trudeau navigates these challenges, critics attribute the decline to the Canadian leader’s perceived lack of fiscal responsibility, suggesting a new leader could offer the party a chance at reelection.