World

Trudeau’s Popularity Dropping As Conservatives Surge In Poll

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

A Forum Research poll released Sunday has the Conservative Party of Canada on the cusp of forming a majority government if an election were held today.

After a summer of outrage over giving $10.5 million to former terrorist Omar Khadr and growing anger over a proposed income tax grab, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a 47 percent disapproval rating, the new poll indicates.

The random sampling has the Conservatives with 39 percent support followed by the Liberals at 35 percent. The quasi-socialist New Democratic Party is way behind at 15 percent with splinter parties taking up the remainder of popular support.

It is the first time in exactly two years that the Conservative have led the Liberals. During the 2015 election, the Tories under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper seemed poised to form another government until a late surge by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals overtook the Conservative Party.

The poll shows the Conservatives with 50 percent of the support of those in the 35-44 age group and 48 percent of males, while the Liberals are increasingly appealing to those over 55, a new phenomenon in Canadian politics.

Forum Research estimates that the Conservatives would form a minority government if an election were held today, but they are in striking distance of achieving a majority of the seats in the Canadian House of Commons.

The poll is good news for the new leader of the Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer, whom the poll indicates is popular with those who know him. However, 44 percent are unfamiliar with Scheer and undecided whether they approve or disapprove of his job performance.

“Trudeau enters the fall legislative session with his popularity slipping. The primary beneficiary of Trudeau’s decline is Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives,” said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research, in a news release. “Scheer is still a significantly unknown quantity to the plurality of voters, however, and must further differentiate himself from Trudeau to solidify his recent gains.”

The Forum poll was based on a random selection of 1,350 Canadians who were questioned in a telephone survey conducted between Sept. 13-14, 2017. The poll is considered accurate +/-  3 percent, 19 times out of 20.

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