Allan Woods (The Toronto Star)
The new Liberal government has blown its targets for the arrival of the full 25,000 Syrian refugees, and has already increased the federal deficit, but Canadians have fallen even harder for the Trudeau regime in the two months since the federal election, according to a new poll.
The Forum Research survey shows Justin Trudeau — greeted abroad like a global rock star and gracing the pages of Vogue magazine like a model — continues to enjoy strong support on the all-important home front. That may be due to a series of progressive measures enacted by the Liberals such as ensuring gender equality in the cabinet and following through on promises to aboriginals, said pollster Lorne Bozinoff.
The survey of 1,369 Canadians revealed that 46 per cent would vote Liberal if the election were held during the last week. With those levels of support, the party would win a projected 224 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons — 40 more than it won in the Oct. 19 vote, said Bozinoff.
“This boost over the vote in the election is all at the NDP’s expense because they really are delivering what the NDP wanted. If there had been an NDP government, the party supporters would have wanted this very scenario to unfold: the gender equality in the cabinet; the new transparency; trying to restart the dialogue with First Nations,” he said.
“This is all out of the NDP playbook.”
Compared to the Liberals, the Conservative party has the support of 32 per cent of respondents — unchanged since the election — and the NDP has the backing of 13 per cent, which is a decline of seven percentage points since the Oct. 19 vote.
Trudeau also has a 57-per-cent approval rating, the poll found — one that may be buoyed by the international hype and attention that has followed Canada’s 23rd prime minister around the world.
Bozinoff said that after a Conservative reign dominated by financial worries, war, terrorism and pitched partisanship, Canadians may be embracing the idea of a “cool prime minister” — one who was featured along with wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau this week on the pages of Vogue, the fashion magazine.
“Sometimes flash is bad but we’ve definitely not had flash for the last 10 years,” Bozinoff said, adding that Canadians are welcoming the change of style between Stephen Harper and Trudeau.
“One thing about (Justin Trudeau’s father) Pierre Trudeau is that he was always interesting and there was a segment of the population that really disliked that. But there was also a segment that really liked that, so I think this coolness is going to help the prime minister.”