According to a new Ipsos poll conducted for Global News, a majority of Canadians are following the unfolding SNC-Lavalin scandal. With that being the case, the prime minister’s numbers have taken a hit in nearly every category surveyed.
According to the survey conducted on March 1st to March 4th, out of 1000 Canadians, Trudeau would only receive 31 percent of the decided popular vote, a decline of three points from a poll conducted just weeks ago.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has benefited most from the scandal, at this point, he would receive 40 percent of the popular vote.
That puts the Conservatives at a very comfortable lead, and the widest margin that they’ve had in such polls since the scandal first saw light. The poll was also conducted before the surprise resignation of Treasury Board President Jane Philpott, following in the tracks of former AG Jody Wilson-Raybould and principal secretary Gerry Butts.
“This is the first time we’ve actually seen the Conservative Party resuscitated and looking like they could potentially form the government,” said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs.
“The Liberals, on the other hand, have been dropping precipitously over the space of the last few weeks. The question is have they hit bottom yet?”
In Ontario, Canada’s largest province by population, the numbers are strikingly similar. The national approval figures in Ontario had the Tories at 40 percent of the vote, nine percentage points over Trudeau’s Liberals who stood at 31 percent.
“Crucially, the Tories enjoy a commanding lead in the vote-rich 905 region surrounding Toronto.”
“The Conservatives have over a 20-point lead in the 905, which has the most seats that swing back and forth in any election campaign,” said Bricker.
“With that kind of lead, they’re set to sweep the 905. If they sweep the 905, they probably win the election.”
The Liberal Party is also suffering in Quebec, as their lead has seen a dip of almost 50 percent over the CPC.
At one point, the Liberals had a 13 point margin over the Conservatives. Now, that number is at just 6 percent. They maintain 35 percent of the support from Quebecers, with the Conservatives at 29, the Bloc Quebecois at 19, and the NDP in fourth at 14.
The polling has proven what many figured; the SNC-Lavalin scandal has made a direct impact on Trudeau’s public image, and has damaged his support base.
Sixty-four per cent of Canadians in this survey say they’re now following the issue — 15 points up from just two weeks ago.
Only one third of those surveyed say that the matter is being blown out of proportion, with most saying the issue deserves all of the media attention it has garnered, a very telling sign for Trudeau that may have him in a scramble.
55 percent of Canadians also say that the SNC-Lavalin affair will have an influence in their voting decision this coming October. That number includes 20% of Liberal voters.
Bricker says those figures prove that the SNC-Lavalin affair isn’t just a story of interest to the news media and politics junkies and that average Canadians are paying attention.
“[Canadians] are coming to conclusions, and the conclusions they’re coming to relate to the character of the main protagonist,” said Bricker.
Canadians are are also standing behind former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould over PM Trudeau.
Over two-thirds of respondents say they believe JWR’s version of events regarding “inappropriate political interference” by the PMO into her prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on corruption and bribery charges.
A potential nail in the proverbial coffin for Trudeau is that it now appears that the SNC-Lavalin affair is concerning Canadians across the political compass, with Liberal Party supporters “growing increasingly disapproving for the PM.”
“Nearly a quarter of Liberal voters say they believe Trudeau should step aside while the SNC-Lavalin affair is investigated, with 73 percent of Liberals agreeing that the RCMP should probe the issue and lay charges against politicians and bureaucrats where appropriate.”
“There’s no understanding how fundamentally this scandal has shaken the Liberal coalition to the core,” said Bricker. “We’re seeing it with a certain amount of meltdown at the present time, down nine points behind the Tories right now.
“The question is whether or not they’ve found bottom. It’s a very, very serious problem for the prime minister and his government.”
Nearly two-thirds say that Trudeau has lost the moral authority to govern Canada. It appears as though Trudeau’s teflon has not just worn off, but is completely gone. The SNC-Lavalin scandal is sticking to him, and unfortunately for Trudeau and his cabinet, it does not appear to be going away any time soon.
According to Global News, Bricker says “Trudeau is faced with three options: tough it out until the next election, step aside and let someone else lead the Liberal Party or call a snap election to clear the air.”
“If you’re trailing by nine points — and that far behind in Ontario — that [a snap election] doesn’t seem like a very viable option,” said Bricker.
In December, Global News reported that the coming federal election looked to be the Liberals’ to lose, and that it would take “an ill-timed stumble” from Trudeau to open the window for a Conservative Party that was lurking within striking distance.
With the Conservatives clearly benefiting the most from the Trudeau stumble, it appears as though now is Scheer’s time to strike. He has already called for the resignation, and has grilled Trudeau on every available opportunity.
“With the Tories now well ahead in the polls, Bricker says there’s no overstating the damage being done to the Trudeau government by the SNC-Lavalin scandal.”
“Right now, I don’t think there’s any way we can overstate how seriously, fundamentally, this is hurting the ability of this prime minister and his government to continue,” Bricker said.
According the Global News, “the precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.
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