A new survey released this week by the Globe and Mail and Nanos Research shows support for Maxime Bernier’s recently announced federal party around 17% nationwide. The poll which surveyed 1000 potential voters is the second such survey that has measured the potential impact of Bernier’s new political movement on the political landscape since the Quebec MP announced his departure from the Conservative Party in August.
An Abacus Data survey released in the days immediately following Bernier’s announcement tracked support for a new right-wing party around 13%. Support for Bernier seems to be growing as anticipation around his hypothetical party grows, increasing the likelihood that Bernier’s presence might impact the 2018 election and potentially hand his new party some seats.
Bernier stated that his intention to form a new political party stemmed from his estimation that the Conservative Party has become, “too intellectually and morally corrupt to be reformed”. According to the recent Nanos survey issued by The Globe and Mail, a combined 43% of potential voters either agree (22%) or somewhat agree (21%) with his judgment.
Central to Maxime Bernier’s criticism of the Conservatives was the party’s support for the continuation of the supply management system that protects Canadian producers of milk, eggs and poultry products from international competition. He has blasted what he refers to as, “the dairy cartel”, noting that the continued protectionist policy has been hindering NAFTA negotiations.
This cornerstone policy of Bernier’s Conservative leadership campaign, and now his new political venture may cause difficulty for him during a general election. Another survey by Nanos, commissioned by the Dairy Farmers of Canada found that 44% of respondents support the Canadian supply management system and 49% believe that Canadian government should defend the system in NAFTA talks with the Trump administration.
At the time of publication, Maxime Bernier has yet to register a new party with Elections Canada.