Liberals haven’t rebounded from summer dip in popularity, polls show
A new public opinion poll by Forum Research shows a dip in popularity that began for the federal Liberals this summer is still there.
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The popularity of the federal Liberals hasn’t rebounded since their dip this summer, while support for the Conservatives has improved, according to a public opinion poll from Forum Research.
The poll, conducted Nov. 4-6, found 38 per cent of Canadians surveyed supported the Conservatives, while 36 per cent said they would vote Liberal. For the front-runners that’s virtually unchanged from Forum’s results in mid-September when the Liberals were at 35 per cent and the Conservatives were at 39 per cent.
But those September numbers reflected a dip in popularity for the Liberal government, which was at 42 per cent in the polls in mid-August. The Conservatives have improved from 34 per cent support at that time.
Support for the NDP has remained steady, despite the fact the party elected Jagmeet Singh as its new leader on Oct. 1. The NDP was at 14 per cent in mid-August, 15 per cent in September, and 14 per cent in the latest poll last week.
The Green party, which had 4 per cent support in August and September, increased to 6 per cent in November.
Similarly, the Bloc Québécois was steady at 4 per cent, 5 per cent and 6 per cent respectively in those three months beginning in August.
“The Liberals’ dip in popularity, first identified by Forum in September, has steadied in November, but (the fact) that it hasn’t rebounded suggests their down numbers might be more than just a blip,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research.
“There are still two years before the next election, which is an eternity in politics, but clearly some of the negatively received policies introduced by the Liberals of late have begun to hinder their overall support.”
Bozinoff attributed the Liberals’ decline since August to the government’s handling of the small business tax file, as well as controversies over Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s perceived conflict of interest and how he has managed his personal finances while in his post.
Morneau faced a torrent of criticism from farmers, doctors, small business people and opposition critics in the House over tax reforms he unveiled in July aimed at closing loopholes in the tax system that benefit small business owners.
In the fall he faced personal attacks over the way he has managed his finances. Among the developments was the discovery he hadn’t placed in a blind trust a large number of shares from a family business he used to run. He had promised to do so when he was first elected in 2015.
“It’s all been badly received, Morneau’s handling of everything and his own perceived conflict of interest,” Bozinoff added.
Despite their dip in support, the latest poll numbers would give the Liberals a minority government, due to vote distribution. The Liberals would secure 164 of 338 seats, the Conservatives 148, the NDP 15, the Bloc 11 and the Greens two seats, Forum says.
The results, collected from 1,281 randomly selected voters, are considered accurate, plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.