the numbers guy

Winds of change to hit Canadian federal politics?

Posted on: February 9, 2013

Canadian federal politics appear to be entering a period of significant change, with serious challenges facing all three major parties. That’s according to a series of recent polls, including a Forum Research poll today which suggests that a Justin Trudeau-led Liberal Party would win 41% of the vote and an overall majority in the House of Commons:

Forum Poll 8 Feb 2013 with Trudeau

What’s even more striking is the difference once Mr Trudeau’s name is removed from the poll wording – the very same Forum Research poll had figures of Lib 30% Con 32% NDP 26% when Mr Trudeau is not mentioned – a remarkable difference of 11 points and 78 seats for the Liberals:

Forum Poll 8 Feb 2013 without Trudeau

Of course all polls come with health warnings and this one may be somewhat understating NDP and Conservative support, while overstating Liberal support – at least according to the most recent ThreeHundredEight federal polling average.

However, the opinion polls are not the only evidence that, assuming Mr Trudeau wins the leadership, the Liberal Party could be looking at a significant boost in the polls heading into the summer. Mr Trudeau has also been drawing large crowds in places such as Kamloops in BC that are not exactly traditional Liberal turf.

600 people to see justintrudeau in #Kamloops, BC. Six. Hundred. People. For a #Liberal. #lpcldr instagr.am/p/UxKx8KJNpu/

— Gerald Butts (@gmbutts) January 22, 2013

With the Liberal leadership election taking place on 14 April, it will be some time before we know whether the electoral promise of a Trudeau leadership matches up to the reality. In the meantime, it’s a sure bet that Messrs Mulcair and Harper will be working hard to shore up their own support, particularly on the Liberal-facing flanks of their support bases.

The next federal election is still two and a half years away, and there will be plenty of water under the bridge by then. What does seem clear is that those two and a half years will be anything but dull!

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