Justin Trudeau out of touch with ordinary Canadians, is weakest federal leader, new poll says

Justin Trudeau out of touch with ordinary Canadians, is weakest federal leader, new poll says
Loading...

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was seen as next most out of touch at 15 per cent, followed by Jagmeet Singh (eight per cent) and Yves-François Blanchet (seven per cent)

Article content

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau is more out of touch with ordinary Canadians than other federal leaders, a new poll suggests, and is seen as the weakest party leader by a sizeable margin among the voting public.

Advertisement

Article content

In a Leger poll, 30 per cent of voters who were asked what has surprised them the most about the current campaign said Trudeau “seems out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Canadians,” the highest recorded result across 11 personal leadership traits and four party leaders.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was seen as next most out of touch at 15 per cent, followed by Jagmeet Singh (eight per cent) and Yves-François Blanchet (seven per cent).

Trudeau was also singled out as the weakest party leader by 22 per cent of respondents, compared with 10 per cent for O’Toole, eight per cent for NDP leader Singh, and six per cent for Bloc leader Blanchet.

The polling data comes in the final weeks of a campaign where the Trudeau Liberals have seemingly failed to broaden their popular support, and have instead seen a gradual decline in public opinion since the beginning of the election. The party is now in a dead heat with the Conservatives at around 33 per cent.

Advertisement

Article content

This is a bit of a flag as to why that Liberal campaign is really not taking off to the degree that perhaps they thought it might

Doubts about Trudeau’s leadership qualities mark a distinct shift from the 2015 election, when he distinguished himself as a charismatic leader who innately understood issues like the financial anxieties of the middle class and the environment.

“If you think back to 2015, he really connected,” said Andrew Enns, executive director at Leger. “That was one of the things people talked a lot about, is that he really connected with the average Canadian on those major issues.

“This is a bit of a flag as to why that Liberal campaign is really not taking off to the degree that perhaps they thought it might.”

The reason for the Liberal leader’s slumping support, Enns said, could simply be the onset of a sort of Trudeau fatigue, particularly after a global pandemic in which the prime minister was a highly prominent figure, making dispatches to the public twice a week.

Advertisement

Article content

The other leaders, meanwhile, appear to be facing the opposite problem. Asked what character traits best represented various leaders, the most popular choice by respondents in the Leger survey for O’Toole, Singh, and Blanchet was “don’t know.” Twenty-four per cent said they knew nothing about O’Toole’s character, 22 per cent for Singh, and 29 per cent for Blanchet.

The next most common response for O’Toole, at 19 per cent, was that he is “not someone I can relate to.” That was also the next most popular response for Blanchet, at 15 per cent of respondents, as well as the belief that he is a “strong leader.”

  1. Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks to members of the Toronto Raptors youth programs, alongside Masai Ujiri, the President of the team, at the Mattamy Athletic Centre during Trudeau's election campaign tour in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 1, 2021.

    ‘Anaemic’ Liberal brand fails to motivate Canadians to vote them into majority government, Maru poll finds

  2. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks at a campaign stop at Valbruna ASW Inc. in Welland, Ontario, September 6, 2021.

    John Ivison: Trudeau drops the sunny ways and treads into dangerous territory

Advertisement

Article content

Singh, who polled higher than all other leaders in terms of likeability, was also known for his “energy and enthusiasm,” chosen by 22 per cent of voters.

The survey, which was conducted between Sept. 3 and Sept. 6, suggested Trudeau’s popularity had fallen the most in the last week, with 40 per cent of respondents saying their impressions of the Liberal leader had worsened. Maxime Bernier had the next-worst week, according to the poll, with 31 per cent saying their impressions of him had worsened, followed by O’Toole (27 per cent) and Green leader Annamie Paul (27 per cent).

Singh had the best week with 23 per cent saying they had an improved opinion of the NDP leader, and just 16 per cent saying it had worsened.

Higher public impressions of the NDP leader have been among the most substantial themes of the election campaign so far, helping to bolster support for Singh at the expense of the Liberals.

Advertisement

Article content

“He’s a positive figure, he comes across very energetic, he’s well spoken,” said Enns. “I think what’s happened a bit is there’s progressive voters who have been with the Liberals but have started to drift away due to disappointment or disillusionment.”

If you think back to 2015, he really connected

At the same time, O’Toole’s support has also receded slightly in recent days, particularly after a series of attacks by the Liberals on the Conservative’s firearms policy, which O’Toole has now walked back. Senior Liberals had been claiming O’Toole would legalize “assault weapons” in Canada, despite that the previous Conservative plan would only reverse the May 2020 ban on eleven classes of “military-style” semi-automatic rifles commonly used by sport shooters.

Advertisement

Article content

“I think the damage for the Conservatives is it put O’Toole on the defensive, and it blunted the momentum that he had from the previous week,” Enns said. “On the flip side, it gave the Liberals a little oxygen.”

In the Leger poll, 55 per cent of respondents said the Liberal’s policy to increase gun control was done for political gain, rather than to address a high-priority issue.

Sixty per cent of respondents said party promises to cap prices on mobile phone plans was pure politics, while 59 per cent said a tax on the “super rich” was for partisan gains. Forcing provinces to shut down for-profit healthcare centres was viewed as the most blatantly political policy at 69 per cent.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Loading...

Source

Loading...