Combination of messaging falling flat with the public, while demoralizing the party base is pushing down Conservative poll numbers.
In late January, I wrote about the risk the Conservatives were taking with Erin O’Toole’s rapid shift from ‘True Blue’ to ‘Moderate Centrist,’ and actions against Derek Sloan:
“Let’s imagine for a moment that about 1/3 of current Conservative supporters are social conservatives (it might be more).
If they lose a portion of that support, the party could go from 30% to 25%.
If they don’t gain any new voters from the Liberals or other parties (AKA if O’Toole’s rebranding effort fails), then the party will be worse off than they are now.”
Since that time, we have seen the Conservatives demote Pierre Poilievre from Finance Critic to Jobs & Industry Critic, and hire a former Huawei executive after months of slamming Huawei as a threat to the country (that latest move isn’t included in the most recent polls).
While partisans can try to justify those moves, they share something in common:
They divide conservatives, demoralize part of the base, and don’t win over any new supporters.
This has been borne out by recent shifts in the polls, showing the Conservatives losing support, and O’Toole becoming less popular.
Now, a new Leger survey has some alarming numbers for the Conservatives, with their support closer to the NDP than to the first-place Liberals.
According to the survey, 35% of Canadians say they support the Liberals, while 28% say they support the Conservatives. The NDP is at 23%, with the Bloc at 7% and the Greens at 6%. 2% say they will support another party.
This puts the Conservatives 7 points behind the Liberals, and only 5 points ahead of the NDP.
— David Jacobs (@DrJacobsRad) March 2, 2021
This poll matches with the overall trend, of the Conservatives losing support and O’Toole struggling to win over Canadians.
So far, it appears the dangerous scenario is coming true for the party, with O’Toole falling flat with the general public while the party base gets increasingly demoralized.
Simply put, a party can’t win without their base. You have to secure the party base first, and then persuade people, which of course is a challenge with the Conservatives and their charisma-challenged communications.
If these polls don’t turn around soon, the CPC will face increasing pressure from within their own party amid an approach that is clearly not working at the present moment.
Photo – YouTube