Conservative struggles continue ahead of convention.
A new survey by Research Co. shows the Conservative Party struggling in the polls ahead of their upcoming convention.
According to the poll, 37% of Canadians would vote Liberal, a number that is unchanged from the December 2020 Research Co. survey.
28% say they will vote Conservative, down 3 points from December.
The NDP is at 20%, with the Bloc at 7%, the Greens at 6%, and the PPC at 1%.
The poll differs from some others in that it shows the Liberals leading among both men and women, while most polls show the Conservatives leading among men while trailing by large margins among women.
The survey shows Trudeau with 56% approval, while O’Toole is at 33%.
Concerningly, and matching other surveys, O’Toole has become less popular over time in the Research Co. survey, while his negatives have gone up.
O’Toole’s 33% approval is down 2 points from December, while those who disapprove have risen from 34% to 46%. Undecideds have fallen from 33% to 21%.
Generally, you would expect a leader to gain at least some support when the undecided number drops, so to see O’Toole failing to gain popularity while people move into the disapproval column further plays into the perception that he is alienating parts of the Conservative base without winning any new support.
The numbers get more concerning for O’Toole on the question of who would be the best PM.
There, the survey shows 40% of Canadians picking Trudeau, up 1 point from December.
15% pick O’Toole, down 7 points.
Singh is third at 12%, down 1.
3% pick Green Leader Annamie Paul, while 2% pick Maxime Bernier.
Can we trust the polls?
Polls are snapshots in time, and can often be wildly incorrect, as we have seen most recently in the US. However, polls in Canada – particularly in the 2019 election – were often relatively close to the final outcome, and the key thing to look for are trends.
The trends for the Conservatives, in multiple surveys, show O’Toole failing to gain popularity, while more and more people decide in the negative column.
That’s why he has a big job ahead of him in his upcoming CPC convention speech, where he will have to try and win over the support he has lost among parts of the party base, while making a good second impression with the broader Canadian public.
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