Poll Shows Charest-Led CPC Would Suffer Massive Loss Against Trudeau Liberals

A hypothetical Charest-run Conservative Party does far worse vs the Liberals than if Poilievre was at the helm.

Jean Charest’s electability argument has so far formed the core of his campaign strategy.

Charest has claimed that he has what it takes to beat the Liberals, and is the candidate most poised to win.

Yet, the facts refuse to go along with that narrative.

According to a recent Leger poll, a Charest-led CPC would suffer a devastating loss to the Liberals.

When they asked respondents how they would vote in different scenarios, the results for a hypothetical Charest-CPC party stood out dramatically.

To start with, when asked about their voting intentions under current party leadership, the Liberals hold a narrow lead:

Federal Polling:

LPC: 31% (-2)
CPC: 29% (-5)
NDP: 21% (+3)
BQ: 7% (-1)
PPC: 6% (+1)
GPC: 4% (+2)

Then, they asked how people would vote if Pierre Poilievre was the CPC leader:

Federal Polling If Poilievre Was CPC Leader:

LPC: 32% (-1)
CPC: 29% (-5)
NDP: 21% (+3)
BQ: 7% (-1)
PPC: 6% (+1)
GPC: 4% (+2)

Note how the results are the same. Given that in the original question (without naming a potential CPC leader) people will fill in the gap with their ideal candidate, it’s a promising sign that Poilievre does just as well as that generic fill-in-the-blanks candidate.

Yet, look what happens when Charest’s name is thrown into the mix:

Federal Polling If Charest Was CPC Leader:

LPC: 32% (-1)
CPC: 23% (-11)
NDP: 21% (+3)
PPC: 8% (+3)
BQ: 7% (-1)
GPC: 5% (+3)

Those are horrendous numbers for Charest.

The Liberal vote stays the same, yet the CPC vote drops by six points.

That’s the difference between a close election, and dominant Liberal win.

At 23%, the CPC could fall to somewhere around 40-60 seats, and the Liberals could jump over 200 seats. The NDP would also win a bunch of new seats, even supplanting the CPC in some rural/suburban areas.

In short, Canada would shift in an even more statist direction, with the Liberals having unchecked political power and dominance, despite winning just over 30% of the vote.

Where is Charest’s mass appeal?

Another key aspect of the poll that is devastating for Charest’s narrative is the Liberal number.

It is nearly unchanged across the three polls.

Whether it’s a generic CPC leader, Poilievre, or Charest, the Liberals win either 31% or 32% of the vote.

This contradicts the idea that the Charest campaign would draw lots of support from the Liberals.

Against both Charest & Poilievre, the Liberals get 32%.

The Liberal vote appears quite stable, as they are consistently around 32% in almost every poll, having received 32% and 33% in the last two elections.

If the Liberal vote is stable at that relatively low level, then the CPC must win by consolidating centre-right voters, and bring new voters into the process.

If that happens during an election campaign, the CPC could also start to win over disgruntled Liberals & NDP supporters (surveys show Poilievre has the potential to do this). Yet the most important starting point is to ensure the CPC holds onto their current base and builds on it.

Charest’s numbers indicate that the CPC base doesn’t hold together under his leadership, and instead fragments towards the PPC and the Greens. Many would also likely stay home in this scenario, feeling Charest doesn’t represent them while unwilling to vote for any of the other parties.

This makes sense, given that Charest’s difficulties are similar to what Erin O’Toole faced.

Charest is seen as offside the CPC base issues such as carbon taxes, gun control, the size and role of government, to name a few. He is also seen by many as an out-of-touch member of the same political establishment that many Canadians are fed up with.

If O’Toole was unable to bring the party together in similar circumstances, why would Charest be any different?

Charest’s divisive campaign

The Conservative leadership race has already gotten ugly, with Charest going as far to say that Poilievre’s support of the Freedom Convoy should ‘disqualify’ him from being a leader in Canada.

Charest’s campaign has chosen to ignore the fact that Poilievre supported the legal protests, and expressed opposition to illegal blockades.

Of course, desperate campaigns rapidly eschew nuance in their attempt to demonize their opponents.

Another problem for Charest is that many Conservatives deeply disagree with his judgement in terms of his work for Huawei.

After all, being connected to a company controlled by the Communist Party of China, a company seen by many Canadians – along with our allies – as a potential national security concern, and a company linked to China’s ruthless surveillance programs in Xinjiang province (where the Uyghur’s are being brutally oppressed) all seems completely incompatible with Canadian values and the Canadian love of freedom.

Instead of realizing this, the Charest campaign seems determined to divide the CPC as much as possible, an approach which is starting to face increasing criticism:

“At this point Charest should withdraw from the race. He’s only causing a further divide within our party and I certainly don’t appreciate that. It’s frustrating because there are so many of us trying to bring Canadians together. His behaviour is not helping unify Canada.”

“I agree. Jean’s platform is divisive and attacks one person. My vote is with
@PierrePoilievre

For those throwing out the race baiting card, I’m an Indigenous woman. How is that for diversity?!”

Divisiveness at a time when unity is needed

Much of the establishment media is reflexively used to claiming that anyone like Poilievre running on conservative ideas is ‘divisive,’ without realizing how hopeful those messages can be.

Yet, contrary to how much the media is attempting to spin it, the reality is that it’s Charest who is running an incredibly divisive campaign, seeking to ‘disqualify’ someone a vast swath of the population supports. Charest appears determined to keep Canadians locked into the same old political debates and false ‘choices’ that have led to such widespread disillusionment and disengagement with the democratic process.

More and more Canadians appear to be rejecting this false choice, as the Leger poll shows.

Canadians want real choices and a real debate, especially at a time when the cost-of-living keeps increasing and the policies pushed by the political establishment have proven to be so ineffective.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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