Increasingly Ugly Tone Of CPC Leadership Race Is Taking A Toll On Impressions Of The Candidates

Pierre Poilievre still maintains a decisive lead among CPC supporters.

The increasingly ugly tone of the CPC leadership race is having the expected effect:

Almost all of the candidates are becoming less popular, according to a new Abacus poll.

With most attacks focused on the frontrunner Pierre Poilievre, he has taken the biggest hit.

According to the survey, the number of CPC supporters who have a positive impression of Poilievre has dropped from 50% to 42%. Of note however, is that positive impressions of Poilievre had risen from 45% in March to a peak of 50% in mid-May.

Negative impressions of Poilievre have risen, from 7% to 14%.

The numbers aren’t good for the other candidates either.

Jean Charest remains unpopular

Among CPC supporters, 26% have a positive opinion of Charest, a number that is stable since the last Abacus survey. Meanwhile, the number of CPC supporters with a negative impression of Charest has risen by 4 points to 25%.

This means there is now only a 1 point gap between the number of CPC supporters with a positive impression of Charest and those with a negative impression of Charest. Compared to the 28 point gap between Poilievre’s positive & negative impressions among CPC supporters, it’s clear how deeply unpopular Charest is within the party he seeks to lead.

Lewis & Brown decline, Aitchison & Baber stable

16% of CPC supporters say they have a positive impression of Leslyn Lewis, a drop of 3 points. 9% have a negative impression of her, an increase of 1 point.

Patrick Brown – after unleashing unhinged attacks against Poilievre – has watched as Conservative supporters’ impressions of him decline. 14% say they have a positive opinion of Brown, down a full 6 points. Meanwhile, there has been no change in the number who have a negative view. Clearly, Brown’s attacks on Poilievre have done damage to his own image.

Scott Aitchison and Roman Baber have a stable net positive rating. 12% of CPC supporters view Aitchison positively, compared to 5% who view him negatively.

11% view Roman Baber positively, while 7% view him negatively.

Aitchison lost 1 point among those who have a positive impression, but there was a drop of 1 point among those who have a negative impression, so the changes cancel each other out.

The same took place for Baber, except it was a 2 point decline in those with a positive impression and a 2 point decline among those with a negative impression.

Poilievre continues to dominate on reflection of values

Among CPC supporters, 44% said Poilievre best reflects their values and ideas. That was down from 48% in the previous survey.

23% of CPC supporters said Charest best reflects their values and ideas, up from 20% in the previous survey.

14% say Brown reflects their values and ideals, while the numbers for Lewis, Aitchison, and Baber are 7%, 8%, and 4% respectively.

Damaging Poilievre & damaging themselves

It would seem that the unhinged and extreme attacks being launched by the Charest & Brown campaigns against Pierre Poilievre are damaging Poilievre.

Yet, they are also damaging the Brown & Charest campaigns.

Additionally, since Brown & Charest are already far less popular than Poilievre, they have far less margin for error, and their divisive approach could soon backfire – as it already has in Brown’s case.

Difference between CPC supporters and the CPC membership

One essential point that must be made is that there is a big difference between CPC supporters, and CPC members.

Only members can vote in the leadership race.

The membership is also considered more Conservative than the broader base of polled ‘supporters,’ and since Pierre Poilievre has been the most in-sync with the party membership, his numbers may be even higher than the polls show.

Additionally, the more Charest and Brown push the establishment media message to attack Poilievre, the more they may polarize a larger and larger portion of the CPC membership against them. Indeed, many are likely surprised that Poilievre’s numbers have held up as well as they have, given the massive establishment media/Charest/Brown onslaught he’s facing.

So, while Poilievre has taken some damage from the attacks, it’s quite possible that within the CPC membership itself both Charest and Brown are growing weaker and contributing to an entrenchment among Poilievre’s staunchest supporters.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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