Nearly seven out of 10 Canadians think that Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau could have waited until at least next year before calling the current federal election, and a large majority believe he did it now as a “power grab” to win a majority government, according to a new Leger poll.
As the federal election enters its second week, the Liberals’ lead over the Conservative party has dwindled to barely two per cent as both the Tories and the New Democratic party each slightly increased their support over the past few days, according to the Léger poll conducted for Postmedia.
Now, Liberal support among decided voters sits at 33 per cent (down from 35 per cent last week) whereas the Conservatives and the NDP each increased one point to hit 31 per cent and 21 per cent respectively. “What we have at the end of the first week of the campaign is both opposition parties nibbling a bit from the liberals,” said Leger executive vice-president Andrew Enns, adding that the race has “tightened up for sure.”
69 per cent of respondents said they believed that the election could have waited until next year or even later before becoming necessary. On the other hand, only one respondent out of five (21 per cent) thought that now was a good time to have an election. To justify his decision to send Canadians to the polls on September 20, Trudeau has argued that the minority parliament had become “toxic” and “dysfunctional” and that Canadians deserved a voice in choosing the plan that would lead the economic recovery.
Opposition parties have argued that it amounted to a “power grab” by Trudeau because he wanted to turn his minority government into a majority in light of favourable polling numbers for his party. When asked which of those two explanations they believed, a vast majority of respondents (62 per cent) said they agreed with the “power grab” argument. “That could be some of what has dragged down the Liberal ballot fortunes,” said Enns.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FT.COM