FERNANDO: Trudeau Grounded As Poilievre Soars

Trudeau Grounded As Poilievre Soars

By Spencer Fernando, Exclusive to the National Citizens Coalition


One leader was grounded, their plane unable to take off after a widely panned performance at the G20 summit.

The other leader was giving a rousing speech to supporters as they flew back from a widely praised convention speech.

To say that Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre have been going in a different direction as of late would be a big understatement.

This contrast says it all about where politics stands in Canada, and the Liberal reaction demonstrated how much they are feeling the pressure.

Watching clips of Pierre Poilievre speaking to CPC supporters from the front of the plane seemed to send many Liberals into a frenzy, including an unhinged call to ‘boycott WestJet’ for ‘allowing’ Poilievre to speak to his supporters.

Of course, the plane was filled with Conservative supporters, so it’s not as if there were a bunch of people on the plane subjected to an unwanted partisan display.

This contrasts to past instances in which Justin Trudeau and former Transport Minister Omar Alghabra spoke on public transit to audiences that didn’t really have a choice to be there. Funny enough, that didn’t seem to bother the Liberals much.

But that kind of brittleness and hypocrisy is emblematic of political parties that can feel power slipping away.

The Liberals are lashing out because their old tactics simply aren’t working anymore.

They’ve tried calling Poilievre ‘negative,’ ‘far-right,’ ‘extreme,’...  but it’s not resonating.

Canadians are tuning out the Liberals, and the Liberal attacks have failed to launch.

Meanwhile, Poilievre has been soaring in the polls.

The large Conservative lead has now been sustained for over a month and has been replicated in repeated surveys by many various polling companies. There has been a clear and decisive shift in Canadian public opinion, with the Conservatives now polling near 40% while the Liberals remain stuck under 30%.

Now, it’s important to note that we aren’t just watching the Liberals lose support, we are seeing the Conservatives gain support.

This matters because it represents a significant change in the pattern that prevailed until recently.

Usually, when the Liberals have dropped in the polls amid a scandal of some kind, the NDP would start to rise while the CPC would at best get a small temporary boost.

This always gave the Liberals hope, because the Conservative ‘voter universe’ remained stuck in the low to mid-30s, and the Liberals could then confidently assume that a fear campaign directed against NDP supporters about the need to ‘unite’ against the Conservatives would bring wayward Liberal voters back into the fold.

But now, the Conservatives seem to be gaining all the lost Liberal support.

The current substantial Conservative lead in the polls has been built up in two stages.

First, the Conservatives started to surge shortly after Pierre Poilievre won the CPC leadership race.

The party rose from around 30-33% to averaging about 35%.

The Liberals stayed steady at around 31-32%.

This didn’t worry the Liberals much, since they were holding most of their support, while the Conservatives were winning back disgruntled former Conservatives who had either gone to other parties or given up on politics.

It’s the second stage of the shift that has the Liberals so desperate.

Starting around July of this year, the Conservatives jumped from around 35% to 40%.

The Liberals dropped down to about 28-29%. That 2–3 point drop was matched almost perfectly by the Conservative gain.

And crucially, the NDP has gained nothing.

This is the most tangible success of Pierre Poilievre’s tenure as CPC Leader. He has managed to win the support of many former Liberal voters, while also strengthening his support among the CPC base. At the same time, he has completely boxed out the NDP, rendering Jagmeet Singh’s party unable to seize any of the momentum for change that is spreading throughout the country.

In response, the Liberals are desperately attempting to look like they are offering ‘bold’ and ‘new’ plans, but they are so bereft of ideas that all they have left are re-announcements:

“This morning, @SeanFraserMP promised revolutionary change, something completely new to fix the housing crisis. 

The announcement? 

Funding they promised months ago. 

I wish I was joking. 

Absolute clown show. 

One of the worst cases of political malpractice I’ve ever seen.”

Like Justin Trudeau’s plane, the Liberals are broken down and tired. If all they have after a caucus retreat, countless cabinet meetings, and a hyped-up caucus meeting is a re-announcement of a funding plan that won’t even make a dent in Canada’s housing affordability crisis, it’s clear that they simply have nothing left in the tank.

It’s beyond obvious that if we want to get this country headed in the right direction and want a future where Canadians can achieve their dreams here at home, Canada must make a change at the top. The Trudeau Liberals have had their chance, and they have failed.

Right now, amid all of Canada’s serious challenges, there is a reason to be optimistic about the future. With Pierre Poilievre connecting with Canadians and the Conservatives surging in the polls, there is a renewed sense of hope that a positive change is just around the corner.

Spencer Fernando is one of the most popular and prolific political voices in Canada. He is a Campaign Fellow for the National Citizens Coalition. For more from Spencer, visit his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter

Click to join the mailing list so you can receive his exclusive weekly column for NCC supporters right to your inbox.