OTTAWA—The past six months have not been kind to Canada’s Prime Minister.
In the latest polling conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, Justin Trudeau’s approval rating sat at just 40 per cent as of mid-March. 55 per cent of a randomized sample of 5,423 Canadian adults disapproved or strongly disapproved of the prime minister, with four per cent undecided.
The bleak numbers place Trudeau below his predecessor Stephen Harper at this point in his tenure. The former Conservative leader enjoyed 46 per cent approval and 47 per cent disapproval two and a half years into his prime ministership.
According to Angus Reid, Trudeau’s much-criticized trip to India and unease about the government’s deficit spending have each taken their toll on the Liberal leader’s popularity, which had already been slipping throughout 2017. A year into Trudeau’s tenure nearly two-thirds of Canadians approved of his performance. That figure had dipped to 50 per cent approval and 44 per cent disapproval by the end of his second year in office.
The most recent polling results revealed that if an election were held today the federal Conservative party headed by Andrew Scheer would have shot at a majority government. Canadians have sweetened on Scheer as they’ve soured on Trudeau. 38 per cent now approve of the PC leader, while 34 per cent disapprove and 28 per cent are undecided.
Voters remain largely uncertain of NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, with 31 per cent of those polled jotting down no favourable or unfavourable opinion of the relatively newly-chosen leader. 38 per cent disapprove of Singh while 31 per cent approve.
Faced with Trudeau’s flagging popularity at the 2.5-year mark of the Liberal majority, the next federal election—which is set to take place by fall 2019 or sooner—could be a much harder-fought contest than the prime minister’s earlier popularity indicated.