OTTAWA—After sailing relatively smoothly through the first year-and-a-half of its tenure, the past six months have proved a more turbulent ride for Canada’s Liberal government.
Two years since Justin Trudeau’s majority government took office, the federal Liberals and Conservatives are in a dead heat, according to polling by the Angus Reid Institute.
If the election were held tomorrow, 35 per cent of respondents said they would back the Liberals, while another 35 per cent said they would vote Tory. The New Democratic Party garnered 18 per cent support, the Green Party six per cent and the Bloc Quebecois four per cent.
Unsurprisingly, Conservative support was highest in the Prairies, while the Liberals performed best in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic.
Through two years in office, the Liberals have racked up a number of wins—at least as far as popular support goes—including the gender-based cabinet, the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and slightly more controversially, the imposition of carbon pricing. The government’s reversal on electoral reform, its legal settlement with Omar Khadr and new immigration and refugee settlement targets have been met less enthusiastically.
More recently, the proposed changes to small business taxes have hurt views of the government’s handling of tax policy; 41 per cent now say the Liberals have hurt the Canadian tax system.
As for the party leaders themselves, half of respondents view Trudeau favourably, compared to 44 per cent who take an unfavourable stance.
Voters are less certain about the new heads of the Conservative and NDP parties. 35 per cent view Conservative leader Andrew Scheer positively, versus 32 who don’t and 33 per cent undecided. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s favourables are at 35 per cent, compared to unfavourables of 29 per cent and 37 per cent undecided.