The polls say the honeymoon is definitely over. Wikimedia Commons/2017 Canada Summer Games

One day you’re in, the next you’re out

Angus Reid has a new poll out and it contains dismal news for Justin Trudeau.

The honeymoon is over. It’s so over that the parties are considering divorce.

For the first time since his election in 2015, more Canadians disapprove of Trudeau than approve.

The latest polling analysis published by Angus Reid on March 19 shows that if an election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives would — brace yourself — be in striking range of a majority.

Wow. That’s a poll that’s going to ripple through the landscape.

Four in ten Canadians say they would vote CPC if an election were held this week. Only 30 per cent say they would vote Liberal. That’s a huge swing. Unable to take any real advantage of Trudeau’s woes are the NDP, who 19 per cent of voters say they would mark an X for.

Also 51 per cent of Canadians say “It’s time for a change in government”.

As always, the Conservatives have the lead when it comes to the economy, with Andrew Scheer seen as best suited to guiding it, while great unease over the continued deficit spending of the Liberals is driving some of this anti-Trudeau sentiment, according the Angus Reid analysts.

Scheer still has some ground to make up in terms of a head to head with Trudeau, as most Canadians polled (26 per cent) still say Trudeau makes the better Prime Minister. 22 per cent say Scheer would. But he’s clearly gaining, perhaps as Canadians become more familiar with him. He was very much an unknown entity when first elected CPC leader.

Not really moving the needle is NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, with only seven per cent saying he would make the best PM.

Clearly in the lead in this category is the Not Sure crowd, which makes up 39 per cent of the polled public.

All parties can take comfort in the fact that the election is still some 18 months away, so there is plenty of time to convince the Not Sures to turn their vote a particular party’s way.

However, Angus Reid pollsters conclude, and I can’t say I disagree, that these result mean all three leaders should be somewhat concerned.

“CPC leader Andrew Scheer and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh – each less than a year into his tenure – remain largely unknown to many Canadians. This, coupled with the continuing drop in Trudeau’s approval rating, creates a national environment in which no party leader is necessarily capturing the hearts and minds of Canadians,” says the analysis.

Millennials continue to support Trudeau, but the question is, will they vote? They came out in droves to support him in 2015, but now that the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, will they be motivated to return to the polls in numbers large enough to make a difference?

The Liberals also, though their overall support is softening, remain fairly strong in urban areas.

So winners and not-so-winning political figures are starting to become clear. Scheer appears to be in the winning column as Canadians are indicating they like what they see and what they know so far. Trudeau is falling victim to the old adage, familiarity breeds contempt. And Singh falls under the ‘meh’ column on the ledger.

You know who might be ruing the day even more than Trudeau at this juncture? Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

Conventional pundit wisdom held the theory that Wall did not go for the federal Conservative leadership this last time because the writing was on the wall for another Liberal majority in 2019, and he didn’t want to be the guy to lead the Conservatives into that. He would be the guy to swoop in and pick up the pieces after the party fell to defeat.

How times have changed.

If the Conservatives are gaining this much ground under the unknown Scheer, imagine how well they could be doing under the much wider-known and admired Wall.

Did Wall miss the boat? If indeed he has federal aspirations, he’s going to have a tough row to hoe if Scheer pulls out even a minority victory in 2019.

That’s politics. One day you’re in and the next, you’re out.

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