Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sees Popularity Drop In Latest Poll

New poll results show Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s popularity in steep decline.

Polling firm Angus Reid is the latest company to find that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s popularity is in precipitous decline in the wake of his widely criticized trip to India. Prime Minister
Trudeau’s net approval rating of -16 is well below Stephen Harper’s rating of -1 at a similar point in his tenure as prime minister.

The latest Angus Reid poll found that 56% of respondents say they disapprove of Prime Minister Trudeau at his government’s 29-month mark, while 40% say they approve. At Harper’s 28-month mark, 47% disapproved while 46% approved.

An accompanying report from Angus Reid points to the recent India trip, where the government was criticized for the presence of a convicted attempted murderer at a prime ministerial event, and a recent report from the ethics commissioner on Trudeau’s trip to the Aga Khan’s private island, as likely sources of the sharp decline.

Angus Reid had to go back to Brian Mulroney in 1988 to find a prime minister with approval numbers as low as Trudeau’s at this point in their first term. Sixty-two per cent disapproved and 27% approved of Prime Minister Mulroney at the 30-month mark of his first term.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal government can take some solace from the fact that Prime Minister Mulroney went on to win another majority, although with a reduced seat count, in an election campaign centring on the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Prime Minister Trudeau’s government is currently engaged in talks to renegotiate its successor, the North American Free Trade Agreement, with the U.S. and Mexico.

The only prime minister in recent memory who enjoyed a positive net approval rating at this point in his tenure was Jean Chretien, who had a +19 approval rating. Fifty-four per cent of respondents approved of Prime Minister Chretien back in 1996.

Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives seem to gain the most from the recent Liberal declines, with 33% of respondents saying they would vote for the Tories if a federal election were held tomorrow. Twenty-five per cent said they would cast a ballot for the Liberals and 16% for the NDP. Mr. Scheer is the only national leader with a positive net approval rating, although 28% of respondents are still “not sure” how they feel about the Conservative leader.

Angus Reid also points out that Canadians aren’t “locked-in” to any of these choices though, with 64% saying they are only somewhat certain or don’t really know which party they would support. And, in response to a question about which leader will make the best prime minster, 39% of Canadians answered “not sure.”