Clearly, it was not the kind of news they had gone to the Manning Centre to hear, and, it seems, they did not receive it with particular good grace.
As reported in The Star
, presenting the results of a poll
he conducted in December, André Turcotte imparted the following to party activists Friday:“For the first time, Liberals have re-emerged as the party that a plurality of Canadians identify with,” ... “Now the Liberals and the Conservatives are tied almost as the party perceived to be the best to deal with the economy. This is a big change from previous years.”
In fact, even that wasn't quite true, given that 31 per cent of Canadians identified with the Liberals, 26 per cent with the Conservatives, 18 per cent with the NDP, and six per cent with the Green party.
Reacting swiftly, his listeners challenged Turcotte, with one asking him if he polled before Trudeau began making his verbal gaffes.
Alas, no solace was to be proffered, the pollster replying that the shift in attitudes is a trend that actually began to show up two years ago, has now taken hold, and cannot be attributed simply to “the Trudeau effect” with the election last spring of Justin Trudeau as the new federal Liberal party leader.
Rather, Conservative handling of issues such as the economy, health care, unemployment and poverty, ranked in order of respondents' priorities, did not inspire confidence.
Pointedly, Turcotte said he did not probe the issue of crime in any depth, as it largely shows up only as a concern for the Conservatives’ base. He said it does not broaden support.
And the bad news for the Harperites doesn't stop there. As reported by Susan Delacourt
, another poll, this one conducted by Angus Reid
, suggests that Canadians are increasingly waking up to the destructive and unhealthy nature of the Harper regime:Nearly two-thirds of Canadians believe that the ruling Conservatives are settling political scores with their Fair Elections Act
Even though only 20% of poll respondents admitted to any real knowledge about the act, 62 per cent said the bill was being introduced because “the Conservative government is motivated politically and dislikes Elections Canada.” Among those more well-acquainted with the legislation, that suspicion rises to 69 per cent.
While it is far too early to begin thinking that the Conservative government's electoral defeat is within grasp, it is an encouraging sign that all progressives should work to exploit in every way we can.