Politics
Despite Trudeau, Liberals still trail Tories, NDP

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau

Credits: CRAIG GLOVER The London Free Press / QMI AGENCY

DAVID AKIN | PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU CHIEF

OTTAWA - While Justin Trudeau is getting Liberal voters excited in that party's leadership race, there are no signs his candidacy has ignited a new Trudeaumania among all voters.

A new poll done exclusively for QMI Agency shows that voters in Canada continue to remain divided largely along the same partisan lines as they did in the 2011 general election.

Abacus Data found that, across the country, the Conservatives have the support of 35% of voters, the NDP 31% and the Liberals 21%.

"Although the Liberal leadership race is in full swing, it has had little effect on Liberal fortunes across the country," Abacus CEO David Coletto said. "Support for the Conservatives is down from the 2011 election but neither the NDP nor the Liberals have gained either.

"Like much of Canada, the federal political landscape seems to be in a deep freeze."

For this poll, Abacus paid particular attention to Ontario voters and found the city of Toronto remains one of the last bastions of strong Liberal support in the country.

But in the suburban ring around Toronto, the Conservatives top the charts.

That division could have implications for the next general election because 30 new ridings will be in play, most of them in the suburban rings around Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

And while Conservative support seems relatively solid across the country, Coletto suggests that there has been movement between NDP and Liberal supporters - and could be more.

"The NDP has been able to maintain most of its supporters from the 2011 federal election while attracting some support from previous Liberal supporters," Coletto said.

"However, due to the underwhelming impressions of Tom Mulcair outside of Quebec, this support is likely soft and up for grabs if the Liberals can generate some excitement around whoever their new leader is."

Liberals pick their new leader in April. Trudeau has overwhelmingly raised the most money in that race and, according to polls by Abacus and other researchers, he holds out the most promise of resuscitating the Liberal brand.

Abacus surveyed 1,832 Canadians between Feb. 5 and 6 using an online survey. The pollster weighted the survey sample by age, gender, region and education level according to the most recent census data.

The method is widely used and, according to the industry association of which the pollster is a member, is believed to be capable of producing accurate results.

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