Going Into 2023, The Conservatives Are Widening Their Lead Over Trudeau’s Liberals

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on December 28, 2022

With the new year of 2023 just a few days away, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party seems to be finding itself in an increasingly large polling deficit behind Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives. This has been the story for several months now, but the fact that despite all the negative media coverage on Poilievre, trying to associate him with the “far-right”, Canadians are not reflexively moving back towards the Liberals.

In fact, not only are the Conservatives outpolling the Liberals nationally but provinces like Ontario, where the Conservatives need to make inroads to form a majority government, are tipping in favour of the CPC. 

Although it has been said many times before and has been wrong, right now it does genuinely feel like Canadians are becoming tired of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals governing Canada. Trudeau had his ups and downs in the polls before the 2019 and 2021 elections, but for several months now it has seemed like the Liberals are only ever down, outside of a few outlier polls.

What is worse for Trudeau than a large portion of the population actively disliking him (as conservative Canadians do), is having a majority of Canadians become apathetic towards him. They aren’t impressed with his tenure in office, Canada doesn’t feel like it has been on the rise for quite a while, so even for multiple-time Trudeau voters, the prospect of voting to prop him up in office for another term feels more like a tedious chore than ever before. 

It is what happened to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2015. Harper wasn’t doing a bad job; from a conservative’s perspective he was quite good, but overall he lost the political initiative and became unambitious, ensuring a significant portion of his supporters from 2011 started to look elsewhere (ie. Trudeau’s Liberals). 

It was telling that on the Curse of Politics podcasts, the Liberal strategist hosts of the show said that the Liberals need to start dumping negative ads on Pierre Poilievre because it’s difficult to make an affirmative case for voting for Trudeau.

(Segment starts at 13:50, well worth the listen for an insight into the mindset of Liberal strategists) 

What Pierre Poilievre needs to do now is make sure that he doesn’t slink back into the same old sluggish patterns of Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole and stop defining himself as the energetic new Conservative leader, leading a small government movement across the country.

Poilievre frankly seems to have slowed down over the past few months, which could bode poorly for him if the Liberals decided to drop negative ads on him, and taint his image with Canadians still not yet familiar with who he is. 

O’Toole was as boring and unambitious as a Conservative leader could be, and because he was so flat-footed the Liberals and labour unions still were able to convince a significant portion of the Canadian public that he was a hard-right Conservative, despite disagreeing with Trudeau on nearly anything. 

Conservatives in general need to also nominate better candidates on the local level. The Conservatives always seem dumbfounded on how to break into the GTA, but consistently nominate planks of wood who act like diet Liberals in the Toronto area, and wonder why voters are not particularly galvanized. 

At the very least, despite my complaints about how the Conservative Party operates at times, they are in a great position to win the next election, and maybe even clinch a majority. As long as the Conservatives don’t flake on their principles they should be able to at least maintain or grow their current lead on Trudeau.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

One response to “Going Into 2023, The Conservatives Are Widening Their Lead Over Trudeau’s Liberals”

  1. Jeff says:

    Nailed it, Wyatt. In every aspect, incredibly accurate. In sincere hopes they accept my invite to read this comprehensive account, I emailed a link to this article to the Poilievre office. Well done.