Storm clouds brewing for Harper Government

A fascinating EKOS poll this week, primarily because while the national numbers remain stagnant, the underlying trends deliver some potentially serious storm clouds brewing for the government. The two week poll shows a narrow 3% lead in the first week, which rose slightly, back to the 6% we saw for the last EKOS release. It’s the same old story, blah, blah, blah. 

BUT, an entirely striking result is found on the direction of country, direct of government front:

Dramatic shifts on both graphs. What is particularly noteworthy, the LOWEST tallies on direction of country and direction of government, dating back to the height of the recession. This latest finding is a clear departure from the past meandering trend.

Why, what caused such a big shift? If you put aside the "one off" consideration, interesting that Graves also asks questions relating to our foreign policy. These abysmal numbers for the Conservatives tend to support the weakening confidence in the direction of the country and this government’s ability to lead it. A lowly 22% of Canadians believe the Conservatives have helped Canada’s international reputation, while 45% believe their policies have hurt. When voters are asked if the app/dis of the government’s foreign policy, again only 21% approve, while 37% disapprove. Breaking down the regionals, the numbers are even more concerning for the Conservatives electorally. The Conservatives can’t even generate base level support on these questions, a very concerning dynamic.

Last week I argued that a new front has been opened, foreign policy now on the table, due to the recent embarrassing events. This poll demonstrates an achilles heel, the only question will foreign policy be important enough to move votes in an election. I would suggest foreign policy will not dominate, but it will be a point of distinction, an irritant that potentially could hurt re-election chances. In addition, it is plausible to see the sharp decline on the direction front as partially attributable to recent foreign policy news. 

The numbers haven’t moved yet, but we see new underlying weakness, historical lows on broad markers. If I’m the government, this result makes me uneasy, to say the least.

Click HERE to read more from Steve Val

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