John Ivison: Trudeau’s Liberals need to change strategy or face an appalling election defeat


There is nothing inevitable about elections — anything can happen, as we have seen over the past three weeks. But as sure as snow melts in spring, the Liberals are going to lose this election unless they can change its trajectory. A new poll by Innovative Research shows how the appetite for change has grown in the past six months to 60 per cent on August 21 from 49 per cent in March. That is higher than the 55 per cent in 2019 and on its way to the 62 per cent in 2015. I visited 22 ridings in that election and the conversation with many, many voters started with: “Harper has to go…”. Once that decision has been made by enough people, nobody is listening to you anymore. The Liberals have to arrest that descent by making voters take a long look at the alternatives and what change actually means. With nearly three weeks to go, the good news for Trudeau is that he still has time. But the trendlines are ominous. While Innovative Research has the Liberals three points ahead in the horse-race, it also suggests Trudeau’s leadership numbers are trailing Erin O’Toole’s — the first time I have seen that in any poll.

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