With the next federal election just over a year away, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau continues to track towards victory but slips into the minority range, a new poll finds.
According to the Forum Research poll, which was published in the Toronto Star on Thursday, 41 per cent will vote Liberal in the next election, while 32 per cent would vote for the Conservatives.
The Liberals lost ground to Prime Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, dropping from 16 points ahead, in a poll on July 19, to nine points in the recent poll.
The Conservatives gained four points back into the 32 per cent support range, while the Liberals have lost three points from 44 per cent in July.
The New Democrats remained stable, at 18 per cent in the July poll and 17 per cent in the recent poll, while only five per cent said they would vote Bloc Quebecois or for the Green Party.
If the election were hold today, the Liberals would take 142 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, which would be 13 short of a majority. The Conservatives would capture 110 seats, NDP 51, Bloc 4 and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would keep the party’s single seat.
The stronger Conservative numbers could be the result of Harper’s performance on the international stage, such as the government’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian and Ukraine conflicts.
Trudeau emerged from a three-day caucus retreat in Edmonton on Wednesday with a goal of winning 170 of the 304 seats available. He continues to attract high-profile candidates to run alongside him, such as former television host Seamus O’Regan.
Forum CEO Lorne Bozinoff told 680News the Liberals have lost voter support points not because of a policy slip or due to a polarizing position on the legalization of marijuana.
“I don’t think that’s an issue at all. We just had great success for the Liberals in Trinity-Spadina a month ago, so I think they’re still on track with their minority,” Bozinoff said.
“The best way to say is that they have not had a bad month, so I think they’re edging up a little bit because of that. It’s not anything major really.”
In terms of approval rating, Trudeau appears to have the edge over Harper, at 48 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. Both party leaders saw their approval ratings increase from the poll conducted in July. However, Mulcair’s approval rating has dropped from to 37 per cent from 40 per cent.
The poll, which was conducted on Aug. 18-19 via interactive voice response telephone, surveyed 1798 Canadian voters. The results are considered accurate plus or minus two per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The federal election is scheduled for October 2015.
Read the entire poll result report below: