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Troubling stats for Trudeau Liberals: Pollster says close to half of Canadians want change of gov't

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to supporters during a Liberal Party of Canada event in Montreal, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Just weeks ahead of the federal election, 49 per cent of voters polled say they want to see a new party in power

Abacus Data has found about 20 per cent of Canadians polled definitely want to see the Liberals return to government

With such a large pool of undecided voters, small shifts in support can make big impact on the campaign trail this fall

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – As we wait for the prime minister to pull the trigger on an official election call, it appears voters are split about whether or not it is time for the Trudeau Liberals to get the political boot.

On Oct. 21, Canadians will have a choice to make, and David Coletto with Abacus Data says according to his polling numbers, 49 per cent of voters will be casting a ballot for a change of government.

“You’ve got half of the country already saying I’m probably not going to vote Liberal, I’m definitely not wanting them back in power, and that’s a sizable number of Canadians,” he explains.

However, one-in-five respondents say they do want the Grits re-elected, while one-third say they just aren’t sure or are not paying attention.

While these numbers may seem bad, Coletto says in our multi-party, first-past-the-post-system, the Liberals are still quite competitive. Part of that is because we’re not seeing voters rally behind a single alternative option.

“When it comes to Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives, not enough people feel comfortable with them quite yet,” he explains. “So the campaign will matter.”

Coletto notes the number of people who want to see the Liberals out is still less than the two-thirds who wanted the Conservatives out in the 2015 vote.

“But given that they’ve only been in power for four years and Stephen Harper was in power for almost 10, it does suggest they’ve got a lot of turbulence, I think,” Coletto says.

With such a large pool of undecided voters, small shifts in support can make a big impact on the campaign trail.

Recent polls from Abacus Data show the Greens and the NDP are trailing far behind the Liberals and Conservatives in the polls.

Coletto has said the key battlegrounds for the two front-runners will be vote-rich Ontario and Quebec, and that all parties will need different strategies in order to claim victory.