New poll suggests Justin Trudeau ‘Just not ready’ ad is effective among voters

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks during a campaign stop in Gatineau, Que., on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks during a campaign stop in Gatineau, Que., on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TORONTO – A Conservative campaign ad that stresses Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is “just not ready” to lead Canada appears to be resonating with voters according to a new Forum Research poll.

The ad has been running both on television and online since May and shows a group of interviewers going over Trudeau’s “resume” to assess whether he has the skills to be prime minister.

According to the poll, nearly half of the 1,384 people surveyed, or 47 per cent, said the Liberal party leader was not ready, while 39 per cent believe he is. Trudeau polled well among 18- to 34-year-old voters, while respondents from Quebec and Alberta were the most unreceptive towards the Liberal leader.

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Forum attributed the results to the “relentless” messaging by the Tories.

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“It appears that the relentless onslaught of one-message TV ads has had its desired effect,” said Forum Research President Dr. Lorne Bozinoff in a statement.

“Despite serving eight years in parliament, as his party’s critic for citizenship and immigration, and post-secondary education, and being leader for more than two years, Justin Trudeau is branded as ‘not being ready.’”

Bozinoff added the upside from the polling results for Trudeau is that it has minimized expectations for him ahead of the Oct. 19 election leaving plenty of room for the Liberal leader to surprise.

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Conservative Leader Stephen Harper also didn’t fare well in the poll as 68 per cent of respondents said they felt Harper had been on the job for too long. Not surprisingly Harper still found support in his home province of Alberta, where only 47 per cent believed his 10 years as prime minister was too long.

The party leader who polled the strongest was NDP Leader Tom Mulcair as 47 per cent of those surveyed thought Mulcair is ready for Canada’s top job.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1. The results are considered accurate within three percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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The question of “readiness” has popped up several times during the federal election. A new 60-second ad, set to run nationally, features NDP Leader Tom Mulcair who declares: “I’m ready.” The ad, a not-so-subtle jab at the Conservatives, uses childhood photos and vintage video of Mulcair to introduce him as a father and grandfather.

Looking at the overall election picture, a recent Ipsos poll found a tight race with the NDP clinging to a small lead with 33 per cent of popular support, three points ahead of the Liberals and four more than the Conservatives.