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New “Trudeaumania” best bet for Liberals to beat Harper: poll

VANCOUVER – While the majority of Liberals may be caught up in ‘Trudeaumania’ heading into the leadership vote next weekend, it’s not just the Grits that think Justin Trudeau stands the best chance of beating Harper.

In an exclusive Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Global News and Postmedia News, almost six out of 10 NDP supporters said they believe Trudeau is the best bet for the Liberals to take on Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in the next election.

Support for the Liberals has grown since the 41-year-old Papineau MP first revealed last fall his intentions to lead the party.  According to poll results revealed on Thursday, the Liberals are virtually neck-and-neck and the moment: 32 per cent of decided voters saying they would vote for the Trudeau-led Liberals and 31 per cent choosing the Tories.

The Thomas Mulcair-led NDP weren’t too far behind, garnering the support of 27 per cent of respondents.

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While it seems like Trudeau is assured he’ll have a spot on the ballot, when the next federal election rolls around in 2015, the poll shows Canadians feel he hasn’t had to make too much of an effort to earn the Liberal leadership.

Timeline: Liberal Leadership 2013

“The fact that he is the son of a charismatic former Prime Minister appears to be helping Justin Trudeau gain credibility,” Ipsos Reid CEO Darrell Bricker said.

According to the survey, carried out between March 28 and April 3, almost three quarters (73 per cent) of the 1,053 eligible voters surveyed felt being Pierre Trudeau’s son is the main reason he is the popular choice to lead the Liberals.

In fact, even the Liberals feel that way: 65 per cent of the party’s supporters agreed he is benefiting from his dad’s legacy.

In the minds of 69 per cent of the voting public, Trudeau’s bid to lead the Liberals has been far too easy. “It’s turning into a coronation in which he has not had to prove himself,” Bricker said.

But, it seems as though Canadians need a bit of a Trudeau-mania fix and want some excitement in federal politics.

“The data suggest that his popularity might be more about his style than substance,” Bricker said, explaining that six in 10 voters believe he has a “refreshing new way of doing politics that we desperately need these days.”

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Walking in his father’s footsteps? 

  •  If Justin Trudeau wasn’t Pierre Trudeau’s son, nobody would be interested in his political views and he wouldn’t seriously be considered for leadership of the Liberal Party: 73 per cent strongly/somewhat agree, 27 per cent strongly/somewhat disagree
  •  I know what Justin Trudeau stands for and where he would lead Canada if he was ever Prime Minister: 50 per cent strongly/somewhat disagree, 50 per cent strongly/somewhat disagree.
  •  I think Justin Trudeau represents a refreshing new way of doing politics that we desperately need these days: 57 per cent strongly/somewhat agree, 44 per cent strongly somewhat disagree
  •  I think Justin Trudeau is nothing but media hype: 53 per cent strongly/somewhat agree, 47 per cent strongly/somewhat disagree.

View the full set of poll results

Although supporters of the New Democrats think Pierre Trudeau will help the Liberals face-off against the Conservatives, the notion of a Liberal-NDP merger is still popular, the Ipsos Reid poll reveals.

Most Liberal-inclined respondents don’t want a merger, but 45 per cent say that’s the way to move forward. NDP supporters are just about evenly split on the notion, with 51 per cent behind the idea.

This Ipsos Reid poll was conducted between March 28 and April 3, on behalf of Postmedia News and Global Television. For this survey, a sample of 1,053 Canadians, from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. The poll is accurate to within 3.4 percentage points, had all Canadians adults been surveyed.

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