Despite a summer focused on the issue of housing affordability, recent polling reveals the Liberal government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, lag behind the Conservatives and the New Democrats in gaining public trust on this matter.
The comprehensive poll was executed by Nanos Research and revealed that amongst respondents queried on federal parties they trust the most to address the soaring housing costs, 25 percent leaned towards the Conservatives while 22 percent expressed faith in the New Democrats. The same percentage seemed disillusioned and placed trust in none of the federal parties, and 15 percent demonstrated trust in the Liberals.
Nik Nanos, in his discourse on the survey results, asserted that the numbers reflect an unfavorable situation for the Liberals, pointing out that their credibility was diminishing as they increasingly stressed on the issue of affordability.
There also remains a segment of the population, about seven percent, that seems uncertain on which party to place their confidence. While other percentages were scattered across the Bloc Quebecois, Greens, and the People’s Party of Canada.
Reacting to the poll’s outcome, Housing Minister Sean Fraser projected that the public’s expectation was to witness a more substantial federal role in tackling the housing predicament and pledged to introduce new housing affordability measures within the upcoming months.
“Nanos” suggested, given the substantial one-third of respondents showing ambivalence or distrust towards all parties, an opportunity for the Liberals exists to close the trust deficit.
Regionally, the support for the Conservatives, in relation to housing affordability, was found to be concentrated in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada. On the other hand, Ontarians, Quebecers, and British Columbians were more inclined to trust the New Democrats.
The concerns over housing followed the PM into the Liberal cabinet retreat in August, where no new housing measures were announced. Also, the government’s efforts to project an image of being entirely engrossed in ensuring home ownership as a reality for most Canadians has been met with criticism.
In the foreseeable future, the housing crisis seems set to remain a contentious issue with the NDP pushing for additional benefits and the Conservatives advocating for more housing and reduced prices.
Interestingly, overall polling during the summer has shown Conservatives pulling ahead of the Liberals, although the gap seems to be slowly closing. What once seemed a runaway lead for the Conservatives a month ago now appears to be converting into a closely fought political contest, with Nanos likening the situation to a “technical correction”.
Alluding the Canadian political landscape to Stephen Harper in 2006, Nanos argued that while a significant number of Canadians might desire change, they remain uncertain about vesting a majority in the Conservatives. He ended by stressing the importance of the forthcoming Conservative policy convention in cultivating the party’s image as a potential future government.