It's too early to make predictions about the federal election, but it appears that Justin Trudeau's support for Bill C-51 has hurt him. Michael Harris writes:
In his latest poll, Graves placed the NDP and the Conservatives in a tie with 125 seats apiece, and the Liberals at 83 seats, based on a 338 parliament. If that model were to hold, the Trudeau Liberals would see a pick up of 47 seats, the Mulcair NDP would add 30 seats, and the Harper Conservatives would lose 34 seats. Canada would have a minority government led by either Harper or Mulcair. Trudeau would be reduced to the most disappointed of political players; the king-maker who wanted to be king.
Trudeau has always known that the Harperites were gunning for him, not Mulcair. He knew that Bill C-51 was a carefully devised trap. By supporting it with promised amendments, he thought he could avoid the trap. However:
Canadians seem to be getting tired of fear politics all the time. Support for the master of scare-politics, Stephen Harper, is at historic lows. The CPC’s support appears to be “baked in” at just under 30 per cent, with very little prospect for growth. Harper is still the first choice of a significant bloc of voters, but he is the second choice of almost no one.
The more Canadians learn about the bill, the more they are appalled by it. The prime minister still feels it's his trump card. Who knows? Maybe it will be. Either way, the Bill may turn out to be Justin's nemesis.
If present poll numbers hold, we may wind up with the possibility of a hung parliament on the eve of the election. And Canadians may choose -- as Britons did -- to stick with the devil they know. Or they may decide that Harper has to go and choose the person they feel has the best chance of ousting him -- think Lester Pearson in 1957 or Brian Mulroney in 1993.
Don't make book on it. But the Liberals could be in for another rough ride.