Justin Trudeau Poll Finds Liberals Would Win With Him As Leader

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With <a href=Justin Trudeau as leader the Liberal party would beat Stephen Harper's Conservatives and win the next election, according to a new poll." />
With Justin Trudeau as leader the Liberal party would beat Stephen Harper's Conservatives and win the next election, according to a new poll.

With Justin Trudeau as leader, the Liberal party would defeat Stephen Harper's Conservatives and win the next election, according to a new poll.

The Liberals would best the Tories with Trudeau at the helm and would return the NDP to third-party status, according to a Forum survey conducted for the National Post (click the link above to read more on the Post's poll).

Those figures present a tantalizing prospect for the Liberals and may help lead to a virtual coronation for Trudeau in the upcoming leadership contest.

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But since news broke Wednesday that Trudeau will be entering the race, a bevy of prominent columnists have weighed in on why Trudeaumania II could actually be a disaster for the Liberals.

Writing in The Globe and Mail, John Ibbitson argues that Trudeau's choice to enter the race could be the best and worst thing to happen to the Liberals. While Ibbitson says Trudeau's name recognition and charisma make him an almost irresistible candidate, his lack of experience running a complex organization like the Liberals and the animosity toward his father in the West could put him at a disadvantage to Stephen Harper, an experienced tactician and organizer with strong support in the Prairies.

Ibbitson also writes that Trudeau's candidacy may dissuade other impressive Liberal candidates from joining the race.

That's a sentiment echoed by the Toronto Star's Chantal Hebert. She suggests that not only will Trudeau keep other "serious candidates" from mounting campaigns, but that Liberal hopefuls will be hesitant to adopt the "scorched-earth approach to the battle" she thinks will be necessary to defeat the party's most famous figure.

Hebert suggests that Trudeau's importance to the Liberals in Quebec is perhaps the most important reason other candidates may not vigorously attack him.

Jonathan Kay, writing in the National Post, agrees that Trudeau's success in Quebec will be crucial to any bid for prime minister. He suggests Trudeau could bring the Liberals back to life by once again making the party the champion of federalism in the face of Quebec separatism, citing the recent victory of the PQ and Pauline Marois in that province.

Quebec, as crucial as it is in the wake of the NDP Orange Wave of 2011, may not be all Trudeau has to offer.

iPolitics' Colin Horgan suggests Trudeau, who has long focused on youth issues and who is even reportedly planning a campaign run by under 40s, could help bring young people back to the Liberal fold. He cites a new Environics poll that found Canadians between 19 and 29 are more likely to vote Conservative than Liberal.

Ibbitson, in a second Globe column, suggests it's not young people but the suburban middle class, "many of them recent immigrants," that Trudeau must focus on. He argues that this constituency — so aggressively courted by Harper and his Immigration Minister Jason Kenney — must be the focus for the Liberals if they ever hope to return to power.

If the new Forum poll is any indication, Trudeau may already have their attention.

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