Though Justin Trudeau's Liberals remain ahead of the pack in the latest federal poll, it seems the new leader's honeymoon may be wearing off.
The survey, conducted by EKOS Research for iPolitics earlier this month and surveying 2,900 Canadians, found support for the Liberals to be at 30 per cent, a drop of eight points since EKOS's last poll (April 30-May 2). This is not the first survey to show some weakness in Liberal support from the heady days just after Trudeau's leadership victory.
UPDATE: EKOS also released the results of a late May poll Thursday that had not previously been ublicized. That poll had the Liberals at 35 per cent, the Conservatives at 26 per cent and the NDP at 21 per cent. This further suggests the Liberal decline is part of a trend, while the Conservative and NDP movement has been within the margin of error
The Conservatives had 28 per cent support in the poll, up two points, while New Democrats were down one point to 23 per cent. The Greens had nine per cent and the Bloc Québécois were at six per cent support among decided voters. Undecided voters numbered about nine per cent of all of those surveyed.
The poll found the Tories and Liberals to be tied at 31 per cent apiece among men, but among women, Liberals were ahead with 30 per cent support to 27 per cent for the NDP and only 25 per cent for Conservatives — one reason why the party took pains to emphasize the new women named to cabinet in this week's shuffle.
The Liberals appear to have taken their biggest hit in Ontario and Quebec, with drops of nine and 11 points, respectively. The party remains in front in both seat-rich provinces, however, with 33 per cent in Ontario and 29 per cent in Quebec. Conservatives trail in Ontario with 31 per cent while the Bloc placed second in Quebec with 27 per cent support.
The Quebec numbers are particularly interesting, as both Liberals and NDP took statistically significant steps backwards (the New Democrats were down eight points to 23 per cent). The Bloc Québécois was the big winner, with an eight point gain. That might be an anomaly of the poll, though, as there has not been much of anything going on in the province that could explain the Bloc's increase in support.
And despite the slumping national numbers, there remains some good news for Trudeau. While his lead over Stephen Harper's Tories is within the margin of error, he does have the advantage among older voters: 33 to 28 per cent among those between the ages of 45 and 64, and 36 to 34 per cent among those over the age of 64. These are otherwise known as “people who vote.”
In addition, the numbers need to be placed in context.
It does seem the Trudeau honeymoon is on the wane, with polls no longer putting the party near the 40 per cent mark they were enjoying in May. But if we look at EKOS's poll from this time in 2012, when Trudeau's leadership run was just a rumour, the Liberals have still made some stellar inroads. In that poll, the party had only 20 per cent support — compared to 30 per cent for Conservatives and 32 per cent for the New Democrats (who were still in their own, Thomas Mulcair-inspired, honeymoon). In the last 12 months, the Liberals have picked up 10 points while Tories and the NDP have both slipped.
So, the modern version of Trudeaumania may be falling by the wayside to be replaced with a more modest enthusiasm for the new Liberal leader. It was always unlikely that his numbers were going to remain at 40 per cent for very long. But he has managed to put the Liberal Party back on solid footing, while the Conservatives have yet to show that they are making any sort of comeback. The cabinet shuffle dominated the headlines for part of this week, only to be shoved aside by new allegations of the PMO keeping a revelatory email about the Duffy-Wright affair from the RCMP, and talk of "enemy lists."
In other words, though Trudeau is slipping in the polls Harper does not seem to be in a good position to take advantage.
Éric Grenier taps The Pulse of federal and regional politics for Huffington Post Canada readers every week. Grenier is the author of ThreeHundredEight.com, covering Canadian politics, polls and electoral projections.
Earlier on HuffPost:
Meet The 'Japanese Trudeau'
How is Canada's Justin Trudeau similar to Japan's Shinjiro Koizumi?
Youth and Good Looks
Justin Trudeau, 41, and Shinjiro Koizumi, 32, both bring a youthful energy to politics with charisma to burn. In fact, though Shinjiro is the youngest child of Junichiro Koizumi, supporters of his father believed his energy and outgoing nature made him better suited for politics. And clearly they both know their way around hair products.
Famous Political Families
Justin Trudeau’s dad, Pierre, served as prime minister of Canada for 15 years. Trudeau’s maternal grandfather James Sinclair was a long-time Liberal MP who also served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. Koizumi’s father was prime minister of Japan for five years – the longest tenure for a Japanese prime minister since 1990. His great-grandfather and grandfather were also elected politicians. Much like Pierre Trudeau, Junichiro Koizumi was known as a great communicator. “It was not amazing that Shinjiro became a politician,” Ida says.
Education And Work Experience
Trudeau and Koizumi each have something of a thin resume, at least by the standard of other politicians. Koizumi graduated from Kantogakuin University – “not elite,” says Ida – before entering the Columbia University graduate school in New York. After gaining a Master of Arts, Koizumi became a researcher at CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies) in America. Trudeau has a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from McGill University and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of British Columbia. He worked as a teacher in British Columbia – math, French, social studies and yes, some drama – and chaired the Katimavik youth program from 2002 to 2006.
Both Trudeau and Koizumi know how to harness the power of social media to build their brand. Trudeau’s exploits on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram played a central role in his successful leadership campaign. Koizumi’s <a href="http://shinjiro.info/profile.html" target="_blank">sharp personal website</a> features a blog, photos and interactions with young voters. Because who doesn't love photos of politicians with babies?
It would appear as though Trudeau and Koizumi are both athletes, as well. Koizumi’s hobbies include baseball, surfing and golf, while Trudeau was once a snowboarding and white water rafting instructor.
On his personal website, Koizumi says his biggest disadvantage is that he gets “too hot sometimes.” Assuming Koizumi is talking about his temperament not temperature, Trudeau has also lost his cool in the past. <a href="http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/12/14/justin-trudeau-allegedly-calls-peter-kent-a-piece-of-s-in-commons/" target="_blank">In 2011, Trudeau apologized for famously calling Environment Minister Peter Kent a “piece of shit” in the House of Commons</a>.
NEXT: What Is Justin Trudeau doing?
Come At Me, Bro
Justin Trudeau trains at Pan Am Boxing Club in Winnipeg on Friday Feb. 1, 2013.
Justin Trudeau & co. making faces.
Justin Trudeau splits his pants while pushing the "scrum machine" in support of Prostate Cancer Canada in Toronto Thursday, July 21, 2011.
Justin Trudeau gets his geek on at Montreal Comiccon in September 2012.
So Long 'Stache
Justin Trudeau has his moustache shaved off to raise money for the Judy LaMarsh Fund, that supports female candidates, at the Liberal Party convention in Ottawa on Saturday, January 14, 2012.
Coming For MacKay
Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay (left) is chased by Liberal MP Justin Trudeau in a motorized wheelchair during a wheelchair race relay on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Twenty-five MPs and senators used a wheelchair for the day in support of the Canadian Paraplegic Association's Spinal Cord Injury and CPA awareness month.
All For One, One For All
Justin Trudeau all dressed up for the Montreal Movember Gala in 2010.
Pierre Trudeau's sons, Sacha, left, and Justin, tackle their mother's paperboy in Ottawa in this undated photo.
'Family... And A Cow.'
He Can Certainly Take A Punch
Alexandre (Sacha) Trudeau delivers a right hook to his older brother Justin during a play fight in 1980 at Ottawa airport as the boys await a flight with the return of their father, then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau.
Be Honest With Me, Who's Cuter?
Justin Trudeau strikes a pose with an adorable baby.
A Very Furry Christmas
Justin Trudeau poses with his family on his 2010 Christmas card.
Former Liberal MP Ken Dryden, left, and Justin Trudeau play table hockey as they visit Sun Youth, a community organization, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 in Montreal.
Yanking Their Chain
Then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, left, watches as his 11-year-old son Justin swings on a chain during a tour of an old fort in the Omani town of Nizwa Dec. 2, 1983. Trudeau and Justin spent the day visiting the towns of Jebel and Nizwa 165 kilometres south of Muscat.
Justin Trudeau in Muskoka, Ont.
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, centre, has his cowbay taken by his son Xavier, 4 years-old, while his wife Sophie Gregoire, second from left, holds daughet Ella-Grace, 3 years-old, while they attend the party's annual Stampede breakfast in Calgary, Saturday, July 7, 2012. This is the 100th anniversary of the Stampede.
Like Mother, Like Son
Eleven-month-old Justin Trudeau, urged on by his mother Margaret Trudeau, crawls up the steps of an aircraft in Ottawa on Dec. 5, 1972 to meet his father, then-prime minister, Pierre Trudeau on his return from Britain.
Cutting A Rug
Justin Trudeau dances with wife Sophie Grégoire before his speech at the Liberal showcase on April 6, 2013.
Next: What Is Pierre Trudeau Doing?
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, wearing what someone called his "Mandrake the Magician outfit," walks down the grandstand steps to present the Grey Cup trophy to the victorious Montreal Alouettes in this Nov. 28, 1970 photo.
Hey, It Was The '70s
Pierre Trudeau leans over to kiss an unidentified young lady to the seeming surprise of his recent bride Margaret. Trudeau and Margaret spent Saturday March 27, 1971 at maple tree farm here near Montreal at a sugaring out party.
Fur Wasn't Always Controversial
Pierre Trudeau accompanies Margaret Sinclair, at the annual Governor General's skating party for members of Parliament in Ottawa Jan. 14, 1970.
Ditto For Seal Hunting
Pierre Trudeau looks through the scope of his rifle while on a seal hunting trip in Baffin Island's Clear Water Fjord, July 29, 1968.
A Leg Up
Pierre Trudeau shoes off his frisbee catching style while waiting to board his plane in Vancouver May 16, 1979.
Calisthenics Were Still Cool
Pierre Trudeau had no trouble keeping himself occupied during a break from a boat trip down the Northwest Territories, Nahanni River, Monday Aug. 4, 1970.
Pierre Trudeau takes a wary look at an ice crevice, decides to chance it and makes the leap successfully during a midnight seal- hunting expedition at Clearwater Fjord in Canada's Arctic, July 29, 1968.
When in France...
Pierre Trudeau receives a kiss from his wife Margaret during a tour of St. Pierre, France, Aug. 1971.
Pierre Trudeau in Guayana 1974.
Friendlier With Reporters Than You Know Who
Pierre Trudeau sticks his tongue out to Canadian Press Photographer Peter Bregg during the 1972 election campaign. This photo was taken aboard the campaign plane where such antics were considered off the record. The photo was not made available until after the death of the prime minister
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau dances in Montreal Oct. 21, 1979.
Acting like a Beatle
Pierre Trudeau sprints away from a crowd of female admirers in Ottawa April 22, 1968. They surrounded him outside the Parliament Buildings on his third day in office.
Posing with a Beatle
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, meet with Pierre Trudeau Dec. 24, 1969 in Ottawa.
'I See Cigars And Rum In Our Future'
Pierre Trudeau looks on as Cuban President Fidel Castro gestures during a visit to a Havana housing project in this Jan. 27, 1976 photo.
Acting Out A Tory Fantasy?
Pierre Trudeau pretending to strangle himself with a tie given to him as he was presented with honorary membership in the National Press Club in Ottawa Sept. 17, 1968.
Pierre Trudeau amuses a group of people in Fortune while on tour through Newfoundland, Aug. 3, 1971.
Oh Captain! My Captain!
Pierre Trudeau takes a ride on the Bluenose, Aug. 1972.
Nice Form Pierre
Pierre Trudeau works out at an Oshawa health club during a break in his 1968 election campaign.
Are The Flowers Too Much?
Pierre Trudeau, with a garland around his neck and a Hindu greeting symbol in paste on his forhead, rides a camel Jan 12, 1971 in the village of Benares, India, where he dedicated a water well.
I Do Love Flowers
Pierre Trudeau kids around with a carnation while waiting for voting results at the Liberal convention in this April 7, 1968 photo.
Indiana Jones Of The Great White North
Pierre Trudeau tries cracking a dog sled whip while visiting Baker Lake in the Arctic, March 10, 1970.
Never Afraid To Dance
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Sheik Yamani, left, and Pierre Trudeau, right, dance a traditional Arabian dance while camping out in the desert in Madein Saleh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 18, 1980.
Or Rock A Skirt
Pierre Trudeau, seen here taking part in Maori ceremonial dance in Wellington, New Zealand May 13, 1970.
Got The Moves
Pierre Trudeau does a dance after his campaign bus broke down in Montreal June 6, 1968.