It’s a bit early and it’s only one opinion poll, but the fact that the Liberals are in second place in an Ipsos Reid survey seems to suggest that some of the prime minister’s recent self-inflicted wounds are having an impact.
The security issues on his trip to India have embarrassed the government. Even normally reliable and steady ministers like Ralph Goodale have been seen trying to escape reporters’ questions by scampering down hallways and disappearing into elevators. When combined with some of the equally disastrous but more superficial aspects of the trip, including Justin Trudeau’s wardrobe changes and sparse meeting schedule, it makes the government look unserious, self-serving and defensive.
The next election is a long way from now. Just because some Canadians say they will vote Conservative doesn’t mean they actually will in 18 months. It’s still incredibly hard to unseat a one-term government in Canada. But the events of the past few weeks have damaged the government and the prime minister in ways they’ve never experienced before. It will be interesting to see how and if they recover.