A half-dozen national polls now put the Conservatives behind the Liberals, by margins of as much as 13 percentage points. Averaging across them, the website ThreeHundredEight.com puts Conservative support at 29%, the lowest it has been since they first took power in 2006 and a drop of more than 10 points from their share of the popular vote in the election just two years ago.
Well, you say, governments often go through troughs in support at mid-term. The Tories have been behind before — after Michael Ignatieff became Liberal leader in 2009, and again after Thomas Mulcair became NDP leader in 2012 — and soon recaptured the lead.
Yes, but they never fell this far. And that’s a puzzle: looking at a chart of Environics Research polls going back to 1978, I can see two previous cases of a governing party falling below the 30% mark: the Liberals in the…
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