Yesterday, our pollster, Abacus Data, reported that if Justin Trudeau was leading the Liberal Party of Canada, a whole pile of Canadians would be prepared to vote Liberal again.
Right now, according to Abacus, just 20 per cent would vote Liberal if an election were held to today compared to 35 per cent each for the NDP and Tories.
But after asking its survey panel that question, it floated a hypothetical: If Trudeau was leading the Liberals, who would you vote for? Answer: Conservatives: 33%, Liberals: 32%, NDP: 24%. Talk about your reversal of fortune!
Now, Trudeau told reporters that his current decision is not to run for the top job. Here’s what he told reporters on June 13, just after Bob Rae announced he would not seek to make his interim status permanent: “My own decision around – to not go was independent of what Bob decided to do and any decision to reverse my prior decision which is something that I have to do on reflection and in conversation with my family if indeed I’m going to go back on my previously stated ‘no’ will be – will be done independently of whether or not Bob was in or not.”
Now, Abacus also gave its survey panelists a list of names of people who have been touted as possible leadership candidates including Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, MP and former astronaut Mark Garneau and journalist Andrew Coyne.
Well, as it turns out, there will be a Coyne running but not Andrew. Instead, as CP’s Joan Bryden reports today, Andrew’s cousin Deborah Coyne is to announce that she’s in the race. Coyne is a lawyer, one-time Liberal candidate in Toronto-Danforth and a former advisor Pierre Trudeau. She and Trudeau had a daughter but, as Coyne tells Bryden, her family has kept quite separate from Justin Trudeau’s family.
With Coyne’s entry, there will officially be three racing to become the heir of Wilfrid Laurier, Mackenzie King and Lester Pearson: Coyne; Oakbank, MB paramedic Shane Geschiere, a 32-year-old who has never held public office; and, as of last night, David Merner, who resigned as president of the Liberal Party of Canada – BC in order to run for the top job.