Trudeau most trusted on econ­omy

Sur­vey favours Lib­eral leader when it comes to pros­per­ity

The Peterborough Examiner - - BUSINESS - SHELLY HAGAN BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK—Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau is head­ing into the fi­nal stretch of cam­paign­ing ahead of the Oct. 21 elec­tion re­tain­ing a firm lead on the cru­cial ques­tion of eco­nomic stew­ard­ship.

Ac­cord­ing to a monthly sur­vey con­ducted by Nanos Re­search Group for Bloomberg, 35 per cent of re­spon­dents say they trust Trudeau the most to pro­mote eco­nomic growth, ver­sus 27 per cent for Con­ser­va­tive Leader An­drew Scheer.

Trudeau has held the lead in the poll for four straight months. The Lib­eral leader has pulled ahead largely be­cause the na­tion’s eco­nomic per­for­mance firmed up in re­cent months. This in­cludes a re­cov­er­ing hous­ing mar­ket, a re­bound in eco­nomic growth in the sec­ond quar­ter and one of the strong­est job mar­kets in the past four decades.

At the same time, nei­ther party leader has had much to say about how they plan to pro­mote longer-term growth, and in­stead made pledges that fo­cus on cost-of-liv­ing is­sues rather than pro­vid­ing co­her­ent eco­nomic agen­das. That gives Trudeau an ad­van­tage at a time when the econ­omy is per­form­ing rel­a­tively well, Nanos said.

“Be­cause both Trudeau and Scheer have fo­cused on the cost of liv­ing, a di­a­logue on eco­nomic pros­per­ity has taken a back seat to pock­et­book is­sues and mi­cro-prom­ises,” Nik Nanos, chair of Nanos Re­search, said in an email. “The re­sult is that Scheer has not closed the gap on this.”

Through­out the cam­paign, party lead­ers have made af­ford­abil­ity the key topic, of­fer­ing mea­sures aimed at cut­ting taxes, mak­ing hous­ing more af­ford­able and low­er­ing prices for ser­vices like child care, ed­u­ca­tion and phone ser­vices.

The lat­est Nanos poll on eco­nomic stew­ard­ship was con­ducted be­tween Sept. 26 and 30 and is con­sid­ered ac­cu­rate within 3.1 per­cent­age points, 19 times out of 20.

A strong econ­omy isn’t a guar­an­tee of elec­toral suc­cess. It has, how­ever, helped give Trudeau some­thing pos­i­tive to talk about af­ter his cam­paign was side­tracked by ques­tions around his lead­er­ship and judg­ment in the wake of rev­e­la­tions he wore black­face on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions as a younger man.

Sup­port for the Lib­er­als has re­mained steady through­out the cam­paign, hov­er­ing be­tween 33 and 34 per cent, ac­cord­ing to a ag­gre­gate polling av­er­ages compiled by the CBC.

That put them in a tie with the Con­ser­va­tives head­ing into a cru­cial lead­ers’ de­bate Mon­day.

Trudeau has also had the ben­e­fit of sta­bi­liz­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence num­bers in re­cent weeks, as height­ened con­cerns about the global eco­nomic out­look that were preva­lent in Au­gust fade.

The Bloomberg Nanos Cana­dian Con­fi­dence In­dex hit 58.2 last week, the high­est since the end of July.

The pickup is due to grow­ing op­ti­mism for the econ­omy and for hous­ing prices.

Trust in Trudeau to man­age the econ­omy is high­est in At­lantic Canada, On­tario and Que­bec.

The Lib­eral leader is most trusted on growth among older Cana­di­ans and women.

Scheer scores higher in the en­ergy-rich Prairies.

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