Would Canadians want to see Stephane Dion become Prime Minister?
Don't Know 28%
June 8-11 Strategic Counsel, MOE 3.1
Disappointing, concerning, sobering, some would argue not unexpected. Interesting finding, on the heels of the Decima Poll, which gives the Liberals a slight edge. This isn't the first poll to show Dion wanting in the leadership arena, having said that it doesn't diminish the implications.
Dion's leadership is acting as a drag on the Liberal numbers. I would argue that the only reason Harper isn't in complete freefall is due to the hesitation with Dion. Despite the Conservative erosion, the Liberal numbers have remained largely stagnant, with a slight uptick. Some support moving to the NDP, the Green Party and the Bloc, as voters vaciliate. I assume that if Dion had made a better impression with Canadians, the Liberals would be in the mid to high 30's right now. Dion's leadership is clearly a check.
However, I don't see the present circumstance as permanent. What we see is latent opportunity for the Liberals, and what is required is that Dion seizes the moment. I think it objectively obvious that Dion has improved in the past weeks, both in deliver and confidence. That fact suggests Dion is starting to grow into the job, and that raises the possibility that his personal numbers can improve. As an aside, when Dion was presented with these numbers today, his response was a good one- it is hard for a new leader to make an impression, citing Layton, Harper and Duceppe as past examples.
Will Dion improve? Open question, but the fact that the Liberals are polling ahead of the Tories, or even tied, is a good foundation, given the net negative with Dion. It makes me wonder what might happen if Dion starts to connect.