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  • Finlay McPherson

Pierre Poilievre: Canada’s Next Prime Minister

Canada has been led by Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party for the last eight years but after rampant mortgage costs, rising interest rates, slow economic growth and plummeting approval ratings, it seems as if Trudeau may finally be out of office. The question then comes, who will replace him? The answer is Pierre Poilievre, the 44-year-old leader of the opposition - and head of the Conservative Party.

Poilievre is by far and away Trudeau's biggest threat in the upcoming 2025 Canadian General Election. The Conservative Party sits around 40% in the polls, 15% ahead of the Trudeau-led Liberal Party - according to polling site 338Canada, which compiles all General Election polling into a singular tracker. If the polls stayed as they are now, the Canadian Conservatives would be the largest party in Parliament: netting 204 seats, that is an 85-seat increase on the 2021 General Election. The Liberal Party would lose a total of 97 seats and finish the election with 63 MPs - a complete annihilation of the governing party.

The Conservative’s polling success has not been a flash in the pan or a simple polling spike. They have consistently been on par with, or have led, the Liberal Party since mid-2022 and have soared ahead in recent months, a consistently damning indictment of Trudeau’s leadership and his party’s competence. Poilievre himself is credited with the recent polls’ success: his personal approval polling finds him more popular than Trudeau, whose own approval ratings sit around a dismal 31% (according to the Angus Reid Institute). In addition to this, in a recent poll conducted by Ipsos 72% of voters believed that Trudeau should resign as Liberal Party leader, and therefore Prime Minister, before the 2025 elections - a similarly strong expression of displeasure with the current Canadian leader. With a Conservative Party victory imminent, a Poilievre premiership is seemingly inevitable.

Poilievre has managed to harness political energy that was previously thought to only be available to outsider candidates and populists. In September of this year, 2,500 supporters flocked to Quebec City to attend a policy convention at which Pierre was speaking. They waited for hours to see the Conservative Party leader and even after a speech that lasted over an hour, they queued up to take photos and speak personally to their political hero. After the conference, the attendees gathered to collect bags full of merchandise brandishing Pierre Poilievre’s name, perhaps the truest indicator of loyal political allegiance. The fact that he has managed to garner a great deal of political support and fanfare speaks volumes as to the support for his policies and personality, as well as the dismay and distrust many feel towards Trudeau's government. Charismatic and well-spoken, Pierre is an effective and strong leader who seems to mean what he says and genuinely believes in the policies he presents.

Sticking to the policy of Conservative political parties worldwide, Poilievre has frequently used his platform to promise a sensible and secure economic platform that returns Canada to its financially-secure management of the past. He has promised to enact a policy of ‘spend a dollar, cut a dollar’, and has coupled this with the traditionally Conservative policies of low taxes, greater individual liberties and a smaller government. His promise to ‘axe the tax’ has become one of the most well known political slogans in Canada, alongside the similarly quotable; ‘Your home. My home. Our home. Bring it home’. This has become synonymous with his campaign messages. It is his plan to tackle the housing crisis engulfing Canada, which is perhaps his most popular policy to date. Pierre has promised to build more houses than ever and fight cities that refuse to cooperate with him. He plans to impose penalties and even go so far as to withhold governmental funding from cities that fail to, or refuse to, increase house building by 15% per year.

While house building may be his most popular policy, his ability to have - seemingly - united the Conservative Party is his most impressive feat. Similar to the Conservative Party in the UK, the Canadian Tories are a broad-church party that encompasses many beliefs. However, where Rishi Sunak and his predecessor failed, Poilievre seems to have succeeded in building a coalition of conservative voters and politicians who are intent on winning the election, and delivering for the people of their country. The Canadian Conservative Party is more united than ever and is throwing its weight behind its best chance at gaining power in eight years. The only question still looming is whether they will be able to continue this great performance into 2024 and 2025, but with such high public opinion and party unity, as well as a strong policy platform, this seems to be well within their grasp.

Many people of Canada are greatly enamoured with Pierre Poilievre and his platform. He has become Trudeau’s worst nightmare and, for that, the Prime Minister only has himself to blame.


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