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Conservatives lead Liberals by 7 points in latest Nanos polling

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The federal Conservatives have gained a seven-point lead over the Liberals in the latest weekly ballot tracking by Nanos Research.

According to 1,084 random interviews conducted during the week ending Jan. 13, Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives would capture 35.6 per cent of the vote if an election were held today, while the Liberals would get 28.3 per cent, the NDP 20.7 per cent, the Bloc 7.4 per cent, the Green Party 5.8 per cent and the People’s Party 2.1 per cent.

The Conservative lead – which has been creeping up steadily since December — is now outside the margin of error, and with the NDP increasing their share of the ballot, the Liberals are having their support chipped away at, both sides. In an interview on CTV News’ Trend Line podcast, Nanos Research founder Nik Nanos called the numbers “very grim” for the Liberals.

“This is the worst way for the Liberals to start off their year, because they’re basically back on their heels, and it looks like a significant number of Canadians are looking at the Conservatives,” Nanos told host Michael Stittle on Wednesday.

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“I think what the Liberals have to worry about is a one-two-punch, basically getting squeezed by the Conservatives on the one side, the New Democrats on the other, and vote splits that will be working against the Liberals.”

IS HEALTH CRISIS TESTING AGREEMENT WITH NDP?

Nanos said heading into the 2023 parliamentary season, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government might have its supply-and-confidence deal with the NDP tested, as the Liberals look to forge health-care funding agreements with the provinces while balancing outstanding health commitments on dental and pharmacare as part of the parliamentary pact.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the Liberals to make protecting the universal public system a condition in any coming deal with the provinces to increase the Canada Health Transfer. Though, Singh has yet to say whether he’d be willing to pull out of the agreement that’s poised to see the Liberals stay in power until 2025 over the issue.

According to the latest Nanos issue tracking, health care is the top unprompted national issue of concern for Canadians, followed by inflation, jobs and economy and the environment. Nanos pointed out that health care has traditionally been a strong policy area for the NDP.

“The New Democrats have a big interest in protecting public health care,” he said.

“So expect Singh to put the political vice grips on the Liberals to protect and enhance public health care and access to public health care. I think that the initial battle lines might actually be between the New Democrats and the Liberals on this issue.”

BIDEN’S VISIT PRESENTS OPPORTUNITY

He said the Liberals may also want to use the 2023 federal budget as an opportunity to prove they have a strong vision for their next mandate and that they’re not just coasting through this one. Following the upcoming March visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to Canada, Nanos said the government would be smart to announce what they accomplished in meetings with the Biden administration.

“It’s not enough just to say, ‘Oh, we’re friends, we like each other, we have a great relationship,'” he said. “What the Liberals have to do, ideally, is put something in the window in terms of something specific being accomplished in the bi-national relationship.”

TRUDEAU STILL PREFERRED PM

Another area where Nanos said the Liberals might find a foothold is public perception of the federal leaders. According to the research firm’s latest Preferred PM numbers, while the Conservative party is gaining favour among those surveyed, its leader Poilievre, is statistically tied with Trudeau.

Nanos tracking has Trudeau as the preferred choice for prime minister at 30 per cent of Canadians, followed by Poilievre at 27.5 per cent, Singh at 16.2 per cent, Elizabeth May at 4.2 per cent and Maxime Bernier at two per cent. Sixteen per cent of Canadians were unsure whom they preferred.

For this reason, he said the Liberals may choose to concentrate on undermining Poilievre’s “brand” this year, ahead of the 2025 election.

“(Poilievre) and his brand will be the main focus of a lot of the political dialogue in 2023 as he tries to build up his brand and the Liberals try to tear him down,” he said.

“I would expect that the Liberals are probably going to come out swinging through 2023, because they’ve got to change the trend line.”

METHODOLOGY

Each week, Nanos measures the political pulse of Canadian voters through hundreds of telephone surveys. The data is based on random interviews with 1,000 Canadian consumers (recruited by RDD land- and cell-line sample), using a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents each week, 18 years of age and over. The random sample of 1,000 respondents may be weighted using the latest census information for Canada. The interviews are compiled into a four-week rolling average of 1,000 interviews where each week, the oldest group of 250 interviews is dropped and a new group of 250 interviews is added.

A random survey of 1,000 respondents in Canada is accurate 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

More on Nanos’ political and issue tracking methodology https://nanos.co/dataportal/nanos-tracking-methodology/

– With files from Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello

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Petr Pavel: Polyglot, war hero, and the new Czech president – Euronews

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Ex-general Petr Pavel has won another gritty campaign — this time at the ballot box.

The bearded 61-year-old, a decorated veteran who took part in a high-stakes peacekeeping mission in the Balkans and represented his country as a top-tier NATO general, was voted Czech president on Saturday, beating billionaire ex-prime minister Andrej Babiš.

With the ballots from 97% of almost 15,000 polling stations counted by the Czech Statistics Office, Pavel had 57.8% of the vote compared with 42.2% for Babiš.

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Though Czech presidents wield little day-to-day power, Pavel will have influence over foreign policy and government opinion, as well as the power to appoint prime ministers, constitutional judges and central bankers.

True to his military past, he has vowed to bring “order” to the Czech Republic, a 10 million-strong EU and NATO member, hammered by record inflation and economic turmoil due to the Ukraine war.

“I can’t ignore the fact that people here increasingly feel chaos, disorder and uncertainty. That the state has somehow ceased to function,” Pavel said on his campaign website.

“We need to change this,” he added. “We need to play by the rules, which will be valid for everyone alike. We need a general sweep.”

From Communist to war hero

Following in his father’s footsteps, Pavel underwent a military education in former Czechoslovakia, which was then ruled by Moscow-backed communists.

He joined the Communist Party, like his billionaire rival Babiš, and soon rose through the army ranks, studying to become an intelligence agent for the oppressive regime.

Critics fault him for his communist past, though Pavel has defended himself by saying party membership was “normal” in his family and called it a “mistake”.

When the Iron Curtain crumbled in 1989, Pavel chucked out his party ID but went ahead with the intelligence course.

Amid the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Pavel — trained as an elite paratrooper and holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel at the time — helped evacuate French troops stuck in the midst of combat between Croats and ethnic Serb paramilitaries in Croatia, earning him the French Military Cross for bravery.

“We got into several tense situations and he always managed them with deliberation and calm,” said retired Czech general Aleš Opata, who served with Pavel.

He later studied at military training schools in Britain, gaining a master’s from King’s College London.

After his country joined NATO in 1999, Pavel soon climbed through the alliance’s ranks, becoming its top military official in 2015. 

With a chest full of decorations, he retired in 2018.

What are his political views?

Pavel ran as an independent and was the strongest of the three candidates backed by the liberal-conservative coalition SPOLU of now-former President Miloš Zeman.

He has argued for better redistribution of wealth and greater taxation of the rich while also supporting progressive policies on issues such as same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

Positioning himself as a counterweight to populism, Pavel anchors the Czech Republic in NATO and wants to align his country with the European Union.

“The main issue at stake is whether chaos and populism will continue to rein or we return to observing rules… and we will be a reliable country for our allies,” he said after narrowly winning the first election round.

A staunch supporter of Ukraine, Pavel’s political rivals have alleged he would drag the country into a war with Russia.

“I know what war is about and I certainly don’t wish it on anyone,” said Pavel. “The first thing I would do is try to keep the country as far away from war as possible.”

Often sporting jeans and a leather jacket, Pavel is a polyglot, speaking Czech, English, French and Russian, and loves motorcycling.

He holds a concealed weapon licence, allowing him to carry a firearm, and he is married to a fellow soldier, Eva Pavlová.

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Canadian and American Politics

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THIS SURVEY EXPLORES CANADIANS’ AND AMERICANS’ PERSPECTIVES ON CANADIAN AND AMERICAN POLITICS.

Our latest North American Tracker explores Canadians’ and Americans’ perspectives on Canadian and American politics.

It examines Canadians’ federal voting intentions and Americans’ approval of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

Download the report for the full results.

This survey was conducted in collaboration with the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and published in the Canadian Press. This series of surveys is available on Leger’s website.

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CANADIAN POLITICS

  • The Conservatives and Liberals are tied: if a federal election were held today, 34% of Canadian decided voters would vote for Pierre Poilievre’s CPC and the same proportion would vote for Justin Trudeau’s LPC.

AMERICAN POLITICS

  • 42% of Americans approve of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president.
  • 40% of Americans approve of the way Kamala Harris is handling her job as vice-president.

METHODOLOGY

This web survey was conducted from January 20 to 22, 2023, with 1,554 Canadians and 1,005 Americans, 18 years of age or older, randomly recruited from LEO’s online panel.

A margin of error cannot be associated with a non-probability sample in a panel survey. For comparison, a probability sample of 1,554 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.49%, 19 times out of 20, while a probability sample of 1,005 respondents would have a margin of error of ±3.09%, 19 times out of 20.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS THE RESULTS FOR THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND MORE!

  • If federal elections were held today, for which political party would you be most likely to vote?  Would it be for…?
  • Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president?
  • Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Kamala Harris is handling her job as vice president?​
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Legault won’t celebrate 25 years in politics

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Premier François Legault does not intend to celebrate his 25-year political career this year.

He became Minister of Industry in Lucien Bouchard’s PQ government on Sept. 23, 1998, but was elected on Nov. 30 of the same year as the representative for L’Assomption, the riding in which he is still a member.

In a news conference on Friday at the end of a caucus meeting of his party’s elected officials in a Laval hotel, the CAQ leader said that neither he nor his party had any intention of celebrating this anniversary.

“I don’t like these things,” he said.

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He pointed out that he is still younger than the former dean of the National Assembly, François Gendron. And smiling, he alluded to the U.S. President.

“I’m quite a bit younger than Mr. Biden, apart from that!” he said.

Legault is 65 years old, while the President is 80.

However, Legault is now the dean of the House. According to recent data, he has served as an elected official for 20 years, 6 months, and 27 days so far.

The premier was quick to add, however, that he has taken a break from politics.

He resigned on June 24, 2009 as a member of the Parti Québécois (PQ), then in opposition. But he was elected as an MNA and leader of the then-new Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) on Sept. 4, 2012.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 27, 2023.

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