The World Forum - July 21st, 2024

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Is Pierre Poilievre a pit bull or a golden retriever? We asked Canadians what they think of the Conservative leader — and here’s what they said


OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has a political reputation as a pit bull.

He, on the other hand, thinks of himself as a golden retriever: “friendly, affable, able to get along with anyone but ready for a fight if one comes looking for you,” he told a reporter in B.C. in July.

Now, a new project by the Star and Abacus Data has set out to measure what voters make of Poilievre at a time when his party is surging in popular support and dominating in fundraising — two signs that with him at the helm, the Conservatives could be on the march towards their first victory since 2015.

The results suggest he’s well-liked by those who think they know him well — but more Canadians feel they don’t, and the impressions they have of him at this point signal challenges ahead.

The research comes at what the Conservatives hope will be a turning point in that respect: the launch of a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to better position him as an alternative to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.