The love of Canadians for Justin Trudeau is over
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau no longer looks invincible.
Having been in opinion polls for more than two years after his surprise election victory in October 2015, Trudeau seems to be politically vulnerable.
And this is despite a brisk economy that is considered a steady hand in the Nafta trade talks with US President Donald Trump and a weak political opposition
"Suddenly we saw this decline," said David Coletto, Abacus's executive director Data, an opinion research institute in Ottawa, and referred to the latest survey of his company, which was completed in early March. "It's the first time Trudeau has become prime minister that we have results that show the conservatives a little bit ahead."
* India to Trudeau: Stop Trying So Hard
* Ardern invites Trudeau to visit
* Canadian PM calls Ardern to congratulate her
* Ardern, Trudeau and Trump together at Apec
CBC's Poll Tracker, which aggregated and weighted the results of a dozen opinion polls, reported in late March that the opposition Conservative Party now compares to 37.7 percent of voting intentions Trudeau's Liberal leader is 33.7 percent. The left-liberal New Democratic Party was third with 18.5 percent.
Some observers say it's only a matter of the Midterm Blues, with a Canadian vote not until the end of 2019. But the true culprit appears to have been Trudeaus visit to India in February
During the weeklong tour, Trudeau was widely mocked because he wore traditional Indian clothing as he crossed India with his wife and three children.
For voters who had welcomed Trudeau's global status as a progressive political leader and proud international flag bearer for Canada, Trudeau's images in swanky Bollywood outfits at well-known attractions were a serious comedown.
VERNON SMALL / STUFF  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Trudeau in November.
"When foreign media such as CNN and BBC make fun of our Prime Minister, it was annoying for some people and questioned people about being the best person for the job," Coletto said.
For critics such as columnist Andrew Coyne of the National Post who sees Trudeau as a charming yet intellectually lightweight, the India Journey simply proved its perspective.
"The little things that seemed so charming at first, all those dashing gestures and glamorous photo opportunities might look good, at first frivolous, then irritating – an impression of alienness enhanced by a series of fumigated foreign policy excursions, one of which The India Journey was just the last one, "wrote Coyne
Making it worse, Trudeau was harshly criticized for inviting dinner to Jaspal Atwal, a convicted Sikh-Canadian terrorist from British Columbia, for an official Canadian dinner during the visit.
The invitation was withdrawn after it had been made public, but not before he inflicted significant political damage on Trudeau and his entourage.
Poltermeister Nik Nanos says that Trudeau's popularity descent is striking, that it is completely "self-inflicted". Both the Conservatives and the New Democratic Parties have new, inexperienced leaders who do not make a major impact on Canadians.
In fact, Trudeau still leads with a healthy margin as the preferred choice for Prime Minister.
Next to the catastrophic trip to India Nanos said something else is going on. There is a great gender segregation when it comes to supporting Trudeau, and it just gets more pronounced.
Women have always been part of Trudeau, not only because of his movie star looks, but also because of his progressive social policies and self-description as a feminist. Nanos said that this split became even sharper as he continued to drive a pro-feminist agenda, with Trudeau losing about one-third of his male support since 2015.
"He was very gender-oriented," said Nanos. "Focusing so much on gender means that other voters, ie men, are not that important."
Nanos believes that Trudeau and the Liberals still have plenty of time to turn things around. "They need to return to a progressive agenda and focus on the middle class, which appeals to both men and women."
Stephen Azzi, associate professor of policy management at Carleton University in Ottawa, said he would not put too much surveys in the polls 18 months before a vote
"Governments tend to be in the second or third year of their mandate hesitate, "he said. "I think they should be worried, but I do not think it's all mischief."
– The Washington Post