By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – The Liberal Party of Canada under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have slipped in popularity in the wake of a recent , according to a poll released Tuesday.
With Election Day looming Oct. 21, the opposition Conservative Party opened a four-point lead as evidenced in the Ipsos poll of 1,500 Canadians.
Only 10 percent of those polled said they were unaware Trudeau appeared in blackface and brownface twice in the early 1990s and once in 2001. He admitted his mistakes, said they were racist, and asked Canadians to forgive him.
But he was roundly criticized in Canada and other countries for wearing the makeup, particularly since he has publicly been a staunch supporter of diversity, saying it is one of Canada’s strengths.
Respondents were asked if the apologies issued by Trudeau last week were acceptable.
In all, 20% said his use of blackface was so far out of line that he should resign, while 45% found his apology sincere and felt Trudeau should remain as head of the Liberal Party.
Prior to the scandal, an Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month showed 37% of Canadians thought Trudeau was the best pick to be prime minister, while 30 percent cited Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
The two political parties were running neck and neck, but Tuesday’s poll represented a change favoring Scheer and the Conservatives.
“About half of Canadians tell us that they’re prepared to accept the prime minister’s apology,” said Darrell Bricker, president of Ipsos. “But many others are somewhat concerned about what this happened to show, and they’re not quite as ready to move on yet.”