As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enters his eighth year leading the Liberal Party of Canada, he is struggling to keep morale high within his caucus due to the recent cabinet shuffle and a drop in the polls, according to sources within his party. 

Several members of the Liberal party spoke anonymously with the Toronto Star, with one Liberal MP comparing the current state of their caucus to that of Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberal government in 2018, the year they were defeated in a landslide election. 

National polls have shown Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has surpassed Trudeau in previous weeks, causing unrest and frustration amongst Liberal MPs. 

“I’m just sensing a lot of frustration.” said one MP.. “People are starting to question..’Do I want to keep taking the beating I’m taking?’”

One MP wondered whether or not Trudeau’s office had any concern for what the Liberal caucus thinks, saying that the party must stop defining itself so much by Trudeau’s leadership and focus more on a centrist approach to economic policy. The source also said that although morale was low before the cabinet shuffle, it has gotten “worse” since, referring to the shuffle as putting, “lipstick on a pig.”

“We don’t need to outflank the NDP on the left anymore,” said the source. “We need to embrace the fact that we are Liberals, not just the party of Justin Trudeau.” 

The MP did say that the “vast majority” of members do still support Trudeau’s leadership however and that they are driven out of their mutual dislike for Poilievre and his politics. 

“Every single person agrees that Poilievre should not be prime minister,” said the MP. “A common enemy is a uniting force.”

Polling aggregator338Canada suggested that if a federal election were held now, Conservatives would likely win anywhere from 135 to 201 seats in the House of Commons. The same poll predicted that the Liberals would take between 77 and 140 seats. In order for a majority government, a party must win 170 seats. Currently the Liberals hold a minority government with 158 seats and the Conservatives have 117 seats.

Members of the Liberal front bench are headed to Charlottetown, P.E.I. this week for a three-day retreat to strategize how they will bring down the high cost of living. 

“We all know that there’s a tight circle around the PM. If you’re going to convince Canadians that you’re going to think differently and be different, then you need to have to make changes around that circle as well,” another MP said.