Is Canada's love affair with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over?

He has led polls since his unexpected 2015 election win and was seen as a breath of fresh air compared to traditional leaders.

But the self-proclaimed feminist has lost a third of male voters since 2015 and his disastrous trip to India and focus on gender is being blamed.

According to CBC's poll tracker, the opposition Conservative Party is now in the lead with 37.7 per cent of voting intentions ahead of Trudeau's Liberals on 33.7 per cent and the left-wing New Democratic Party on 18.5 per cent.


The 46-year-old Trudeau's good looks, progressive policies and youthful quirkiness, compared to traditional politicians, saw him ride high in the polls after his win.

As well as being mocked for his choice of clothes on his India visit, Trudeau was criticised for a dinner invitation made while there to convicted Sikh terrorist Jaspal Atwal.

Atwal tried to kill an Indian minister who was on a visit to Canada in 1986 and although Trudeau said he was not told about the invitation and it was withdrawn, the episode was seen as damaging.

Pollster Nik Nanos told the Washington Post Trudeau's dip in popularity is completely "self-inflicted".

"He's been very gender-focused. When you focus so much on gender, it means that other voters, ie men, aren't as important," Nanos told the Post.

Nanos said Trudeau needs to return to an agenda "that appeals to both men and women", to recover his position.

Trudeau's decline in popularity comes despite a booming economy, relative success in Nafta trade talks and a weak opposition.

David Coletto, chief executive of Abacus Data, an Ottawa polling firm, said: "All of a sudden, we saw this drop.


"It's the first time since Trudeau became Prime Minister that we have results showing the Conservatives slightly ahead.'

But Stephen Azzi, associate professor of political management at Carleton University in Ottawa, warned against attaching too much importance to polls 18 months ahead of an election.

"Governments tend to lag in year two or three of their mandate," he said. "I think they should be worried, but I don't think it's all doom and gloom."