December 16, 2016 / 6:36 PM / 8 months ago

'Honeymoon ending?' Canada's Trudeau sees first big drop in polls

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, December 12, 2016.Chris Wattie/Files

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's approval rating has dropped 10 percentage points in the last three months amid rising dissatisfaction with the economy and concern about pipeline approvals, a public opinion poll released on Friday showed.

Still, Trudeau remained far more popular than his two political opponents and more popular than any recent prime minister, with 55 percent of Canadians expressing confidence in his performance, the Angus Reid poll showed.

That was down 10 points from the 65 percent approval rating Trudeau enjoyed in September, according to the survey, which carried the headline "Is the honeymoon ending?"

"While this level of approval may well be the envy of prime ministers past and future, it also represents the lowest approval he has recorded at any point since his Liberal Party won a majority mandate in last October’s election," Angus Reid said in the poll.

Trudeau, dogged by accusations that rich donors to the Liberal Party have gained privileged access, will be questioned by Canada's ethics commissioner to see whether he broke conflict of interest rules, an official said on Thursday.

The poll showed Trudeau remained far more popular than either of his main political opponents, interim leaders of the Conservative and New Democratic parties, who will be replaced in 2017. Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose won 35 percent approval, while NDP leader Tom Mulcair notched a 43 percent approval rating, the poll showed.

Trudeau's drop in popularity was matched by a drop in voter satisfaction on a broad range of issues, including the economy, foreign policy, healthcare and public security, according to the poll.

The prime minister has also had to thread the needle on energy and the environment, recently announcing the approval of two pipelines and the quashing of a third just months after announcing a plan to require provinces to put a price on carbon emissions by 2018.

Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Tom Brown

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