Canadian Election Preview

Tonight, after six weeks of campaigning and three debates, we finally have the Canadian election night upon us. Justin Trudeau will be hoping his gamble of calling an early election pays off after many political leaders criticised him for his decision to call this election. Erin O’Toole and Jagmeet Singh will be looking to stop the Liberal leader from getting a majority government, and both will be looking to bring in their best results since 2011, with the former hoping to get the Conservatives back into government. 

The Campaign

This election started with many seeing it as a Trudeau formality to claim his third successive government. However the beginning of the election saw the Conservatives claw back support and overtake the Liberals in many polls. Moreover, O’Toole appeared to become personally slightly more popular with a platform more left than many expected, which coincided with Trudeau’s polling ratings plummet as people blamed him for calling an early election that many deemed needless. 

As September hit, Trudeau appeared to receive a second wind, with the Conservative progress halted and Trudeau regaining the polling lead. The Liberals remain favorites to return to government, though only as a minority. 

In recent days, the NDP have appeared to be gaining more support. This may be due to less tactical voting on the basis of people on the left feeling secure about the Conservatives not getting into power, and therefore feeling that they will be able to give their vote to the NDP as tactical voting would be necessary. However, it could be Signh’s personal popularity finally converting into NDP support as polling suggests he is the most popular candidate. 

The Bloc Quebecois started the election with many expectations that they could lose big, with some models showing them as low as 10 ridings during the early stages of the campaign. However, in recent weeks, their polling has improved with many different models showing them losing considerably less seats than before. This could have been boosted by positive debate performances, or Quebecers moving away from Trudeau, as had once suggested they were going towards, and moved back to the Bloc. Generally, they appeared to have done a full 180, and are expected to hold most of their seats that they gained last election. 

The Greens similarly came into the election with low expectations. The party was in disarray after the ending of Elizabeth May’s years of leadership. The following leadership election saw mass divisions within the party and the new leader, Annamie Paul, having poor approval ratings. Despite a poor showing from most of the campaign, she received plaudits from pundits after the debates. More models are showing an increase in seats, which would equal their record-breaking result in 2019 with a lower share of the vote. If this would bear out, it would be incredibly encouraging for the party going forward.

The People’s Party is an unexpected tale of the election, with many deeming it to be possibly dead following the loss of their only seat and the dissipation of the vote compared to polling in 2019. To add to this, during the early stages of the election, their average polling was below the qualifying amount to enable them to get onto the debate, and so it appeared as if they may fade into irrelevance. However, immediately after this happened, they started to pick up in polling, with many pollsters putting them above the 4% needed to get into the debate, and have been growing ever since, with some polls putting them as high as 10%. If this would be the case, its highly likely they could end up with the leader, Maxime Bernier, returned to Parliament. However, due to the fact that in the last election where their polling numbers and result numbers were so different, its unpredictable how they will actually do. 


Join our livestream at 8:00 eastern time tonight as we cover the results of the election:

Aaron is an objective journalist who does analysis on the current climate of politics and political party successes and looks back at recent political history to see where we are headed for. You can find him on Twitter @aaron_gsmith.

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