Election Day is officially underway in Canada, as voters select the nation’s subsequent parliament after a brief marketing campaign that noticed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in a neck-and-neck struggle towards the opposition Conservative Get together.
The primary polls opened in Newfoundland, on Canada’s east coast, at 8:30 am native time (11:00 GMT) on Monday. Greater than 27 million persons are eligible to solid their ballots, in line with Elections Canada, which administers the vote.
A day earlier, Trudeau and Conservative chief Erin O’Toole made their closing pitches to Canadians.
“Canada is at a crossroads. We now get to choose the correct course for our nation, to maintain shifting ahead – or to let Conservatives take us again,” Trudeau stated throughout a rally in Montreal, the place he’s searching for re-election within the Papineau using.
Chatting with Conservative Get together volunteers on Sunday in Markham, Ontario, simply north of Toronto, O’Toole hit again at Trudeau, accusing the Liberal chief of calling “a $600m election slightly than give attention to the well being of individuals”.
“So tomorrow we will vote for higher, tomorrow we will be sure that we don’t reward Mr. Trudeau for a $600m election,” O’Toole stated.
The Canadian election marketing campaign has been dominated by considerations over COVID-19 and necessary vaccines, investments in well-being and baby care, financial restoration plans, and housing, amongst different key points.
Trudeau triggered the vote in mid-August, two years forward of schedule. Whereas specialists stated the Liberal chief referred to as the election in hopes his authorities’ dealing with of the coronavirus would give the celebration a majority, Trudeau has confronted indignant protests alongside the marketing campaign path and many citizens have criticized him for calling the vote throughout a fourth wave of the pandemic.
Trudeau has been prime minister since 2015, however, the Liberals misplaced their majority within the final federal election in 2019.
The celebration was polling at 31.4 % assist as of Sunday, in line with CBC Information’s Ballot Tracker, which aggregates all public polling information, in contrast with 30.9 % for the Conservatives and 20 % for the left-leaning New Democratic Get together (NDP) in third place.
However, neither the Liberals nor Conservatives are anticipated to get the 170 seats wanted to safe majority authorities.
The Liberals are projected to win essentially the most seats in parliament, CBC stated, and the celebration has a 3 in 5 likelihood of getting one other minority authority. EKOS Politics additionally predicted late on Sunday that the Liberals would win a minority, “although it’s unclear whether or not this will likely be a strengthened or diminished minority”.
Whereas the Conservatives “stumbled” within the later phases of the marketing campaign, EKOS stated the Liberals “have been edging steadily upward over the previous few days, notably in Ontario”, the nation’s most populous province.
However, Daniel Beland, a professor at McGill College in Montreal and director of the McGill Institute for the Examine of Canada, advised Al Jazeera on Sunday that even when the Liberals seem to have a seat benefit, “it may nonetheless go both methods”.
“They [Liberals and Conservatives] are actually neck and neck,” he stated, including sturdy exhibiting by the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois or the far-right Individuals’s Get together of Canada may have an effect on the end result in key ridings the place the Liberals and Conservatives are in shut races.
“There are quite a lot of totally different eventualities,” Beland stated in an interview. “Will probably be, I feel, an extended evening and it’s laborious to make a projection.”
He additionally stated that if Trudeau’s election gamble doesn’t repay – and the Liberals don’t get less than minority authorities – it is going to be very, very laborious for him to remain on as celebration chief. O’Toole faces the identical prospect, Beland added, if the Conservatives don’t enhance on their 2019 exhibit.
In 2019, the Liberals gained 157 seats in contrast with 121 for the Conservatives. The Bloc Quebecois completed with the third-most seats at 32; the NDP had 24 seats; the Greens gained three seats and the final seat was gained by an unbiased.
In the meantime, the official vote outcomes might not be launched on Monday evening, Canadian media have reported, as election officers might want to depend on mail-in ballots.