And rebelote, 37 days later?

Justin trudeau wanted to start an election campaign to allow Canadians to “choose” which stimulus package to adopt in the wake of the pandemic – and in the process he hoped to win a majority. Five weeks later, it is clear that voters are likely to make essentially the same “choice” as in 2019. And elect a minority parliament that will allow almost all leaders to stay in office a little longer.

Useless, then, this election? “On the contrary,” defended the Liberal leader on Friday. “Canadians deserve to have a choice. And that’s what I gave them, ”he argued for the umpteenth time, at 34e campaign day.

However, voting intentions have barely changed from the poll results of two years ago. If the Liberals started the election campaign with a comfortable lead, it quickly narrowed, and the Conservatives even beat them to the 12th.e day. The CBC poll aggregator now gives 31.7% support for the Liberal Party, compared to 31.2% for the Conservative Party – or statistical equality. In 2019, the first got 34% of the vote, and the second, 33%.

the New Democratic Party remains in third place with 20%. the Bloc Quebecois receives 28% support. The Green Party has retreated nationally, now garnering just 3.3% of voting intentions. the People’s Party of Canada took the opposite course and is now benefiting from 6% downforce.

Result: the Poll Tracker from CBC and screening site 338Canada predict between 145 and 150 seats for the Liberals (up from 157 won two years ago) and 120 to 126 for the Conservatives (121 in 2019).

The NDP could get 34 to 38 seats (it has 24), the Bloc Québécois 29 or 31 (compared to 32 at the moment), and the Green Party would keep only one of its three seats.

Canadians are therefore entitled to ask: all this for what?

Confident, despite the polls

Justin Trudeau had a hard time to explain the call of elections in mid-August. Rather than being summoned to justify himself for just a few days, as is usually the case, the Prime Minister dragged this ball into the mid-campaign. And even. Some still ask the question.

The Liberals also had more difficulty to draw the contrast between their leader and the curator Erin O’Toole. Because it is more progressive and has more nuanced positions than its predecessor, Andrew Scheer.

The Conservatives’ lead three weeks ago, however, eventually gave way to near-equality. And the majority of Canadians (60%) would still choose a Liberal government in 2021, compared to 40% who agree with a Conservative government, according to Abacus Data.

The prospect of another Red government, even if it remains in the minority, will allow Justin Trudeau to stay in the saddle. No one will dare push the leader out, according to the Liberals.

The Conservatives are just as forgiving of their leader. Even if Erin O’Toole fails to become prime minister, his first campaign for the head of the party will have been successful, according to his troops, since it will have probably cost Justin Trudeau his majority. Stephen Harper was given a second chance, we recall behind the scenes.

The unknown, for the Conservative Party, remains however the support that the People’s Party will receive from Maxime Bernier in the ballot box. If this is confirmed, it could cause the Conservatives to lose a few seats or divide the right-wing vote to allow the re-election of some Liberals. A backlash that could displease some less progressive-conservative fringes in the ranks of Erin O’Toole. All the more so since some were not already convinced of the refocusing of their party under his leadership.

The Conservatives, on the other hand, hope to steal a few seats from the Bloc, in Quebec – the two ridings of Beauport and that of Trois-Rivières. But the Bloc members have the Conservative riding of Chicoutimi as well as the Liberal seats in Sherbrooke and Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine in their sights.

A single head threatened

It is probably in the Bloc camp that we are most optimistic, a few days before the vote. Because if his campaign took a long time to take off, Yves-Francois Blanchet to its enjoy the leaders’ debate in English and the famous question on racism in Quebec, law 21 on secularism and bill 96 on the French language. An impetus that “fell at the right time”, according to the Bloc, on the eve of the advance polling period, which was more popular this year.

The Bloc members believe they took advantage of these first votes, since more of their voters turned out last weekend, according to their internal polls.

The mail-in vote, which is enjoying record popularity this year, could favor the Liberals. Data from pollster Nik Nanos shows that those 1.2 million voters (or nearly 7% of the electorate, based on the 2019 turnout) are four times more likely to vote Liberal than conservative.

Regardless of the outcome of the national vote, the Bloc members are delighted that Mr. Blanchet is continuing the resurrection of the Bloc, after the debacle of 2011.

On the NDP side, we are assured that “growth” will be there. It will be without Quebec, however, where, apart from the seat of Alexandre Boulerice in Rosemont, the party has little hope. Even the great comeback of Ruth Ellen Brosseau, in Berthier – Maskinongé, risks ending in defeat.

The New Democrats nevertheless hope to win nearly 30 ridings (below polls’ projections) and possibly hold the balance of power. Leader, Jagmeet Singh, remains very popular within the party.

The leader of the Green Party, on the other hand, still seems to knives drawn with his troops, especially in Quebec. Annamie Paul hardly campaigned outside of Toronto Center – where she is unlikely to get elected. She explained that she prefers to avoid “harming” her candidates by visiting them.

Annamie Paul may in fact be the only leader to quickly quit her post, after Monday’s poll. The boss didn’t even try to deny it, in a CBC interview this week. “I’ll think about it after the 20th,” she dropped, admitting what no leader usually wants to recognize before the vote.

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