In this election, Hamilton, Ontario, has become the city of love.
The metropolitan area of around 600,000 at the western end of Lake Ontario has seen the buses of the leaders carrying the NDP tours, the Liberals and the Conservatives slip at least six times in the first five weeks of the campaign.
With just four constituencies, Hamilton does not have the electoral generosity of Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. But depending on who you talk to, all four of Hamilton’s circuits could be up for grabs, and in close races, the appearance of the leader can generate a necessary hit.
“A visit will generate growth and support for Mr. Trudeau,” said David Rodier, senior vice president of corporate communications for public relations firm Edelman and a campaign tour veteran, who made tour bus logistics as the “master. of wagons “of the liberals. in 2015 and 2019.
“Generally speaking, I’ve always been told it’s two to three percent.”
Jamie Ellerton, director of Toronto strategic and public relations firm Conaptus, and manager of media relations on Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Bus in 2019, said a leader’s visit generates more local media coverage.
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He said there are diminishing returns when leaders spend too much time in Toronto and Vancouver because the markets are so big and all the leaders are in those cities a lot.
“But if those two big cities are removed, the impact of the tour in terms of getting a message across and starting a conversation with Canadians has a very big impact in terms of what people are talking about,” he said.
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The suburbs of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are, as expected, the biggest draws.
It is also where most of the closest races are expected.
As of September 16, Trudeau had visited at least 70 constituencies, of which 15 were in the 905 region surrounding Toronto, eight were in the Vancouver suburbs of Surrey, Richmond, Delta and Coquitlam, and eight were on the coast. north or south of Montreal.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has made 56 tour stops, six in 905 and in the Vancouver suburbs, while conservative leader Erin O’Toole has visited around three dozen districts, including six in 905 and five in the Vancouver suburbs.
O’Toole’s campaign stops are much lower because he chose to make 10 announcements and hold virtual town halls from a ballroom at the Westin Hotel, just a few hundred yards from Parliament Hill.
Ellerton said virtual events reach more people, but they don’t generate the same kind of media coverage or energy as an in-person stop.
“When you talk to those voters and those who are committed to the city council, you are definitely connecting and you are achieving that commitment for those people, but for a wider audience, and you convey it to a large swath of a wider audience. It doesn’t translate in the same way, ”he said.
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Ellerton said where a leader goes is not random, and stops are usually drawn with a lot of thought before the campaign begins. The plan can change as campaigns change how a match is doing.
“When liberals do really well, they don’t spend a lot of time in Montreal,” he said. “For conservatives, they don’t spend too much time in Calgary or Edmonton. So when you start to see leaders spending a lot of time in places where they normally don’t, it means that from a campaign strategy standpoint, they’re looking to shore up their numbers and keep those places in the fold. “
Rodier said the tour tries to reach all the provinces once as quickly as possible at the start and as many tours as possible in the last week.
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This year, Trudeau reached six provinces in the first six days and ten on the ninth day. He is still the only leader to have traveled to a territory, visiting Iqaluit on August 30.
O’Toole arrived in all 10 provinces on the 14th.
Singh has not been to New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island since the official campaign began, but he toured both the week before Trudeau called the election.
Rodier also said that parties have a wealth of data on individual constituencies, and they will be well aware of which ones are close by and can benefit from a quick photoshoot of the leaders. Trudeau tends to use stops in urban areas to show all the candidates in the region, not just one.
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In general, the leaders have not varied much from what their expected stops on the tour would be. Trudeau is primarily found in the suburbs of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. O’Toole spends most of his time in 905 and in and around Quebec City.
Singh appears to be most concentrated in the Windsor area, where the NDP lost two seats in 2019, as well as going after the liberal heartland seats in Toronto. He also spends a lot of time in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, where his own seat is.
He is the only leader to pay more than one visit to his own horse, Burnaby South. Trudeau visited his Montreal walk through Papineau the afternoon he called the election, while O’Toole has not gone on his Durham walk at all.
Green Party leader Annamie Paul has the clear record of campaigning on her own horse, she has hardly campaigned anywhere else as she tries to win a seat for the first time and admits that many candidates do not want her to visit as a member. party insider. disputes continue.
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