Canada For NDP, an improved election turnout depends on unlikeliest of factors: support for Erin O’Toole
The Conservatives target the swing voters sick of Trudeau — but wary of change
Erin O'Toole and his Conservatives are running on a platform largely devoid of big, eye-catching promises and radical departures from the incumbent government's approach. That appears to be a feature, not a bug."I saw nothing that would help them win the election," David Herle, the well-known Liberal adviser, told Politico. "No big tax cut. No serious affordability initiative.
OTTAWA — The NDP have been riding high on the popularity of leader Jagmeet Singh, polling near historic highs just days out from the election. But another, less obvious, factor might provide an additional boost: a Conservative Party that’s lagging in the polls.
Analysts are constantly weighing the impact of strategic voting in a campaign, which tends to be motivated by keeping an opponent out of power rather than getting a preferred candidate in.
Live updates: Leaders face off in only federal election debate in English
This is the Montreal Gazette’s live coverage of tonight’s federal leaders’ debate. Questions/comments? email@example.com Top updates: Ahead of debate, leaders agree on something, urge Canadians to get vaccinated Leaders arrive at debate site On Twitter, leaders focus on vaccinations, economy and getting the voting out Welcome to our live coverage Here’s the agenda for tonight’s debate Leaders gearing up for English-language debate tonight after French joust Tonight’s debate could be crucial, pollster says Too close to call – Liberals and Conservatives running neck and neck, polls suggest François Legault favours minority Conservative government Lacklustre secon
In recent Canadian elections, strategic voters have largely consisted of leakage between Liberal-NDP supporters. That appears to have been the case in the 2019 election, when former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was leading in many polls just days before the election, and as some observers were speculating that a Conservative majority wasn’t entirely out of the question.
Polling data largely tracked with the final result: Scheer won the popular vote at 34 per cent, but lost the election to the Liberals. The biggest surprise was a diminished turnout for the NDP, which was several points below expectations, winning just 24 seats. But that support base could hold up better in the current campaign.
Analysts have said that the 2019 fallout was likely motivated by fears among NDP supporters at the prospect of Scheer becoming prime minster, made all the more pronounced by his more traditional views on social issues like abortion. This election, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has put forward a more socially-progressive platform, including new spending on childcare and a promise to boost the Canada Health Transfer.
Chris Selley: O'Toole is widening his base but risks alienating party members
VANCOUVER — Conservatives may caricature Justin Trudeau as a vain narcissist who’s far too enamoured of his own voice. No one would deny that he likes the microphone. But Trudeau’s daily press conferences are far more a group effort than Erin O’Toole’s. Local candidates usually introduce Trudeau: Caroline Desrochers in La Prairie on Sunday, Sven Spengemann in Mississauga-Lakeshore the day before, Margaret Bennett in Hamilton Centre the day before that. Other candidates in attendance at least get a shout-out. © Provided by National Post Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole makes an announcement at an election campaign visit to Vancouver, B.C. on Sept.
Perhaps more to the point, O’Toole is polling slightly behind Liberal leader Justin Trudeau across most national surveys. The latest Nanos polling has O’Toole at 30.3 per cent, trailing Trudeau by 1.6 points. The same poll has the NDP at 21.2 per cent, on the higher edge of its margin of support since August.
Leger, meanwhile, puts the Conservatives and the Liberals in a dead heat at 33 per cent, with the NDP at 21 per cent.
“The fact that Erin O’Toole doesn’t look particularly threatening might actually give pause for thought for NDP voters in terms of what is the best play for them,” said Andrew Enns, executive vice-president at polling firm Leger.
That has in turn blunted Trudeau’s ability to scare would-be NDP supporters into voting Liberal based on their common preference for higher levels of economic interventions and debt-financed spending.
For NDP, optimism in Halifax is more than skin deep: 'It feels very positive'
As Lisa Roberts canvasses in Halifax’s North End, part of her election campaign pitch is to harken back to when the riding was an NDP stronghold. Roberts tells those who answer the door that she is trying to win back the riding previously held by Alexa McDonough and then Megan Leslie. McDonough looms large in both the political history of the region and of the NDP; she was the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada when she took the helm of the Nova Scotia NDP 40 years ago and then led the federal NDP for eight years, stepping down in 2003. Roberts has a history of her own in the area, having twice been elected as the provincial MLA in Halifax Needham.
“When the polling says it’s tied, it’s hard to say: ‘Be careful, these guys are going to win,’” Enns said.
In 2019, the final days of the Liberal campaign were almost exclusively focussed on warning voters about a Conservative government. In a campaign stop in Whitby, Ont., just days before the election, Trudeau warned about retrenchment under a possible Conservative government.
“Between now and Monday, here’s what people in Ontario need to ask themselves: are you ready for even more harmful Conservative cuts, cuts that would be four times larger than Doug Ford’s?”
Scheer had himself said he would win a majority, fending off questions about how he could form government when other parties said they would refuse to work with a Conservative minority.
According to Leger polling, NDP supporters are by far most likely to vote Liberal as their second option, with 36 per cent of NDP respondents saying they would support Trudeau. The next-most popular party for their second choice was the Green Party, at 18 per cent.
The NDP-Liberal swing runs both ways: among Liberal voters, the NDP was by far the most popular second choice, with 51 per cent of respondents. The next-most popular was the Conservatives at 13 per cent.
Corbella: Mulroney stumping for O'Toole shows needed shift to the centre for the Conservatives
It was Back to the Future in Quebec this week. On Wednesday night, at a campaign event in Orford, Que., former prime minister Brian Mulroney delivered a barn burner of a speech to an adoring crowd as he endorsed the leadership of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. It was a quintessential Mulroney speech filled with humour, anecdotes, poignant quotes, financial facts and figures, and a bit of a history lesson, too. It’s no wonder he’s the favoured eulogist for U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush. Mulroney’s appearance at this Tory election event came the same day O’Toole declared that this is not the Conservative party of old.
Still, it’s unclear how many NDP voters are willing to switch ballots this election, according to the Leger poll, where 72 per cent said they were not likely to change, compared with just 19 per cent saying they would “likely” switch. The remaining nine per cent said they did not know.
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John Ivison: Trudeau shall reap the whirlwind .
If the 43rd and 44th Canadian parliaments promise to be as similar as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, it does not mean the election campaign was without consequence. Justin Trudeau, in his acceptance speech, said some have talked about divisions in the country “but that’s not what I see.” That is wilful blindness. Trudeau’s Liberal Party has retained power — just — but has lost nearly two million votes since its resounding win in 2015; the prime minister has won two elections with a smaller share of the popular vote than his Conservative rivals; he has helped bolster the far right People’s Party, which attracted more than 800,000 votes, and by calling an election in a pandemic,