On the final day of Canada’s 2015 Federal Election, marking 78 days of attack ads and millions of dollars spent on one of Canada’s longest federal election, each leader attempted to reach out to voters, visiting regions to bolster support, gain votes and win over contested ridings.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Newmarket, Toronto on October 18 and then went to visit Mississauga, two key regions in the Conservatives’ 2011 Federal Election win. Following this, he rushed off to Regina for a political campaign event and later visited Abbotsford, B.C. to solidify his hold on the west.
In Calgary, Trudeau tried to win over Harper’s home riding, stating that, “ I will never use western resources to try to buy eastern votes.”
“Voting Conservative means this. No money. No money comes out of the pocket of middle-class Canadians, no money comes out to pay for the tax hikes and the deficits of the Liberal party,” stated Harper at a rally in Newmarket.
In Regina, Harper warned Canadians that a Liberal victory would dismantle the entire Conservative agenda.
“Today at the federal level, taxes are at their lowest level since John Diefenbaker was the prime minister, their lowest in over 50 years,” said Harper, before promising more tax cuts.
“The other guys want to take us back to the days where they could get their hands on as much money as possible and spend it on bureaucracy and special interests. We have been building a Canada over the past few years that they do not like,” Harper added.
Liberal Party of Canada Leader, Justin Trudeau, attended rallies in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, all of which are historically Conservative ridings, especially in the urban districts.
“It’s a message I’m proud to deliver here with a big smile as a Liberal, as a Trudeau and as a Quebecer,” stated Trudeau at the Edmonton rally before heading to Calgary.
“People in Quebec need to know that Alberta matters, that our country needs Alberta to succeed,” stated Trudeau in both English and French. “But so too do Quebecers need to be reminded that our country needs them to engage, too.”
The Leader of the Official Opposition, Thomas Mulcair, spent his time visiting the city that essentially created the NDP, Toronto, where the Liberals and the NDP have been fighting over several ridings within the GTA. Following this, Mulcair headed to Montreal to try and hold onto the many seats the NDP took from the BLOC in 2011.
The Green Party’s Elizabeth May made her stops out west in the Victoria-area, a key region traditionally known for its non-Liberal/Conservative support.
As for Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe, he chose to stick with what he knows best, focusing his campaign efforts in Quebec and visiting Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu and Montreal.
In an article published by CBC that touched on the final day of the election, as well as the final pushes of each campaign tour, each party leader made an appeal via social media to Canada’s voters.
According to a post on Stephen Harper’s facebook page, “Tomorrow we can secure a stable future for Canadian families, and our economy”.
Trudeau’s tweet of the day, urged voters to get out and get motivated, stating, “Take no vote for granted. Knock on doors. Make phone calls. If you want #RealChange, keep working hard for it”.
As for Mulcair, he stated “Merci, Vancouver. Now is our opportunity to think big & to dare to accomplish great things together”.
Elections Canada expects massive voter turnout for 2015 Federal Election
Elections Canada has been eagerly preparing for the upcoming elections which, according to the agency, will experience a heavy influx of voters casting their ballots, many for the first time.
According to Elections Canada, voting officers in ridings will be adding staff to deal with the extra ballots as well as allow staff to start counting the votes prior to the polls closing.
In addition, those ridings that start tallying votes early will prevent officials and witnesses from leaving early, as well as keep as people from entering the room before the results are calculated, a clear attempt to keep details surrounding the votes from being leaked before the appropriate time.
All-in-all, over 3.6 million voters turned out for the October 9 to 12 early vote, a 70 per cent increase from advanced polls in the 2011 election.
Polls suggest Liberal-minority victory
According to the polls, the Liberal Party of Canada will take the election, having led in 17 consecutive polls issued by various sources including CBC. The polls themselves included surveys conducted by eight different polling groups who all used a variety of methodologies.
In fact, according to 16 of the 17 polls, the Liberal party’s gap between the Conservative puts them outside of the margin of error hypothetically guaranteeing a win for the Liberals.
As for the official opposition, the New Democratic Party is in third in every major poll conducted, often sitting between seven and 12 points on average behind the Conservatives and 12 to 17 behind the Liberal Party.
Despite the current gap between the Conservatives and the Liberals in the CBC Poll Tracker, the margin is not large enough to guarantee the 170-seat mark for either party, making forming a majority government. essentially impossible
It is worth noting however, that the Liberal Party has gained a lot of support in the last weeks of the election, gaining on average two points every week over the last month. In addition, Justin Trudeau’s public image and approval rating has been faring well compared to Prime Minister Harper’s.
“Shy” Tories and their role in the Federal Election
Described by CBC as a phenomena first witnessed in David Cameron’s unexpected majority win in the 1990s, the ‘Shy’ Tories are conservatives who are often unwilling to disclose their vote for a number of reasons including bias, not wanting to discuss political affiliation etc.
This could hypothetically tip the odds of the election in favour of the Conservatives party, perhaps even allowing them to form a minority government. Despite this, it seems that either way Canadian’s will get what they want as Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated that if his party forms a minority government, he will resign.
With the 2015 Federal Election gaining massive traction and potentially seeing the highest youth voter-turnout in decades, it is very hard to say who will win this election.