ANALYSIS: One week before the election, the Liberal Party retakes a slight lead over the Conservatives.
Following the leaders debates last week, the Liberal party appears to be once again pulling ahead of the Conservatives.
About 31.9 per cent of Canadians support the Liberals, according to the CBC’s poll tracker. Support for the Conservative party is close behind at 31.7 per cent. A Nanos poll from Sunday suggests that Liberals are leading at 34 per cent, and the Conservatives are behind at 30.7 per cent.
Canadians have been favouring the Conservative Party for the past two weeks. However, after the French and English Language debates, it seems Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party is coming back. Though CBC suggests most Canadians do not know who actually won the debate, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole made a slightly better impression.
At this point, it appears most likely that the Liberals will once again win a minority government. CBC predicts this probable outcome at 56 per cent. If Canadians do vote in a Liberal minority on September 20, it will not likely change the makeup of Parliament too much.
The Liberals already hold a minority government, which means though they have the most seats of any party it is still less than 50 per cent of the House. Decisions have to be reached in collaboration with other parties. It is arguably easier for a government to make decisions when it has a majority.
Trudeau has been criticized in this election campaign for calling an election amid the pandemic and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. At the time when he called the election, support for the Liberal party was relatively high across Canada, and it appeared the Liberals might be able to gain a majority government.
Now, it appears there is a higher chance of the Conservatives winning a minority than the Liberals taking a majority.
Both parties support immigration. Broadly speaking, they agree that the immigration system needs to be modernized, family reunification needs improvement, and so too does credential recognition. Also, they agree that Canada should take a stance in supporting refugees.
However, they differ on how they would operate immigration system. One prominent example is the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP). While the Liberals are using a lottery system to select immigrants in this category, the Conservatives are calling for a first-come-first-served approach.
Canadians will decide their government next Monday. Party leaders have seven days to win the favour of Canadians. Until then, it is anybody’s race.