Will Canada's Liberal leader Justin Trudeau win a third term as prime minister or will Conservative leader Erin O'Toole ruin his plans. With a week to go before crucial snap legislative elections called by Trudeau himself, the two parties are virtually tied. As the last week of campaigning kicks into high gear.
, the most recent polls show the Liberals and Conservatives each with 30-34 per cent of the vote, and the leftist New Democratic Party with about 20 per cent. Smaller parties account for the remainder. By calling for elections well before the usual end of his term, the 49-year-old Trudeau is hoping to again secure a ruling majority in the House of Commons.
which he lost when voters went to the polls in 2019.
But after a month of campaigning for the September 20 vote, that goal seems "unattainable," according to Andre Lamoureux, a professor of political science at the University of Quebec in Montreal.
"He could once again end up with a minority government, but he's playing with fire," Lamoureux told AFP.
Trudeau, the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, swept to power in 2015, unseating the Tories, who had been in office for nearly a decade.
If neither the Liberals nor the Tories - who have alternated as the ruling party since 1867 - are able to secure a majority of the 338 seats in the lower house of parliament, the winner will have to form a minority government.
Ultimately, the election will be a referendum on the policies of Trudeau because the Conservatives' ideas "are not more popular than they were before," says Genevieve Tellier, a professor of politics at the University of Ottawa.
Voters have realized that "Justin Trudeau's decision to put himself back on the campaign trail was grounded in very strategic calculations," Tellier told AFP.