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Canada elections: Justin Trudeau, Erin O’Toole tell voters not to waste ballot on a smaller party

The ruling Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau and the principal opposition Conservatives led by Erin O’Toole, have asked voters to act strategically and not waste a ballot on a smaller party in Canada elections on September 20.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole (L) and Canadian Prime Minister and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau discuss a point during the Canada elections French-language leaders debate at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec on September 8. (AFP)
Updated on Sep 18, 2021 12:34 PM IST
By Anirudh Bhattacharyya I Edited by Amit Chanda

Heading into the final weekend prior to Canada elections on September 20, the main rivals for power, the ruling Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau and the principal opposition Conservatives leader Erin O’Toole, have asked voters to act strategically and not waste a ballot on a smaller party.

That binary option was forwarded by incumbent Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau as he targeted voters who may opt for the left-of-centre New Democratic Party (NDP). Acknowledging a lot of voters were “torn”, Justin Trudeau said it wasn’t an “impossible choice” to support the incumbent Liberals. “You can actually vote for the party that is going to stop the Conservatives and move forward with the strongest plan to get things done,” Justin Trudeau asserted, according to the outlet CBC News.

His main opponent, Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole made a similar pitch but to those who have gravitated to the extreme right People’s Party of Canada (PPC). At a campaign event in the town of London in Ontario, Erin O’Toole said, “There are actually millions of Canadians who are very frustrated with Mr Trudeau. If they allow that frustration to do anything other than vote Conservative, they’re voting for Mr Trudeau.”

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The PPC, headed by former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier has gained some steam, and could be based on quadrupling its vote share from the 1.6% recorded in 2019. It may still win no seats in the House of Commons as in 2019 but it could dent the Conservatives’ prospects. In fact, as the PPC share has reached 6.3% according to the CBC Poll Tracker, it has siphoned support mainly from the Conservatives and benefited the Liberals, who have returned to frontrunner status.

The CBC Poll tracker gives the Liberals a 61% chance of forming a minority government but only 16% odds of garnering the majority Justin Trudeau targeted while precipitating snap Canada elections on August 15. With 31.6% support, it is likely to get 153 seats, 17 short of the majority mark of 170 and also four short of its rally in 2019. At 31% support, the Conservatives could also lose seats, down to 118 from 121 in the last Canada elections.

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