We are in the home stretch and the leaders are doing everything in their power to tip the scales in their favour. The polls tell one story, but the flight paths and campaign stops may tell another.
While national polls have the Liberals and Conservatives neck and neck, regional numbers paint a brighter picture for Justin Trudeau. In Ontario and Quebec, Trudeau has jumped out to a seven-point lead above the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois respectively. Both the Liberals and Conservatives know that despite what the polls say, the ground game (GOTV) will ultimately dictate who emerges victorious on Monday.
The Liberals kicked off the campaign on the offensive making stops in opposition held ridings like Northumberland-Peterborough South (Conservative) and Victoria (NDP) in the early days of the campaign. However, Justin Trudeau’s visits to Liberal-held ridings in Whitby and Oakville this past weekend made it clear that the Liberals have reverted to defence in an attempt to hold existing seats. With the Conservatives and Liberals in a dead heat in the homestretch, the Liberals would now be pleased to return to Ottawa with the 155 seats that they had at dissolution.
Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives remain focused on offence. Monday’s attempt by O’Toole to contrast his military experience with Trudeau’s ‘life’ experiences was the Conservative leader’s most pointed criticism of Trudeau to date. Stops in Whitby and Mississauga over the weekend and virtual rallies planned in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia highlight the Conservatives’ confidence that they can hold existing seats while targeting new pickups this week.
Key ridings to watch on election day include Cumberland—Colchester (Nova Scotia), Saint John-Rothesay (New Brunswick), Miramichi–Grand Lake (New Brunswick), Bay of Quinte (Ontario), and Whitby (Ontario). The results in these ridings will act as a bellwether for the frontrunners on Monday night.