Election to be called today
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit Governor General David Johnston this morning at 9 a.m. ET (Eastern Time) to ask him to dissolve the 40th Canadian Parliament and move an election for early May.
The most likely dates are 2nd or 9th May, elections in Canada are held on a Monday.
The move follows the defeat yesterday afternoon (25th March 2011) of the government in a no confidence vote in the House of Commons after being cited for contempt of Parliament.
Currently Harper’s Conservatives are standing at around 40% in the polls compared with 36.27% in the 2008 election. Other opinion polls suggest that only 26% of voters want to see a Conservative majority government.
The Liberals will be worried that their standing hasn’t moved despite the contempt of Parliament story. The Liberals are on 25% compared with 26.26% in the 2008 election. Even worse, the Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff appears to be a weak link with approval ratings of just 19%.
Both the Liberals and the New Democrats appear to have a fluid support base compared with the Conservatives and Michael Ignatieff has started the election in controversy by refusing to say if he would be prepared to form a coalition government.
Around 40 government sponsored bills and almost 500 pieces of legislation from opposition parties will fall as a result of the dissolution of parliament.