Harper calls election for 19th October
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called a general election for 19th October as originally planned. The difference, however, is that the campaign is much longer than usual, eleven weeks. With Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Thomas Mulcair’s New Democratic Party (NDP) neck and neck in the polls the long campaign is expected to favour the Conservatives who have much larger financial reserves, around US52.8 million, or as much as the NDP and Liberals combined.
In the last election held on 2nd May 2011 the Conservatives won 166 of the 308 seats in Canada’s House of Commons. In this year’s election there will be 338 seats up for grabs. In 2011 the NDP won 103 seats and the Liberals took 34 seats. Bloc Québécois won four seats and Elizabeth May, the leader of the Greens won her one seat in British Colombia.
Last time 155 seats were needed to gain a majority and this time it will be 170 seats.
The latest cumulative opinion poll from CBC Poll Tracker puts the NDP on 32.1% of the vote or 114 to 140 seats and the Conservatives on 31.6% or 114 to 140 seats. The Liberals led by Justin Trudeau are on 25.6% or 62 to 94 seats. A CBC report suggests that the Conservatives have gained 3.2% whilst the NDP has stayed still and the Liberals have lost 1.7% support. The bad news for the Conservatives, who have been in power for nine years, is that a recent Ekos Research poll suggests that two thirds of Canadians feel that it is time for a change.