Canada goes to the polls, Justin Trudeau's political future at stake

Eva Deschamps / September 20, 2021

In this very close race, voters in Newfoundland and Labrador, on the Atlantic coast, will be the first to vote on Monday as of 8:30 a.m. 
 
The 36-day campaign blitz ended as it began: with a speech by the outgoing Prime Minister asking Canadians to give him a new mandate to lead the country and manage the exit from the pandemic. 
 
The Prime Minister called an early election in mid-August to try to regain the majority he lost two years ago.
 
But according to the polls, he is losing his bet. The wear and tear of power is being felt, the Trudeaumania of 2015 seems far away he is plateauing around 31% of voting intentions, at the same level as his main rival, the conservative Erin O'Toole, still unknown to the general public not long ago.
 
As in 2019, this absolutely total suspense makes analysts say that the majority seems very complicated to reach for anyone.
 
It's hard to imagine a tighter race, Felix Mathieu, a politics professor at the University of Winnipeg, tells AFP.
 
On Sunday, Justin Trudeau multiplied in the last day of campaigning, making stops from east to west of the country.
 
In recent days, he has called on voters to vote strategically, explaining that a return to Conservative power would mean a step backwards for the country, especially on climate change.
 
Erin O'Toole, who was in the Greater Toronto Area on Sunday, where he is running, promised Canadians that he would be the new guy and campaigned with a strong center.
  
The approximately 27 million Canadians 18 years of age and older who are eligible to vote on Monday are being asked to elect 338 members to the House of Commons.
 
If neither of the two major parties that have been in power since 1867 is able to win a majority of seats in Parliament, the winner will have to form a minority government.
 
In this case, the future Prime Minister, whether Liberal or Conservative, will have to work with the smaller parties to govern in Ottawa.
 
But patience may be required Monday night as there is a possibility that the winner will not be known that night, the polling organization said. Many Canadians have opted to vote by mail and it could be very close in some ridings.
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