An Autumn election the Liberals should win

This autumn, there will be general election. It will pit liberalism against conservatism. It will dictate who will be in power for the next few years. No, I’m not talking about the UK (although it is highly likely too), I’m talking about Canada. 

Four years on from Trudeau’s barn-storming election result, Canadians will return to the polls to elect their new government. The polls see the Liberals neck-and-neck with the Conservatives, so the election in October should be an interesting one. 

The poster boy of progressive politics has had a difficult 2019, after enjoying a three-year honeymoon period. His Carbon Tax has fallen flat across many of the ‘Prairie’ provinces, and his plans for a Trans Mountain Pipeline have seen many critics question his promise to Indigenous people and the environment. He also appeared to throw two of his ministers, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, under the bus for the SNC-Lavalin affair. 

In spite of this, Canadians should focus on his enormous successes. One million new jobs since 2015, roll out of the Canadian Child Benefit, record investment in transit, banning single-use plastics, tax cuts for the middle class (paid for by the top 1%), legalising marijuana, a strengthened Canada Pension Plan, as well as trade agreements with trans-Pacific partners, Europe, and the US and Mexico (USMCA). Imagine we had had similar policies in the UK over the last 4 years!

While he’s still seen across the globe as a highly popular statesman, he has a struggle on his hands to get re-elected. Regional elections since then in Liberal strongholds, such as the Atlantic provinces, have seen the Liberals lose ground. However, when Canadians enter the poll stations for the Federal Election, they have the real question over who they think best represents them, Trudeau or Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer. 

In 2015, the Liberals won 184 seats out of 338 (up from 34 in 2011), they need 170 for a majority. The provinces to watch for this election will be Quebec (where they face pressure from the nationalists), Ontario (where the Conservatives are strong), and British Columbia (where the left-wing NDP will look to gain ground). The Liberals wiped-out the other parties in 2015 in areas such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. For the Liberals to win a majority, they’ll need to enjoy similar success. 

With less than 3 months to go until the election, and with the Tories already starting their negative campaigning, the Liberals have it all to do to keep Trudeau in power. With the Lib Dems feeling a bounce in support and popularity at the moment, hopefully our sister party across the Atlantic will feel a similar phenomenon this ‘fall’. 

* Jonathan is a Lib Dem member in Bath. He studied European Politics at the University of Exeter and now works for a sustainability consultancy.

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  • Opinion polls are at variance, Leger , Ipsos and Angus Reid have the Conservatives 6-8% ahead, so it will take a good campaign to win.

  • In the UK the Lib Dems receive a general pooh-poohing when they talk of winning and a Liberal Prime Minister so they need to work on their responses such as “little swings back and forth between traditional parties of government aren’t how elections are being won these days!”. So go pooh-pooh that pooh-poohing!

  • theakes – Polls were already improving for the Grits. They actually outperformed the Tories for the majority of July polls, and the latest Leger poll also sees them closing the gap. It will be helpful if DoFo keeps burning the Conservative brand in Ontario.

    Meanwhile, the NDP is being cannibalizes by the Greens.

  • The Liberal need the NDP vote, they squeezed it last time, will need to do so again as well as doing the same to the Greens.

  • See Jarrad O Mara says he will resign when Parliament resumes in September, Another Autumn by election then, at Sheffield Hallam, it could not be better for us.

  • theakes,

    Many a slip between cup and lip. Don’t count your chickens yet, Jarrad won’t get a gig like that again and he could well change his mind.

  • John Littler 27th Jul '19 - 5:07pm

    Trudeau was an incredible improvement over their Conservatives, even if the realities of power take the shine off some high ideals. I was in Newfoundland over an election in the 90’s when the results seemed to come in suddenly on CBC Radio, rather than spend over a night
    The legalisation of weed in Canada shows the better way to deal with this and to cut back on the stronger and far more damaging skunk variety.
    What a contrast to the toad that squats under the Great Lakes.

  • Trudeau tried so hard to placate Alberta with his current pipeline policy, thus losing lots of support to Greens. Meanwhile, Alberta never votes liberal anyway. In the next Liberal term, they should go full “f*ck Alberta” mode and ignore them completely, just focusing BC + Eastern Canada + Territories is enough to win elections. Alberta never votes Liberal anyway.

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