Canada: Protesters attend Justin Trudeau rally in Bolton
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Things seem to be going from bad to worse for Justin Trudeau over in Canada as his chances of another term as Prime Minister seem to be slipping away. The Liberal Party leader is now behind his competitor Erin O’Toole according to recent polls and has faced a barrage of unwanted anger on the campaign trail.
This week, Mr Trudeau was leaving a Labour Day campaign stop Monday when some protesters threw handfuls of gravel and debris at him.
It showcases a difficult campaign trail so far for the Canadian leader, who’s once certain win seems to have disappeared in the last weeks of campaigning.
Mr Trudeau called a snap election last month in order to strengthen his hand – but the one popular Prime Minister’s plans seem to have backfired spectacularly.
When Mr Trudeau called the election in August, his party held a double-digit lead in most polls and his rivals were not well known by ordinary voters.
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He said: “The decisions your government makes right now will define the future your kids and grandkids grow up in.
“In this pivotal, consequential moment, who wouldn’t want a say? Who wouldn’t want their chance to help decide where our country goes from here?”
Fast forward to a little less than a month later, and the dawning horizon for the 49-year-old leader looks completely different.
At the time of the election being called, Canada was revelling in having some of the highest vaccination rates in the world, but there were other issues at play that have led to a downturn in popularity for candidate Trudeau.
Anxiety surrounding the pandemic has heightened again as the virus is having a fourth wave; more than 250 wildfires have been fought in British Colombia in recent months; a damning drought in the west of the country has angered farmers; and there is general apathy among the electorate to an election anyway.
Mr Trudeau has also been lambasted by experts for seriously underestimating his main rival, the Tory Party’s Erin O’Toole, who has bought his party firmly to the middle ground to capitalise on those who may be disillusioned with the current Prime Minister.
A recent poll from CBC News shows that the Conservatives are the most popular party currently, with 33.5 percent support compared to the Liberals’ current 31.6 percent.
Abacus CEO David Coletto has said the timing of the election, which Mr Trudeau thought would aid him in a win, has backfired.
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He said: “People are just tired. When you’re tired, you don’t want to make decisions.”
“People who want to punish him for making a reckless election call need a reason not to do so.”
“This could go multiple ways, or it could end exactly as it is right now.
“I think both of those outcomes are as likely — that one of these parties takes off, or we get into another stalemate — and we get the same Parliament that we had when this whole thing started.”
“In order for the Prime Minister to break free from this, it’s going to have to be because people look at the alternatives and say they’re far worse.”
Smarkets have put Mr Trudeau’s chances of getting a much-coveted majority at just 10 percent, but still have the Liberals as favourites to win overall.
Mr Trudeau needs to increase his current seat share from 155 to 170 to get an outright win.
It remains to be seen if the positive momentum for Mr O’Toole can oust the famous Mr Trudeau from the top spot – but the world will find out when Canadians head to the polls on September 20.
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