Insights

Tight election race will greatly impact the power dynamic in Ottawa

Posted by
John Capobianco
Insights

Tight election race will greatly impact the power dynamic in Ottawa

Écrit par
John Capobianco

Recently, I teamed up with fellow FHR public affairs experts Mark Reder and Pierre Cyr alongside Greg Lyle, President of Innovative Research Group for a lively webinar discussion on the state of the federal election campaign.

Having closely tracked voter sentiment throughout the election campaign, Greg kicked off the discussion by providing the latest polling numbers on key issues that are shaping the vote. Here are some of his interesting findings:  

The early election call wasn’t popular

Only 3-in-10 respondents say they are fine with Justin Trudeau’s decision to call an early election. 25 per cent say they are upset with the decision, but that it will make no difference to their vote.  

Trudeau is up against Canadians who feel like it’s ‘time for change’

The major challenge for Justin Trudeau throughout the campaign has been how many Canadians feel like it’s “time for a change in government”. This sentiment is just four points lower than it was for Stephen Harper in 2015.  

Canadians flocked to the advance polls

Elections Canada has reported that more than 5.7 million Canadians participated in advance polls, an almost 20 per cent spike from the 2019 election. Among survey respondents who had already voted, the Conservatives (35 per cent) and Liberals (34 per cent) were in a dead heat, indicating a tight finish on election night.  

Canadians are down on the government's handling of the pandemic

Approval of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic is down to 47 per cent from 54 per cent in July 2021. Nearly 2-in-5 (39 per cent) Canadians think federal restrictions are “about right”, while 34 per cent feel they are “too loose.”

Canadians see both strengths and weaknesses in the parties

Survey respondents believe a Liberal government would do a better job addressing climate change, gun violence and women’s rights; however, most believe the Conservatives are better equipped to balance the budget and navigate a post-pandemic economic recovery.  

So, what does this tell us?  

That campaigns matter. Justin Trudeau has struggled to provide Canadians with a compelling reason for calling an election; this has impacted the polling numbers, which have seen a double-digit lead over the Conservatives turn into a dead heat.  

The information also tells us that there's an unpredictability to this election. Elections Canada has sent out 800,000 mail-in ballots and the surge in advance polling may well carry through to the turn out on election day. Even so, it seems likely that the result will come down to a dozen or so tight races.  

It’s an exciting time to be in public affairs. Whether the Liberals win a majority or minority government, the Conservatives form government, or if the NDP pick up seats, each of those outcomes has the potential to greatly impact the power dynamic in Ottawa. Different visions for the country will translate into differences in the government’s priorities and how key issues are dealt with.  

Once the dust settles, businesses will need to reassess what they're doing in terms of how they approach government - no matter the result of the election.  

To watch a replay of our webinar, click here.  

Recently, I teamed up with fellow FHR public affairs experts Mark Reder and Pierre Cyr alongside Greg Lyle, President of Innovative Research Group for a lively webinar discussion on the state of the federal election campaign.

Having closely tracked voter sentiment throughout the election campaign, Greg kicked off the discussion by providing the latest polling numbers on key issues that are shaping the vote. Here are some of his interesting findings:  

The early election call wasn’t popular

Only 3-in-10 respondents say they are fine with Justin Trudeau’s decision to call an early election. 25 per cent say they are upset with the decision, but that it will make no difference to their vote.  

Trudeau is up against Canadians who feel like it’s ‘time for change’

The major challenge for Justin Trudeau throughout the campaign has been how many Canadians feel like it’s “time for a change in government”. This sentiment is just four points lower than it was for Stephen Harper in 2015.  

Canadians flocked to the advance polls

Elections Canada has reported that more than 5.7 million Canadians participated in advance polls, an almost 20 per cent spike from the 2019 election. Among survey respondents who had already voted, the Conservatives (35 per cent) and Liberals (34 per cent) were in a dead heat, indicating a tight finish on election night.  

Canadians are down on the government's handling of the pandemic

Approval of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic is down to 47 per cent from 54 per cent in July 2021. Nearly 2-in-5 (39 per cent) Canadians think federal restrictions are “about right”, while 34 per cent feel they are “too loose.”

Canadians see both strengths and weaknesses in the parties

Survey respondents believe a Liberal government would do a better job addressing climate change, gun violence and women’s rights; however, most believe the Conservatives are better equipped to balance the budget and navigate a post-pandemic economic recovery.  

So, what does this tell us?  

That campaigns matter. Justin Trudeau has struggled to provide Canadians with a compelling reason for calling an election; this has impacted the polling numbers, which have seen a double-digit lead over the Conservatives turn into a dead heat.  

The information also tells us that there's an unpredictability to this election. Elections Canada has sent out 800,000 mail-in ballots and the surge in advance polling may well carry through to the turn out on election day. Even so, it seems likely that the result will come down to a dozen or so tight races.  

It’s an exciting time to be in public affairs. Whether the Liberals win a majority or minority government, the Conservatives form government, or if the NDP pick up seats, each of those outcomes has the potential to greatly impact the power dynamic in Ottawa. Different visions for the country will translate into differences in the government’s priorities and how key issues are dealt with.  

Once the dust settles, businesses will need to reassess what they're doing in terms of how they approach government - no matter the result of the election.  

To watch a replay of our webinar, click here.  

John Capobianco
Senior Vice President & Senior Partner
As National Public Affairs Lead, John provides government relations and strategic communications counsel to clients across an array of sectors. With over 25 years of experience, John has built an extensive political network which, along with his experience in government, he leverages for clients looking to build strong relationships with senior government officials.
John Capobianco
Vice-président principal et associé principal
En tant que responsable des affaires publiques nationales, John offre des conseils sur les relations gouvernementales et les communications stratégiques à des clients d’une gamme de secteurs. Avec plus de 25 ans d’expérience, John a mis en place un vaste réseau politique qu’il met à profit, conjointement avec son expérience auprès du gouvernement, pour les clients désirant établir de solides relations avec les hauts fonctionnaires.