Justin Trudeau has set in motion the 2019 federal election campaign, setting up his re-election bid as a choice for forward progress, while his opponents begin to position themselves as ready alternatives.
On Wednesday morning, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette accepted Trudeau’s request to dissolve the 42nd Parliament, setting in motion Canada’s 43rd federal race, with campaigns in all 338 ridings.
It will be a 40-day race to the ballot box, with all party leaders crisscrossing the country in an effort to pitch themselves, their candidates, and their platforms to Canadians, before election day on Oct. 21.
Speaking to the media outside of Rideau Hall with a backdrop of Liberal supporters, Trudeau took the first opportunity to frame what the election will be about, followed by the other party leaders.
Responding to the election call from strategically-selected locations across the country, the other federal leaders are offering their first real campaign messages.
The latest Nanos Research numbers show that the Liberals have a slight lead heading into the campaign, sitting at 34.6 per cent in the polls. The Conservatives have 30.7, the NDP are at 16.6, Greens are at 11 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois have 4 per cent, and the People’s Party are sitting at 1 per cent.
Canadians are also split on whether it’s time for a change in government, with nearly a fifth of those surveyed by Nanos Research saying they are still undecided, leaving questions about what the voter turnout will be like this time around.
“We’ve got a tight race. There’s no majority government in sight right now, and it’s anyone’s game,” said pollster Nik Nanos.
Elections Canada estimates that the total cost for the 2019 campaign will clock in at approximately $500 million.