Three strong debate performances by the leaders of the separatist Bloc Québécois and the left-of-centre New Democratic Party have increased the chances of a minority government come Election Day on Oct. 21, according to an analysis of the CBC Poll Tracker aggregates.
With the Bloc Québécois gaining in the vote-rich Quebec, the Liberals have lost their seat advantage over the Conservatives and are now neck-and-neck in both the national polls and the seat projection, says CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier.
The New Democrats have seen their support levels increase since the English-language debate, while the Greens are holding their support, the Poll Tracker shows.
Through much of the campaign, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals had been favoured to win more seats than Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives because much of the Liberal support is concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, which have more electoral weight than the Prairie provinces where the Conservatives run strong.
That changed following three strong debate performances by Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
- Party leaders debate climate, deficits, secularism and relations with China
- Federal leaders clash in debate long on personal attacks and short on policy
- Four party leaders clash in French-language debate
Bloc Québécois, which runs candidates only in Quebec, is now projected to win about 33 seats in Quebec, up from 10 the party held when the House of Commons was dissolved in September.
After posting poll numbers that would have given them about 15 seats nationwide, the NDP are now projected to win around 25 seats.
But with the Liberals running neck-in-neck with the Conservatives, losing ground to Bloc in Quebec could make the difference between a majority and a minority government for Trudeau, who is expected to lose some of the Liberal seats in Ontario and Atlantic Canada to Scheer’s Conservatives and potentially the Green Party.
There is now only a 26 per cent chance that either party can win a majority of seats.
With files from CBC News