Watch Canada Elections 2019′ Online: Canadians are heading to the polls to cast their ballots following a 40-day election campaign that featured countless promises, numerous personal attacks and enduring uncertainty right up to the finish line.
Polls have officially opened across the country and millions of Canadians are expected to cast their ballots in this country’s 43rd federal election, which many experts believe will result in a hung Parliament.
The Liberals under Justin Trudeau and Conservatives under Andrew Scheer started the election largely neck-and-neck in opinion polls and, despite their best efforts, neither leader seems to have been able to jump ahead.
Trudeau voted in his Montreal riding of Papineau on Monday after flying back the night before from British Columbia, where he spent the final day of the campaign and which could prove critical to deciding which party gets to form government.
The Liberal leader, who came to power in 2015 on an inspirational promise of governing differently, suffered an uneven election campaign this time around thanks in part to revelations he wore racist makeup before entering politics.
The SNC-Lavalin affair also continued to dog Trudeau, as did anger among some progressives over his failure to reform the electoral system and his government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.
Scheer was scheduled to cast his ballot later in Regina after also spending Sunday in Vancouver and B.C.’s Lower Mainland in the hopes of securing enough seats to knock off the incumbent Liberals.
Like Trudeau, the Conservative leader faced challenges on the campaign trail, where he was seen as underperforming in the first French-language debate and faced pointed questions about his position on abortion and climate change.
The other leaders also sought to portray a Tory government as one that would cut services for Canadians after Scheer promised to balance the budget in five years, and he faced questions about his U.S. citizenship and claims to have been an insurance broker.
Ultimately, once all the ballots are cast and counted, the balance of power could reside with one of the other main parties should neither the Liberals nor Conservatives secure enough seats to win a majority government.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who will spend election night in his B.C. riding of Burnaby South, entered the campaign facing questions about his leadership thanks to lacklustre fundraising, a shortage of candidates and other organizational challenges.
More than a month later, however, Singh is seen to have run a surprisingly strong campaign that has attracted many progressive voters, resulting in a bump in the NDP’s polling numbers, even though the party’s chances in Quebec remain uncertain.