Campaign Recap: 2015 Election Day Approaches (Finally)

After 11 long weeks – to many, it’s seemed like 11 months – Election Day 2015 approaches and the end of the federal campaign is mercifully in sight. We’ve listened to the leaders’ pitches, followed the debates, watched the ads and tried to sift through the promises – now it’s time for us to decide which party will form the next government.

Leaders of the contending parties will spend their remaining time campaigning furiously in a desperate bid to win the support of the last undecided voters. Now’s a good time to look at where each party stands with just days to go before their fate is determined.

Liberal Party

Campaign Overview: Justin Trudeau should be commended for running a solid campaign, overcoming early suggestions that he was all style and no substance. The Liberals, who now enjoy a solid lead at the polls, started slowly but managed to build momentum throughout the campaign, aided in no small part to Trudeau’s superb campaigning skills and solid showings in the debates. The party’s main success has been its ability to successfully convey their key message to voters: change is necessary and the Liberals have best plan for the future. Voters, it seems, just weren’t that interested in heeding any warnings about the huge deficits that will likely incur as a result of the grand Liberal scheme.

What Oct. 19 could look like: If the polls are to be believed, the Liberals appear poised to win at least a minority government. However, if they manage to draw significant support from the centre-left, capture all the undecided voters, and steal a few key Tory seats, they still might manage to eke out enough seats to win a majority.


Conservative Party

Campaign Overview: Stephen Harper managed to overcome a disastrous start (due, in large part, to the negative publicity of the Mike Duffy trial) and appeared to right the ship by mid-campaign. But after 10 years in power, voter fatigue clearly became a factor. The party, which now sits in second place, just couldn’t seem to sell enough new ideas to energize the electorate. With a stalled economy, the Tories couldn’t sell their main message: that they were the only party capable of steering the country through difficult financial times.

What Oct. 19 could look like: With a majority government looking unlikely at this point, it’s unlikely the Conservatives will survive a minority. This eventuality would probably force the resignation of Stephen Harper, triggering a quick election.



Campaign Overview: Tom Mulcair’s early honeymoon with voters fizzled quickly, resulting in the NDP sliding from a surprising first place lead in the polls to third. Fairly or not, the NDP slump is being placed on the shoulders of Mulcair, whose lack of charisma has seemingly turned off voters. Simply put, he lacks Jack Layton’s charm. The NDP were hoping that Mulcair would outshine Trudeau in the debates but when that didn’t materialize, the Liberals began siphoning off the centre-left vote.

What Oct. 19 could look like: The polls tell us that the NDP cannot hope to win – even a minority government. However, if the Liberals end up forming the minority and want to hang on to power, they will need to rely heavily on NDP support, which would at the very least give Mulcair something of a consolation prize: a power-sharing role with the Liberals where he plays the roll of kingmaker.