Canadians will head to the polls on Sept. 20 for the 2021 Canadian federal election, but political experts aren’t expecting many new MPs to be elected in Manitoba.
Christopher Adams, an adjunct professor in political studies at the University of Manitoba, is expecting a similar outcome as the 2019 federal election.
“I don’t see many changes coming up with this election from what happened last election in Manitoba,” Adams said.
However, Adams is watching to see if the Conservative Party of Canada loses votes from right-leaning Manitobans who aren’t happy with Premier Brian Pallister.
“The provincial Progressive Conservatives have really tanked in the polls, particularly in Winnipeg,” he said. “The question is, to what extent will that affect the support for the federal Conservative Party candidates?”
The most competitive riding he’s predicting is Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley.
Conservative Marty Morantz defeated Liberal Doug Eyolfson in 2019 and the pair will run against each other once again this year.
“Many people feel that Morantz will hold onto that but at the same time if there’s a push for the Liberals in Winnipeg then that might be vulnerable to the Conservatives,” Adams said.
Aside from that race, Probe Research principal Curtis Brown doesn’t anticipate any major changes in Manitoba.
“If things really go well for the NDP and they get a lot of momentum and Jagmeet Singh becomes popular, I mean, they might have a chance at a seat like Winnipeg North, but that’s very much a long shot,” Brown said.
In order for Justin Trudeau to win a majority, Brown said the Liberals will be focused on picking up wins in provinces like Ontario, Quebec and B.C.
Early national numbers are not strong for Erin O’Toole, according to Brown.
“Anything can happen in a campaign,” he said. “Any party, any candidate can catch momentum and things can shift.”
Issues like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to be among the top issues voters will be paying attention to.
“What’s the federal government going to do to keep people safe or make people whole in terms of if they do have to lose their jobs if there’s another shutdown?”
Adams said voters will also be paying close attention to the COVID-19 situation during the campaign itself and should numbers rise, there will likely be many questioning if it was appropriate to call an election.