Canada polls: Jagmeet Singh-led NDP may again play kingmaker

Trends show close fight between Liberals, Conservatives | Polling on Sept 20

Canada polls: Jagmeet Singh-led NDP may again play kingmaker

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP’s Jagmeet Singh during a debate in Gatineau. File

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 11

The New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Punjab-origin Canadian Jagmeet Singh, can again prove to be a “kingmaker” in the country’s federal election scheduled for September 20.

As the latest trends indicate a neck and neck fight between Liberals and Conservatives, the party with small but crucial number of seats would be important if both main parties fail to get majority. In 2019, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party got 157 seats, 13 short of majority in the 338 House of Commons and Conservative got 121 seats. The NDP had won 24 seats. Trudeau formed a minority government with the support of NDP.

Repeat of 2019?

  • In 2019, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party formed a minority government with the support of NDP
  • Liberals had won 157 seats, 13 short of majority in the 338 House of Commons, and Conservatives won 121 seats. The NDP had won 24 seats

Eying to convert his minority government into majority and confident of getting support for his work during the Covid-19 pandemic, Trudeau called mid-term snap polls, but as opinion polls and trends are to be believed, the Opposition is catching up with Liberals over the “high cost” of housing.

Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole is getting support of young voters, whereas the NDP has good base in two thickly populated areas of British Colombia and Ontario and is getting good support from Indian and Asian communities. As per opinion polls, the NDP is expected to increase its seats this time from the previous tally of 24.

The Indian diaspora in Canada is much sought after as a support base as they tend to be high-income professionals and educated. As a group, the people of Indian origin, especially the Sikh diaspora, have become a powerful group and prominent voice in domestic political space.

As many as 47 Punjabi NRIs are in the fray this time. The main issues being raised by the Punjabi NRIs are direct flight ban from India, racism and high housing cost. A political expert claims that many Indo-Canadians stranded in India due to the ban on direct flights will not be able to cast vote and are being deprived of their rights.

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