Mike Smyth: For Trudeau, B.C. looms giant as election marketing campaign begins


As soon as once more, Trudeau chooses “second residence” Vancouver to launch his election marketing campaign.

The ink on the election writs was barely dry earlier than Justin Trudeau cleared out of Ottawa on Wednesday and jetted off for Vancouver.

“My second residence,” Trudeau known as it, as he ready for a marketing campaign kickoff rally on the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver-Kingsway.

Now Trudeau hopes his second residence will assist ship a second time period in energy, simply as B.C. voters did for him in 2015.

That was the 12 months Trudeau entered the election marketing campaign in third place, puzzling pundits on Day 1 when he bolted to Vancouver as a substitute of schmoozing the Ottawa press gallery. It turned out Trudeau knew what he was doing, because the Liberals rode a wave of Trudeaumania, successful a shocking 17 B.C. seats.

The Liberals can be thrilled to easily hold onto their B.C. positive factors, however Trudeau as a substitute headed to a using held by the NDP on Wednesday.

It’s a measure of Trudeau’s confidence that he appeared alongside star Liberal candidate Tamara Taggart, the previous TV information anchor attempting to grab the Kingsway seat from NDP incumbent Don Davies.

Can the 2019 model of Trudeau do as properly in B.C. and the remainder of the nation as he did 4 years in the past?

Perhaps, however it is going to be more durable. Trudeau is not the shiny, new political penny who dazzled voters in 2015.

Now Trudeau has a spotty file to defend and heavy baggage to haul round. From damaged guarantees on balancing the funds to non-public gaffes like his globally ridiculed journey to India, the bloom has come off the Trudeau rose.

Trudeau’s challenger for the prime minister’s workplace — Conservative chief Andrew Scheer — is relying on voter familiarity to breed contempt for Trudeau.

“We’re going to shock folks,” Scheer vowed, unleashing what can be a sustained assault on Trudeau’s character and the still-simmering SNC-Lavalin scandal. “He has misplaced the ethical authority to control.”

Attacking Trudeau on the SNC-Lavalin stinker is an apparent technique, one the opposite main celebration leaders may even make use of.

However right here’s an issue for Scheer: The scandal doesn’t appear to have wounded Trudeau too deeply, barely denting his approval score within the polls.

And whereas these polls point out a neck-and-neck race between Scheer and Trudeau, a deeper dive into the numbers reveals extra bother for Scheer. The Liberal help is closely concentrated within the nation’s densest inhabitants centres, like Toronto and Montreal, the place there are a ton of winnable seats for Trudeau.

However may a detailed election produce a minority authorities on Oct. 21? That’s one other attainable final result that might be problematic for Scheer.

Trudeau is perhaps the one chief able to brokering a take care of the opposite events to retain energy with a minority. For Scheer, it might be a majority-or-bust election.

If there’s a silver lining for Scheer, it might be the potential for a silent populist upswing vote breaking his manner.

Proper-wing events have received loads of provincial elections, together with Alberta and Ontario, and Manitoba simply this week. And past Canada’s borders we’ve seen the triumph of Trump and Brexit Boris.

Perhaps Scheer is correct and he’ll shock lots of people — together with the pollsters.

As Scheer and Trudeau duke it out in the primary occasion, in the meantime, the undercard additionally appears intriguing.

The NDP, led by low-energy Jagmeet Singh, is in need of cash, candidates and help within the polls.

Because the election begins, there are round 100 ridings throughout the nation the place the New Democrats haven’t even nominated a candidate.

What’s that about? Late celebration chief Jack Layton have to be spinning in his grave.

The opposite large drawback for Singh is a attainable Inexperienced celebration surge below its well-liked chief, Elizabeth Might. The Greens have two seats within the Home of Commons after choosing up Nanaimo-Ladysmith in final Might’s byelection.

The Greens ought to preserve Nanaimo and Might will roll once more in her residence using close to Victoria. However different ridings look tempting for the Greens on southern Vancouver Island, the place they might problem NDP incumbents in locations like Esquimalt.

A few different events may have an effect on the election final result, too.

The Folks’s Social gathering of Canada may not win a single seat, however Maxime Bernier’s populist car would possibly create some attention-grabbing vote splits, particularly in Quebec.

Even when Bernier doesn’t win his personal seat, his celebration may play a spoiler function in others.

And talking of Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois may scoop a dozen or extra seats. Issues may get loopy if a celebration devoted to the breakup of Canada finally ends up holding the steadiness of energy in a minority parliament.

As for wild playing cards within the deck, search for at the least one unbiased candidate — Jody Wilson-Raybould — to buck the percentages. Most independents lose, and lose large. However Wilson-Raybould, expelled from the Liberal ranks amid the SNC-Lavalin turmoil, may actual a measure of revenge in Vancouver-Granville.

It’s all conjecture till voting day in a barnburner of an election that appears like Justin Trudeau’s to lose.

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