Election Polls 2021: Liberals and Conservatives are effectively tied

Shelby Thevenot
Published: September 17, 2021

Ahead of the last weekend before election day, support for both Liberals and Conservatives is so strong there is no clear front runner.

All voter polls in Canada suggest the race is tight. On CBC's Poll Tracker, Liberals appear to be just ahead at 31.7 per cent compared to 31.2 per cent for the Conservatives. Nanos suggests support for the Liberals is at 31.9 per cent while the Conservatives are at 30.3 per cent, which is effectively a tie when factoring in the survey's margin of error. Angus Reid's September 14 poll says Conservatives are ahead at 32 per cent compared to 30 per cent support for the Liberals, also a statistical tie. Ekos Politics has the two parties tied at 31.8 per cent.

At the start of the week, voters were leaning slightly more Liberal. However, the week before Conservatives were leading the pack.

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Support for the Conservatives is strongest in the Prairie Provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. B.C. is favouring the New Democratic Party (NDP). Support for the Liberals is strongest in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario, according to Angus Reid. Abascus Data agrees the Liberal's lead is thanks to support from Canada's two largest provinces.

The Conservatives and the Liberals have been the only two parties to ever hold office at the federal level, and it does not look like that will change in this election.

The iPolitics Elections Barometer, as well as the CBC Poll Tracker both suggest a Liberal minority is the most likely outcome — which is exactly what it was before the election campaign started. A minority government is when the leading party holds less than 50 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons. Its opposite is a majority government, where the winning party also has the most seats in the House.

Both parties are in favour of raising immigration levels, addressing backlogs, and improving credential recognition. The Liberals are once again promising to end citizenship fees, and to address systemic racism through a number of avenues, such as increasing funding to multicultural community programs. Conservatives say they will reform the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) to a first-come-first served intake process, instead of a lottery. They also want to replace the Government-Assisted Refugee Program with more public-private sponsorship.

Canadians will vote on Monday, September 20. Advance voting has already started. More than 5.7 million Canadians have already voted at the advance polling stations, an 18 per cent increase over the 2019 election, according to Elections Canada.

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