U of R political science professor reflects on potential federal election call

With the federal government expected to begin a 36-day election campaign on Sunday, the University of Regina’s political science professor Jim Farney is looking towards what will change coming up this time around.

Farney says he has a hard time calling this a snap election due to the amount of talk about the potential election call.

“It’s early obviously — the 1968 election law would give us another two years — but there’s been a lot of signalling and I’d expect the government will have a decent set of messaging around given the shock COVID-19 has been, why they feel they need a mandate now rather than two years from now.”

Farney says it’s troublesome that the government can pick and choose when to have an election.

“If you look at the polling today, they’re probably going to call an election that (has a) 50/50 chance of giving them a slim majority,” Farney said. “That’s a big thing to do, especially when there’s the risk of COVID-19 kind of floating around.”

Farney says according to the polls, there could be some battleground areas in the west, especially in BC.

“I’d say they’ve got a decent shot at picking up a few seats in Calgary or Edmonton, and a couple of seats maybe in Manitoba, but if you look at the polling on the prairies, it’s pretty solidly Conservatives,” Farney said. “There won’t be a lot of change here, it’s BC, Ontario, some local races in Quebec and Atlantic Canada has been pretty solidly Liberal.”

Farney says the collapse of the Green Party could lead to the Liberals and NDP picking up more seats while the Conservatives will have catching up to do in this election in order to gain any ground.

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