Hill & Knowlton Federal Election Recap


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Week 1 – posted August 23, 2021

The first week of the official election campaign got off to a fast policy start thanks to the NDP releasing their platform the Friday before, the Conservatives on Monday, and the Bloc Quebecois on Sunday, and the Liberals making several large policy announcements throughout the week.


Both Jagmeet Singh and Justin Trudeau spent a significant portion of their week in British Columbia and Alberta where there are several tight two-way or three-way races, providing some good opportunities to pick up seats.


Erin O’Toole spent much of the first week in Western Canada, focusing on making announcements that try and paint himself and the Conservative Party as more moderate than under his predecessor, a plan that seems to be working thus far if the polls are too be believed.


Despite calling the election due to a strong showing in the polls, the Liberals have seen that lead soften dramatically in the first week. The Conservatives have pulled into a near tie with them, even leading in some polls, and notably the NDP, thanks to the popularity of Jagmeet Singh, are hovering around 20% – a 4% increase from 2019.


On the weekend, we also saw the Liberals go on the offensive against Erin O’Toole with Chrystia Freeland tweeting, and Trudeau later retweeting, a video that had been edited and clipped to show Erin O’Toole saying that he wanted to implement a private healthcare system in Canada on top of our public system, a tweet that was later marked by Twitter as “manipulated media”


This coming week, Justin Trudeau will take a break from the campaign trail to attend an emergency meeting of G7 leaders, organized by President Biden, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. This continues with the theme of other major events of the first week where Trudeau has been left balancing the need to be a party leader in campaign mode and Prime Minister.


What the Leaders are Talking About

The first week of the campaign was heavy on policy and promises for some leaders, while quite lighter for others.


During the first week, Justin Trudeau re-announced the Liberals’ plan for $10 a day childcare for every parent in Canada, with the cost split between the federal government and the provincial governments. They announced their plan to help hire 1,000 new fire fighters to help deal with forest fires. They announced the creation of a federal sick pay program that will give every employee in a federally regulated workspace 10 days of paid sick leave, and an extension of some Covid emergency benefits.


Erin O’Toole has been heavy on the policy thus far, after releasing the Conservative platform he has continued to make policy announcements around the country. Some key highlights include, scrapping the Liberal carbon tax with a plan of their own at a significantly lower price, heavy investments into hydrogen fuel research and carbon capture technology, a ban on foreign investors who aren’t living or moving to Canada from buying homes, changes to Canada’s mortgage laws, a wage support system of their own to help with Covid recovery, and investment into drug rehabilitation centres across the Country.


For the NDP, Jagmeet Singh has been touring the country announcing parts of their platform in regions and ridings could be key for his party to gain seats. The NDP have proposed a $10 a day universal childcare system, a series of tax increases aimed at wealthier Canadians and businesses, an ambitious climate clan that sees an end to fossil fuel subsidies and an increase in Canada’s targets, the re-introduction of 30-year mortgages by CMHC, and a jobs plan that seeks to create a million jobs in 4 years.


For our other two party leaders, Mr Blanchet has spent his first week touring Quebec with his announcements focusing on issues that are important there; such as climate change, temporary foreign workers, border security, and healthcare. Ms Paul on the other hand has had to focus on winning just her own seat, and without the backing of her party. She has taken some time to discuss issues such as climate change and the crisis in Afghanistan, but she has remained focused mostly on canvassing in Toronto Centre.


Where the Leaders Have Been

Justin Trudeau Longueil, QC | Coburg, ON | Markham, ON | Barrie, ON | Vancouver, BC | Victoria, BC | Winnipeg, MB | Calgary, AB, Fredericton, NB | Miramichi, NB, | Charlottetown, PEI
Erin O’Toole Ottawa, ON | Toronto, ON | Richmond, ON | Longueil, QC | Quebec City, QC | Ottawa, ON | Winnipeg, MB | Saskatoon, SK | Edmonton, AB | Delta, BC
Jagmeet Singh Toronto, ON | Brampton, ON | Mississauga, ON | Coquitlam, BC | Burnaby, BC | Edmonton, AB | Yorkton, SK | Regina, SK
Yves-François Blanchet Quebec City, QC | Montmagny, QC | Shawinigan, QC | Châteauguay, QC | Lacolle, QC | Gatineau, QC | Saint-André-Avellin, QC | Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, QC | Longueil, QC
Annamie Paul Toronto, ON


What the Polls are Saying

EKOS, Aug 20th                                     LPC – 32; CPC – 33; NDP – 17; GPC – 5; BQ – 6

Nanos Research, Aug 20th                LPC – 34; CPC – 32; NDP – 19; GPC – 5; BQ – 6

Mainstreet Research, Aug 20th       LPC – 34; CPC – 31; NDP – 20; GPC – 3; BQ – 6


H+K is monitoring publicly-available polling data from a variety of providers (e.g., iPolitics, Abacus, 338Canada). In the table below we have provided ranges of vote intention data based on several polls as well as the average percent change in vote intention based on ranges in polling data examined. Data on seat projections is also provided.




Vote Intention (Range) Seat Projection (Estimated Average)
Liberal 33% – 34.6% 159 – 163
Conservative 28% – 33% 107 – 115
NDP 20% – 22% 35 – 38
Bloc Québécois 5% – 7% 25 – 29
Green 4% – 5% 1 – 2


*A Party needs at least 170 seats to win a majority government