Canadian general elections will be held today with third parties having a large impact on the political landscape

Canadians vote today in the country’s 43rd general election. All 338 seats in the lower house are up for grabs in

canada elections

Photo: CTV News

Canadians vote today in the country’s 43rd general election. All 338 seats in the lower house are up for grabs in an election largely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s governance. Polls have indicated that the race is neck-and-neck between Trudeau’s Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party.

Jobs and the economy have featured prominently in both parties’ platforms, with each pledging reforms to improve the plight of middle class families.

How the major third parties fare today will likely shape the Canadian political landscape. Jagmeet Singh’s centre-left New Democratic Party (NDP) has made gains in the last week of campaigning. Likewise, a number of Canadians remain committed to Elizabeth May’s Green Party and the separatist Bloc Quebecois Party.

Even if Conservatives gain enough seats to block Liberals from forming a majority government—a likely outcome given Trudeau’s declining popularity—the NDP and Green Party have expressed willingness to form a coalition government with the Liberals.

Minority governments have historically not lasted long in Canadian politics and, should one arise, Liberals will likely face pressure to move more to the left on certain topics such as the environment. If Liberals resist this push, parliamentary battles over issues like the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline may result in the fracturing of any coalition.