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Where the parties stand as the election starts and where they need to go

Delhi News-Record 2019-09-12 03:14:05

The Centennial Flame is seen on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Postmedia file

There are 338 seats in Parliament and for a party to obtain a majority they need to win at least 170 seats.

While there is much talk of the national campaign, the reality is that there are a series of regional campaigns across the country.

The Liberals do well in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, the Conservatives do well in the prairies, and Ontario and British Columbia become battle grounds for parties hoping to form the next government.

Justin Trudeau in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada on August 14, 2019. ANDREJ IVANOV / REUTERS

The Liberals: Justin Trudeau’s party walked away from the 2015 election with 184 seats and a solid majority. Thanks to by-election losses, defections like MP Leona Alleslev moving to the Conservatives and both Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott leaving the party over the SNC-Lavalin scandal means the party dropped to 177 seats.

While there is much focus for the Liberals on Quebec where they entered the election with 40 seats their real powerbase is Ontario where they held 76 seats at dissolution.

The Liberals won every seat in Toronto and Atlantic Canada last election and are likely to lose some of those ridings, meaning that to keep power they will have to win elsewhere. Trudeau will look to pick up seats in Quebec and British Columbia and hold what he has in Ontario.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer walks to a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on April 7, 2019. The Canadian Press file

The Conservatives: In 2015 the Conservatives were reduced to 99 seats and now hold 95 as the election kicks off. It’s a long way from 95 to 170 seats but Andrew Scheer’s team believes they have a plan.

After being shut out in Atlantic Canada four years ago the Tories hope to win between 6 and 12 seats on the East Coast. In Quebec the party that currently holds 11 seats is looking to pick up more, so much so that Scheer kicked off his campaign in Trois-Rivières in a riding they think they can steal from the NDP.

The party also hopes to pick up seats in Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia but of course the big prize is Ontario. The party currently holds 33 seats in Ontario and needs to effectively double that or more if they want to form a majority government. Expect the Conservatives to focus on the seat rich area around Toronto referred to as “the 905.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

The NDP: The party ends the current Parliament with 39 seats and polling would seem to indicate that leader Jagmeet Singh will be lucky to hold on to that many seats when October 21 rolls around.

The party should do well in British Columbia but will be in a tough four way fight with the Liberals, Conservatives and Greens. In Ontario the party hopes to hold seats they currently have and expand with some suburban seats around Toronto. Quebec could be their Achilles heel and their current 14 seats could easily be reduced to low single digits.

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May waves during the 2018 Toronto Pride Parade on June 24, 2018. Ernest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun

The Greens: Elizabeth May’s party ends the current Parliament with the highest seat count the party has ever had, two. Polling looks good for the party but has not translated into seats in the past.

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, speaks during a party event in Fort McMurray, Alta., on July 9, 2019. Vincent McDermott / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network

People’s Party: Maxime Bernier’s party has one seat, his own. He will be in a fight to keep his own seat. Can he win elsewhere including in Toronto where Rob Ford’s widow Renata is running as a candidate? Stay tuned!