Potential election outcomes, voter turnout, and swing votes: a pre-election night update

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Less than a week away from the federal election on September 20, and it appears that the Liberals have opened up clear leads in Ontario and Quebec.

Abacus Data put out their most recent polling results, and their CEO, David Coletto, recently joined Shaun Haney to discuss the most likely outcomes.

“Based on the regional numbers, with the Liberals ahead by seven in Ontario, ahead by seven in Quebec, competitive in B.C., it’s looking a lot like the 2019 campaign and how that ended, with the Liberals losing the popular vote, but still winning more seats than the Conservatives,” says Coletto.

The caveat on that, he says, is there are still some variables that are hard to read. One factor is voter turnout, which Abacus Data’s polls show that this go ’round, voters are more motivated, more engaged, and more interested in this election.

“In an election where a lot of people are annoyed by it, not engaged as much, that could be a factor in helping the Conservatives get over the Liberals,” he says, adding that he’s not certain that will happen, but long lines at polling stations paired with unenthusiastic voters, could affect the outcome.

Swing voters could also play a critical role in the election outcome, especially in larger centres — Coletto gives the example of the NDP polling at 21 per cent, compared to in 2019, at 15 per cent where the last minute switch helped the Liberals get over the line in a lot of ridings in Ontario.

“Of those supporters, the [New] Democrats are the most likely to change their minds between now and when they actually cast their ballot,” says Coletto.

Listen to the full interview, for Coletto’s thoughts on the People’s Party of Canada’s role in the election, and voter strategy:

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