Did Justin Trudeau make a mistake calling for a Snap Election?

The next federal vote was scheduled for 2023 but Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau called for a snap election on August 15, to regain the majority, which he lost 2 years ago.

Trudeau has been in power since 2015 but called this election only halfway through the current term. He had hoped to capitalize on his record in handling the pandemic, but many observers felt the gamble was unwise.

Some believe that Trudeau wanted to accrue more power by forming a majority, thereby ignoring the sensitivity of the critical time and the possible consequences of the upcoming covid wave.

After securing 158 seats in total, Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, will continue in office, but without a hoped-for majority in a snap election. Trudeau wanted the Canadians to decide who should finish the pandemic and lead the country in its post-pandemic recovery.

Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates among wealthy countries and it has seen fewer deaths per capita than other nations. The Liberals have also spent billions to support businesses and workers to keep the economy from collapsing during the crisis.

Nevertheless, his election call was immediately panned as a self-serving, attention-seeking waste of time and money as the country headed into a fourth wave. The 36-day campaign, the minimum required by law, follows months of speculation among political analysts about a possible election call this year.

They’ve viewed everything from cabinet shuffles to Trudeau’s decision to shave the beard he’s sported for more than a year as signs that one was imminent.

Trudeau had good reasons to be confident. Half the Canadians think he had done very well in handling the pandemic. The IMF expects a 6.3% growth in GDP this year which is well above the rich-country average of 5.6%.

The Liberals had also spent billions to support the businesses and workers from collapsing in times of crisis. He also made vaccination a mandate to travel on planes and in trains domestically.

Liberals also promised a $1-billion fund to help provinces implement vaccine passport systems. However, there were a considerable number of people who were against the vaccination mandate. This is what led the anti-vaxxers to build support for the Conservatives.

The right-wing Conservatives went into the campaign with a fresh face; O'Toole only took the party leadership last year. His policies include undoing some of the Liberal party's green measures, but he has also run a campaign focusing on worker's rights. O'Toole says that he supports vaccination, but he does not believe in mandates for travel on planes and trains.

We scraped data from abacusdata.ca using a web scraper and this is how the public sees the leaders of the three biggest national political parties.


Today, Mr. Singh is arguably the most popular national political leader, with 38% saying they have a positive view of him, while 26% have a negative view. His image is significantly better among:

  • women
  • younger voters
  • British Columbians
  • those with post-secondary education.

His standing is noticeably worse than his national average in Quebec and Alberta. Those planning on voting Liberal, Green, and NDP like him, while Conservatives and Bloc voters mostly don’t.


Mr. O’Toole is the least popular of the national political leaders, with only 20% saying they have a positive view of him, and twice as many saying they have a negative view (40%). His image is better among:

  • men than women
  • among those with less formal education
  • people living in Alberta
  • those in the 45-59 age group

but still is more negative than positive in every one of those cohorts.


Mr. Trudeau has an equal mix of fans (40%) and detractors (39%). His image doesn’t vary much by gender or age. His best results are in Quebec and the worst numbers are in the Prairies.

Those with high school education tend not to like Trudeau as much as those with a university education (35% vs. 46%).

Detailed Impression

We also asked respondents to assess each leader on several items – asking them which of two words or phrases best describes the leader.

A large majority of voters see Jagmeet Singh as someone with:

  • good values
  • an optimist,
  • and modern.

Smaller majorities see him as interesting and possessed of great ideas.

According to Bruce Anderson: “While overall voting intentions do not at this point signal a breakthrough for the NDP, these numbers suggest that one of the variables that makes a party more competitive is a popular leader, is something the NDP has right now.

Justin Trudeau is seen by a broad majority as:

  • modern
  • optimist
  • and a solid majority as having good values.
  • Just over half see him as interesting,
  • just under half say he has great ideas.

One of the more interesting voter segments we have been watching lately is women under the age of 30. Among these voters, Mr. Trudeau trails Mr. Singh by as many as 30 points on several of these traits.

Mr. O’Toole faces the opposite scenario. He has as many people who dislike him as Mr. Trudeau but half as many who like him.

He’s seen as:

  • out of touch
  • old-fashioned
  • and lacking both charisma and good ideas.

Both aren’t necessary to win but usually, a successful candidate has at least one to offer voters.

The Liberals owe their re-election to strong performances in the country's two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec. In his victory speech in Montreal in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Trudeau said the result suggests Canadians are "sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to brighter days ahead."

Closing Thoughts

This is an overview of the 2021 Canadian Federal Election.

As mentioned before, this research was done by scraping data with ParseHub, a free web scraping tool.

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