Long before the eruptions of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott, long before Justin Trudeau misplaced his halo, the re-election of the federal Liberals was no sure thing.
For the last three years or so, the provinces – and the rest of the world – have been going conservative. This electoral trend may – or may not – spell trouble for the Liberals in October.
Since the party was elected in 2015, after almost 10 years of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, five provinces have defeated governments run by Liberals or New Democrats.
In Manitoba, the Conservatives defeated the NDP in 2016. The same year, the right-of-centre Saskatchewan Party was re-elected, for the third time since 2007. In British Columbia, the NDP (with the Greens) unseated the Liberals in 2017, the exception to the conservative tide. Last year, Conservatives ousted Liberals in New Brunswick and Ontario, and the Coalition Avenir Québec ousted the Liberals in Quebec.
Since the federal Liberals came to office, just one Liberal government – in Nova Scotia in 2017 – was re-elected. (The Liberals also came to power in Newfoundland in November 2015, albeit scarcely a month after Trudeau’s Liberals).
On Tuesday, Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party is expected to bury Rachel Notley’s New Democrats in Alberta.
If that happens, six provinces will be run by right-wing governments: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.