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Final push: Experts say parties will shift strategies in bid for final votes ahead of election day

Last Updated Oct 18, 2019 at 10:05 am MDT

(iStock Photo)

Campaigns are shifting their strategies in the final moments of the election campaign

Experts say there's little leaders can say to sway voters ahead of Monday's vote, so it's about driving the message home

Organization and the ground game will be critical for leaders in such a tight race, one expert says

OTTAWA – This weekend will be the last chance for leaders to convince voters to mark that ‘X’ next to their party’s candidate at the ballot box.

With Oct. 21 just days away, campaigns will be shifting strategies in the final moments of this election, in a bid to win those final votes over.

It’s a full court press from the parties between now and Monday. With all their policies on the table, there is little new the leaders can say to sway voters, so it’s about bombarding you with ads to drive home key messages and hitting as many battleground ridings as they can to motivate staff and supporters to get out the vote.

“A sense of momentum is the real difference in closely held ridings between winning and losing,” Barry McLoughlin with Transform Leaders explains. “A sense of momentum is critically important. If you feel, near the end of a campaign, that it’s good news, that it’s positivit, that does motivate those who otherwise might want to stay home.”

He says organization and the ground game is going to be critical in such a tight race. Unlike some previous campaigns, there is no single issue to this one, which means parties will have to micro-target their pitch to voters.

“Region by region, and frankly, not only city by city, but even riding by riding,” McLoughlin says.

It’s such a tight race that University of Calgary Political Scientist Doreen Barrie stresses the importance of organization.

“Getting out the vote is very important,” she says. “Trying to shore up ridings where they have a chance, but are not certain that they’re going to win.”

On top of that, she says leaders and parties need to stay positive, because in a close fight, the slightest momentum swing can push them over the top.

Email blasts, phone calls, ads on TV, and a big push on social media — campaigns will pull out all the stops and spend every dollar left in the war chest to get your vote.

Join us on Monday night for Canada Votes 2019. We’ll have results from your riding and insights from across the country, both on-air and online.