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Federal election poll

Will there be a federal election this year?
An Elections BC sign directs voters to the advance polling station at the Smithers Curling Club Oct. 15, 2020. (Thom Barker photo)

Rumours are swirling that voters may be headed back to the polls this year. Considering the next federal election must take place on or before Oct. 20, 2025, the gossip may have merit.

In recent weeks, federal political leaders have been using some heated, election-style language to snipe at each other, triggering some to question whether Canadians may be headed to the polls this year.

But Tim Powers of Summa Strategies said he doesn’t think any of the leaders are itching for an election right now, despite their recent posturing.

Powers said the Liberals are unlikely to seek a new mandate with the threat of an economic slowdown this year hanging over the government’s head.

“We will only have an election this year if Justin Trudeau sees the winning conditions exist for him,” Powers said. “I don’t think the Liberals are yet ready to manufacture an election.”

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On the other hand, Sharan Kaur of SK Consulting suggested the Conservatives will still use the economy to needle the Liberals and position themselves as a government-in-waiting.

“I would say the biggest looming issue of 2023 is going to be cost of living, a potential recession, and that will probably be the main pivot point for the Conservatives,” she said, adding that she thinks the Conservative Party is the only one that wants an election this year.

Even if an election doesn’t happen this year, Kaur said she doesn’t expect the political posturing to stop.

“We’re going to see a lot of pandering in the next year, especially around economic challenges, cost of living for people — just like the bread-and-butter issues,” she said.