A UBC politics expert says while heavy turnout is traditionally bad for sitting governments, the Conservatives could be well equipped to ride it out.
Richard Johnston says that’s because the party has mastered the art of getting supporters to the polls.
“It’s a polarized electorate, and the determination of large numbers of people to see the government defeated is unmistakeable. But we suspect the get out the vote operation that the conservatives have is pretty good, and probably better than the other parties.”
Johnston says says despite long lines at advanced polls, it’s not actually clear yet whether turnout will be up this year.
He says early voting has been on the rise in recent years, but overall turnout hasn’t.
He also says historically high turnout has been bad for the party in power.
According to Johnston that’s usually meant a Conservative tide rising over a sitting Liberal Government, but this year it could be the reverse.
“And so maybe it’s their turn to experience the kind of anti-incumbent mobilization that was every 30 years or so the story about the Liberals.”
But he says if any party is built to survive a surge in voting, it’s the Conservatives with their impressive election day strategy.