As Canadians head to the polls, Trudeau looks set to overtake Harper | News | DW | 19.10.2015
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As Canadians head to the polls, Trudeau looks set to overtake Harper

Canadians have begun heading to the voting booths to choose the next prime minister. Polls over the weekend have suggested the Liberals might overtake current leader Stephen Harper.

Voting began on Monday to select Canada's next prime minister, as the forecast suggested the liberal Justin Trudeau (pictured) would emerge victorious.

Opinion polls released Sunday showed current conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper trailing behind Trudeau by seven points. Public opinion remains divided, however, and more than 26 million registered voters are still undecided, the AFP news agency reported.

Trudeau, son of the late, well-respected former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has seen a surge in voter support recently, climbing up from third place to take the lead despite a string of attack ads from the Conservatives.

Uphill battle for Harper

If Stephen Harper were to be elected, he would be the first prime minister to win four consecutive mandates since 1908. Harper, however, has faced tough criticism for a sometimes vicious campaign, which was criticized for playing off fears of Muslims.

Whoever wins will most likely have to share power with a minority government. Harper has said he will step down if the Conservatives don't win.

The latest Nanos survey found the Liberals leading with 37.3 percent support, the Conservatives trailing behind with 30.5 percent, and the New Democratic Party, which hopes to govern for the first time, coming in with 22.1 percent. The margin of error is 2.2. percent.

blc/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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