OTTAWA, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - Canadians voted in record numbers in advance polls ahead of upcoming elections, with some looking to beat crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic, data released this week shows, though an expected avalanche of mail ballots has not materialized .
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called the September 20 snap election to try to win a majority, is now fighting to keep his post in from his liberal party to a tight race against their main rival, the Conservatives.
Close toe 5.8 million Canadians voted early in this election, up 18.5% from the 2019 vote, according to preliminary data from Elections Canada. Separately, a record 1.2 million mail-in ballots were also issued, although it was much less than the 2.3 million to 4.3 million range that Elections Canada had predicted.
Canada has over 27 million eligible voters.
The sharp increase in Advance votes, coupled with lower demand for mail-in ballots, shows that Canada's highly vaccinated population is comfortable voting in person, alleviating some concerns voters would not show up due to fears pandemic, experts have said.
"Most gens are now doubly vaccinated. So I think they might be less afraid to go and vote in person, "said Daniel Beland, professor of political science at McGill University.
"If we were still in the third wave, where few people had been vaccinated, I think things might be different.
More than 77% of eligible Canadians are fully immunized, but a fourth wave led by Delta has sharply increasing cases across the country.
Although postal voting turns out to be less popular than expected, it could still slow the count in a handful of tight circumions, potentially delaying the overall result by several days. Most ballots by matches will only be counted after they have been verified against votes per person.
"It will be an unusual election as we will be breaking the record for postal ballots at the federal level. That, added to the pandemic, makes it difficult to get a picture of the likely voter turnout, "said Nik Nanos, director of Nanos Research.
Conservatives and According to the latest Nanos poll, the Liberals are stuck at 31.2% to 30.5% of the vote within a week of election day. Left-wing New Democrats have 21.4% .
Trudeau was attacked by rivals on Wednesday, after data showed inflation was at a high for 18 years in a context of upward pressure on the prices of everything , from gasoline to housing to furniture. find out more
(This story has been uploaded to change the title) Report ng by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Edited by Aurora Ellis
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