Election 2015: The day that was, Sept. 24

A breakout day for the Tories, an NDPer goes way offside and a possible save for Diefenbaker

The Important

For weeks, poll after poll has shown a tight three-way race. But some totally unexpected new numbers from Ekos say not only are the Conservatives starting to pull away, their numbers are also creeping up to what’s needed for a Tory majority government. Wasn’t it just last week many people were writing off Harper’s Tories?

The Ekos poll of 2,343 Canadians found the Conservatives had support from 35.4 per cent of voters, compared to the Liberals at 26.3 per cent and NDP with 24.5 per cent.

Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair and Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe have all said they wouldn’t support a minority government if it’s led by Stephen Harper, while Elizabeth May explained “it’s very unlikely” she’d have much to say to Harper if her Green party held the balance of power to support to Conservative minority. If these numbers are correct, Harper might not need them.

And yet, every poll tells a different story.

The Interesting

As the NDP tries to regain some momentum, it came to light that one of its candidates in an eastern Toronto riding opposes abortion and same-sex marriage. Rev. KM Shanthikumar, a Christian pastor, was recorded in conversation saying, “What the Bible is against, I will be against,” including these two issues for which he and his party stand on the opposite side of the debate. However, Shanthikumar said he would abide by the NDP’s stance on these policy issues, even if his personal beliefs differ.

One candidate the NDP will not have, however, is Sandra Arias. She pulled out of her Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords–Lloydminster, saying in a statement: “Simply put, the financial strain of a historically long election has been just too much to bear for myself and my family.”

The Fun

Maclean’s loves a good quiz—we even have one at the end of every Election Daily edition. Now, the NDP has started its own quiz called “Trudeau vs. Trudeau,” jumping on the old political “flip-flopper” accusations.

But with the important French-language debate Thursday evening, there were few promises on the campaign trail from party leaders. The Conservatives did make time for one announcement, however, pledging to buy the house where former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was born and turn it into a national historic site.