Canada PM appeals for support as rival leads before Monday vote

Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:22pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel and Allison Lampert

NEWMARKET/TORONTO, Ontario (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his team on Sunday urged Conservative supporters to get out the vote as polls showed Liberal rival Justin Trudeau holding a firm lead one day before the country's fiercely fought election.

Fighting for a rare fourth term as prime minister, Harper used a rally in Newmarket-Aurora, just north of Toronto, to again tout his economic track record.

"There is an awful lot at stake," he told a crowd of about 600 supporters. "The choice we make is going to have real consequences for the next four years for families, for seniors, for small business."

A Nanos survey released on Sunday put the Liberals at 37.3 percent, approaching levels needed to win a majority of seats in Parliament in Monday's vote. They lead the Tories by almost 7 percentage points, with the left-leaning New Democratic Party at 22.1 percent.

An Ipsos poll also published Sunday found 38 percent of decided voters prefer the Liberals, 31 percent the Conservatives and 22 percent the New Democrats.

Still, the Conservatives have a strong get-out-the-vote track record, which could help them perform better than polls suggest.

"Elections in some ridings are determined not by who votes, but by who does not vote," Conservative member of parliament Peter Van Loan said at the rally.

Speaking to supporters in Toronto, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair remained feisty, even though his party has sunk to a distant third.   Continued...

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during a campaign rally in Calgary, Alberta, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie