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Voters may decide to skip out on casting a ballot in October, says political scientist

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Summary

'The Liberal win in 2015 was driven by increased support related to a tone of openness and positive politics'

A lot can happen before October, admits a political scientist, in the midst of the SNC-Lavalin scandal

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Given the SNC-Lavalin affair, could we see potential voters skip out on heading to the polls at all this October?

Support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may drop in this year’s federal election, according to political scientist David Moscrop.

“The Liberal win in 2015 was driven by increased support related to a tone of openness and positive politics. Four years on, I expect that support is going to drop off. A lot can happen in seven months. The numbers out last night that I saw suggested that if the election was held today, the Liberals would be in trouble.”

RELATED: A timeline of the SNC-Lavalin affair

Moscrop says support from young and Indigenous voters helped secure the win for the Liberals in the last election, but that may change following the SNC Lavalin affair.

“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that because of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, the Liberals would be reduced to a minority government or be all together defeated.”

For those put off by the scandal, or who just cant get behind one party, some may choose not to vote at all.

“It wouldn’t be unusual for people to look at this and be discouraged from voting and stay home,” Moscrop said.

And if that happens, voter turnout will likely drop.

“In 2015 it was something like 60 per cent [voter turnout] and we celebrated it as having gone up. I would imagine that it would drop back down below 60 this time around.”

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With a lack of answers from the prime minister, Moscrop says voters find themselves even more alienated.

“This is definitely damage control — what a re-think mode looks like. Last night’s climate rally was a disaster. I think they got the sense this wasn’t going to work out for them and so it’s better to keep the prime minister at home and figure this out. I would expect we see a different sort of crisis management approach from the Liberals in the days to come than we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks.”