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All eyes on P.E.I.: What a Green Party win would mean for the province, Canada

Last Updated Apr 22, 2019 at 12:35 pm PDT

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OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – It’s getting a bit easier being Green.

Tuesday’s provincial election in Prince Edward Island could make history if the Green Party hangs on to its lead.

As it turns out, a win could also have an impact on the fall federal vote.

“All eyes are going to be on Prince Edward Island,” David Coletto with Abacus Data says.

It’s a small province that’s about to make a big political impact.

Coletto says the Green Party has consistently polled ahead of all other parties on the Island during this campaign, and seat projections show the party may take power either in a minority or majority scenario.

“There’s a good chance they may win the most seats, and that would be the first time — not just in Canada — but in North America,” he says. “This would be a historic win.”

And it’s not just in PEI — Coletto says support for the party has actually been growing across the nation, and forming a provincial government could boost federal fortunes ahead of the federal election this fall.

“Make a lot of Canadians in other parts of the country have a much more open mind about voting Green,” he explains.

Coletto says there’s been a rise in Green support federally because of missteps by the Trudeau government, a weak NDP, and more political engagement from millennials.

“They’re typically more progressive and they care more intensely about climate change. They’re also open to doing things differently.”

While he expects this potential boost to play a factor in the election, Coletto says it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a Green government federally later this year.

While the majority of PEI will cast their ballots on Tuesday, those living in one riding will be voting at a later date following the death of Green Party candidate Josh Underhay and his young son on Friday.

Elections P.E.I. says the vote in Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park has been cancelled, and that a byelection will be held within the next three months.

Meantime, voters will also be asked whether they would like to change the province’s electoral system from the first-past-the-post, current system to a form of proportional representation.

-With files from The Canadian Press