Canadians go to the polls

CANADIANS went to the polls — a day after prime minister Stephen Harper made a final appeal for a “strong, stable, Conservative majority government” and warned he could be toppled by a leftist coalition if he does not get it.

Harper, in power since 2006, has won two elections but never with a majority of parliament’s 308 seats.

If he does not get a majority this time, opposition parties are expected to try to form a coalition government.

Until last week, most polls indicated Canadian voters would give the Conservative government another mandate, but recent polls show a late surge for the left. The unexpected gains for the New Democratic Party have upended previous soundings that predicted the Conservatives would get enough votes for a minority mandate – or even win a majority. Now the New Democrats and Liberals could win enough seats to form a coalition.


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