(Winsloe South) Voters in Prince Edward Island will head to the polls on April 3, just under four years after the Progressive Conservative election.
Premier Dennis King, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, told supporters late Monday that he had visited Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry earlier in the day to dissolve the legislature.
At dissolution, the Progressive Conservatives held 15 seats, the Green Party eight seats and the Liberals four.
The Conservatives won a minority government in 2019, but have had a majority since winning a by-election a year later.
The election comes shortly after the King government signed a health care deal with Ottawa providing $966 million over the next decade.
The next elections will take place six months earlier than the provincial electoral law stipulates.
Anticipating attacks from his main opponents, Mr. King boasted of his government’s achievements in strengthening health care, putting money in the pockets of Islanders and building more housing. He entered the room on the song Unstoppable by Australian pop singer Sia.
Citing two major post-tropical storms that have hit the province since his election, the COVID-19 pandemic and a potato fungus that has halted exports to the United States, King said his team had governed under “the most difficult circumstances in the history of the province”.
“It wasn’t perfect,” he added. We haven’t got it all done,” but he pointed out that when they made mistakes, they admitted them and corrected them.
Political pundits suggest the Progressive Conservatives are favored to win another term as the electorate is in no mood for change and the opposition is seen as weakened.
Under the province’s election law, general elections are supposed to be held every four years on the first Monday in October, which would have resulted in a vote on October 2. Don Desserud, a political science professor at the University of Prince Edward Island, said he saw no compelling reason for Mr King to go to the polls earlier.
“I don’t see what the problem is except that maybe they’re just tired of governing and they like to have elections and start afresh with a clean slate,” Desserud said in a recent post. interview, adding that the ruling party remains well ahead in the polls.
His colleague in the university’s political science department, Peter McKenna, said there were no signs of disillusionment with the Conservative government. “The Liberals are in trouble. The Green Party is kind of on hold, he argued. I see the outcome of this provincial election as a foregone conclusion. »
Still, there are a number of key issues facing the province, McKenna said, listing health care, inflation, housing shortages and climate change.
Mr King’s government has also been criticized for its response to the post-tropical storm Fionawhich caused widespread damage across the island in September.