On Monday night, Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King announced that the province would be going to the polls on April 3, 2023, six months earlier than the next scheduled election. King, who leads a majority government, made the decision to call an early election in an attempt to retain his majority.
The premier’s decision to call an early election comes as no surprise to political observers, as King’s Progressive Conservative party has been enjoying a surge in popularity in recent months. The party won 15 of the province’s 27 seats in the last election but picked up an additional seat in a by-election in 2020, giving it a slim majority in the legislature.
Going to the polls early can be a risky move, as there is always the possibility that voters may punish him for calling an election before the end of his mandate. However, with the Progressive Conservatives riding high in the polls and the premier’s popularity remaining strong, it is likely that the party will retain power.
One factor that contributed to the popularity of King’s government has been its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has been praised for its aggressive testing and contact tracing measures, which have helped to keep the number of cases relatively low. In addition, the government has offered financial support to businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic, which has helped to ease the economic impact of the crisis.
Another factor that has helped to boost the Progressive Conservatives’ popularity has been their response to a string of natural disasters that have hit the province in recent years. In 2019, the province was hit by Hurricane Dorian, which caused widespread damage and power outages. The government’s response to the disaster was praised for its effectiveness and speed. Similarly, in 2020, the province was hit by a series of storms that caused flooding and damage to infrastructure. Again, the government’s response was seen as effective and decisive.
Despite the government’s successes, the opposition parties are expected to mount a strong challenge in the upcoming election. The Green Party, in particular, is seen as a potential threat to the Progressive Conservatives, as it has been gaining in popularity in recent months. The party has been focusing on climate change and renewable energy issues, which resonate with many Islanders.
In the end, however, it is likely that Dennis King and his Progressive Conservative party will emerge victorious in the upcoming election. With the premier’s popularity remaining strong and the party’s successful handling of both the pandemic and natural disasters, it is hard to see the opposition parties mounting a successful challenge. Nevertheless, the next month will be an interesting time in Island politics as the parties gear up for what promises to be a hard-fought election campaign.