Where have all the leaders gone? Not many P.E.I. stops for federal leaders

Some federal leaders including Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer made one visit to P.E.I. during the federal election campaign.

Others, like NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, didn't make it to the Island during the campaign. But Green Party Leader Elizabeth May made two stops.

Don Desserud, a political scientist at UPEI, say the leaders have to make strategic choices when it comes to where to visit, particularly at the end.

He said parties have numbers to show the likely outcome for a riding and that determines where a leader will campaign.

"They have to go to the seats where they believe that a short visit will make a difference between winning and losing," Desserud said.

If a leader thinks a stop won't make a difference, they won't come to the area, he said.

He said it is not unheard of for leaders to add stops at the spur of a moment in order to shore up support in the final moments of the campaign.

Desserud said parties have to make sure the leaders maintain their energy to the finish line to avoid critical mistakes.

Ben Nelms/Reuters, Henry Nicholls/Reuters, Chris Wattie/Reuters, Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

He said there has been a problem with the way leaders have had to present themselves during the campaign. They have been on the defensive.

He said people aren't surprised by personal attacks in politics, but there hasn't been much of anything else.

"I think people have sort of pulled back from this election."

Desserud said his only prediction for the outcome on Monday is that nobody is going to be particularly happy.

"None of the scenarios are going to work out in ways people are going to be really excited about," he said.

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