Harper loses more than 25 per cent of caucus ahead of election

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper is losing members of his cabinet at one of the highest rates in decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Business.

Polls continue to show a tight three-way race ahead of the October 19 federal election, though the dropout rate for Harper’s cabinet is at 27.7 per cent. Only twice since the Second World War has the rate been higher.

In 1953, Louis St. Laurent lost 28.4 per cent of the Liberals’ incumbent members, and in 1993 the Progressive Conservatives under Jean Charest lost 40.8 of his party’s seats.

Bloomberg reported that out of 166 Conservatives elected to the House of Commons in 2011, at least 46 will not be running for the party in October.

Government data listed on the Pundits’ Guide shows that the Conservatives have the highest numbers in both candidates that have withdrawn or are retiring incumbents. For the coming election, the Conservatives will have 31 open seats, with the New Democratic Party (NDP) at 14 and the Liberals with 5.

Many key players of the Conservative Party departed from office in 2015, including former Justice Minister Peter Mackay, Industry Minister James Moore and Foreign Minister John Baird. Last year, shortly before passing away, former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also made the decision to resign.

In May, collected data also discovered that Harper only attended 35 per cent of his question periods in the House of Commons in 2015. It was his sharpest attendance decline since he became Prime Minister.

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SEE ALSO: Stephen Harper only attended 35% of question periods this year, lowest to date

Latest polls suggest that the Conservative Party has 28.9 per cent support nationally. Another poll conducted by Insights West suggests that British Columbians favour the NDP over the Conservatives federally. In Metro Vancouver, the Conservatives are tied with the NDP at 32 per cent.

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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