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Trudeau, Once the Bright New Hope, Enters Campaign Tarnished by Scandal

In his province of British Columbia, for example, Professor Johnston said that even a relatively small loss of votes from Liberals to the New Democratic Party, which is to the Liberals’ left, or to the Green Party could lead to as many as 20 seats turning Conservative.

“It’s not like they are back where they were a year ago,” he said.

Professor Loewen calculates that if one out of every 10 people who voted for the Liberals in 2015 casts their ballots for any other party on Election Day, Oct. 21, Mr. Scheer will become prime minister although perhaps not with a majority of seats on the House of Commons.

Like many analysts, Mr. Steele, who is now the vice president of StrategyCorp, a lobbying and public relations firm, said he did not believe that committed Liberals would abandon Mr. Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin controversy. And, he added, it has not led to a surge in support for the Conservatives.

“With young people his concern shouldn’t be that they turn out to vote for him, it’s making sure they don’t vote for someone else,” Professor Loewen said.

But Trudeau still must retain the young voters he won last time.

While the campaign period will not officially begin until September, Mr. Trudeau’s early strategy seems to be talking about anything but SNC-Lavalin and to particularly stress his efforts to mitigate climate change.

It’s an approach Mr. Steele recommends.

“I don’t think the election turns on this report,” he said. “It hinges on things like the environment, the economy, health care, U.S.-Canada relations in the world, Canada’s position in the world.”

All the opposition parties, though, will keep up the drumbeat on the controversy, as they have all year.

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