Trudeau's cabinet shuffle shows where Liberals think 2019 election will be decided

Posted In: News Date:Jul 19th, 2018

Not everything that happens in Ottawa is about the next federal election. But a lot of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's moves in Wednesday's cabinet shuffle sure look like they were tailor-made with the 2019 vote in mind.

But will the changes pay off for the Liberals?

In all, 11 ministers either changed jobs or were added to cabinet, increasing the size of the ministry from 30 to 35, including the prime minister — the largest it has been under Trudeau.

That still makes it smaller than the cabinet of 39 ministers Stephen Harper took into the 2015 federal election. But the scale of the shuffle suggests the Liberals felt some significant changes were needed ahead of next year's date with voters.

First-term governments have historically been much more likely than not to get a second term. But polls suggest the Liberals are far from being guaranteed re-election: If the current numbers are replicated in the October 2019 election, the party would only have a two-in-three chance of winning the most seats and just a one-in-five chance of a majority.

A few adjustments to increase those odds makes sense — and it starts in the one part of the country that has decided election after election.