As Canadians begin their Thanksgiving long weekends, it’s do or die time for political parties. “Whoever has the momentum coming out of this weekend will be in a good position for Oct. 19,” says Abacus Data CEO David Coletto. Mr. Coletto told The Hill Times that with just a week and a half to go until Canadians go to the polls, vote intentions are beginning to solidify but many are still open to changing their mind. “That’s why this weekend is so important,” he said. “Families and friends are gathering with about a week to go. Many will talk politics and the election campaign meaning their intentions will begin to crystallize. It's a chance for people to compare their own perceptions with those they trust. It's an important weekend for the campaign.” Veteran political staffer Keith Beardsley agreed. “For the public it is an opportunity to begin to zero in on what they like or don't like about the leaders, their of politics and items that have caught their attention,” Mr. Beardsley, a former Conservative PMO deputy chief of staff, told The Hill Times. “I expect there will be a shift for just that reason, although it may not be apparent in the polls just yet as people will keep things to themselves. I would watch for a major shift 48 hours before.” While polls are showing a two-way race between the Conservatives and the Liberals, “the election remains unpredictable,” Mr. Coletto says. “While most voters want change, not everyone feels strongly about that, and those who want change continue to be split somewhat between voting Liberal and NDP,” he said. “Over the course of the campaign so far, the Liberals have been winning the change vote away from the NDP, and Mr. Trudeau’s campaign has impressed voters. Nevertheless, with the regional concentrations of votes, it’s an open question as to whether Conservatives win because of a split change vote or whether the drift/coalescence from the NDP to the Liberals continues and causes a change on Oct. 19.” In recent polling, Abacus Data found that 57 per cent of Canadians are strongly in favour of replacing the Conservative government. Only 18 per cent of Canadians want the Conservatives re-elected. Among those who want change, Canadians who would vote Liberal stand seven points ahead of the NDP, whereas they were 16 points behind the NDP when the election campaign began. When asked “which leader is performing the best?” the poll, conducted on Oct. 5 and 6 with 2,000 Canadians online, found that in vote-rich provinces Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is seen as the best. Nationally, Mr. Trudeau’s performance leads with 28 per cent, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper at 20 per cent and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at 14 per cent. The poll is accurate to within 2.2 percentage points. In public opinion polls released yesterday by Forum Research and Nanos Research, the Liberals have taken the lead. According to the Forum Research poll conducted Oct. 5 and 6 with 1,447 Canadians, the Liberals hold 35 per cent support compared to 31 per cent support for the Conservatives. The NDP have 26 per cent. The poll is accurate to three percentage points. The Nanos three-day rolling poll, conducted with 1,200 Canadians Oct. 5 to 7 and accurate to three percentage points, shows the Liberals with 33.5 per cent support and the Conservatives with 31.6 per cent. The NDP’s support stands at 24.2 per cent. Where the leaders are, day 69 (all times local) Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will be campaigning in Richmond, B.C., today. He will deliver remarks at 8:45 a.m. Conservative candidates Kenny Chiu running in Steveston-Richmond East and International Trade Minister Ed Fast, running for re-election in Abbotsford will join him. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will release the NDP’s full platform in Montreal today. There will be a technical briefing for media at 9:15 a.m. at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, followed by the launch and media availability at 11 a.m. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will make an announcement in Toronto today at 9:20 a.m. at Longo’s Leaside. He will then head to Yellowknife, N.W.T., to attend a rally with Liberal candidate Michael McLeod and local supporters. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will be in northwestern Ontario today to campaign with deputy leader Bruce Hyer and Green candidates Christy Radbourne and Peter Bevan-Baker. At 2 p.m., they will discuss restoring VIA Rail service to northern Ontario in Thunder Bay, Ont. This will be followed by a town hall meeting at the Finlandia Club at 7 p.m. Elsewhere on the agenda (all times local) The Bank of Canada will release its autumn issue of the Business Outlook Survey and the Senior Loan Officer Survey at 10:30 a.m. online. Liberal candidate Ralph Goodale, running in Regina-Wascana, Sask., will hold a press conference in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence at 11:30 a.m. Liberal candidates Melanie Joly and Pablo Rodriguez will hold a press conference to react to the NDP’s platform launch at 12:30 p.m. at the Westin hotel in Montreal. Photo of the day Treasury Board President Tony Clement, running for re-election in Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont., tweeted this selfie at a campaign stop. “Trying the drive-through window at #Gravenhurst @TimHortons. No career change planned!” he said. Editor’s note Thank you for continuing to read Politics This Morning. We hope you’ve enjoyed it! You will receive your Monday Morning Headlines on Monday, Oct. 12, but Politics This Morning will return on Oct. 14. Happy thanksgiving! Enjoy the long weekend!