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The level of voter turnout during the 2015 election – 68 per cent – was largely seen as a boon to the Liberals, who won a majority. This time, the Liberals have the most to lose if voter turnout dips during this election, Carleton University political scientist says.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

George Kiroff is facing a dilemma. The 57-year-old communication technician has voted in past federal elections and believes it’s important, but he’s frustrated by leaders who don’t follow through with promises. “What they’re telling us today, tomorrow they don’t do it."

He’s still not sure how, or even whether, he’ll cast a vote on Monday.

“I’m 50-50 on voting,” he said.

Mr. Kiroff is one of the roughly 10 per cent of Canadians who are still undecided, based on the latest Nanos Research poll. And that group may play a major role in deciding the outcome of a tight federal election race.

“The big question for undecided voters is actually whether they vote,” said pollster Nik Nanos. “Usually when someone is undecided, it’s indicative that they are not enthusiastic about anything on the political menu.”

Mobilizing people like Mr. Kiroff who are on the fence about voting may be the key to a win, said Jonathan Malloy, a professor of political science at Carleton University.

“There’s two types of undecided voters," said Prof. Malloy. "There are people that are planning to vote, but have not decided who to vote for. There are other people who aren’t necessarily sure they’re going to vote.”

“I think it’s that second group, in the end, that’s probably the more critical one for victory.”

Although there’s no way to definitively predict how many people will vote, Prof. Malloy said a lack of enthusiasm over the federal candidates may hurt overall voter turnout this time.

Voter turnout hit 68 per cent during the 2015 election – the highest rate since 1993. That level of voter engagement was largely seen as a boon to the Liberals, who won a majority. This time, the Liberals have the most to lose if voter turnout dips during this election, said Prof. Malloy.

“The Conservative vote is fairly solid."

The latest Nanos Research poll, published Oct. 20, had the Conservatives and the Liberals essentially tied, with the Tories at 32.5 per cent and the Liberals at 31.7. The survey was conducted by Nanos Research and was sponsored by The Globe and Mail and CTV with a total of 1,600 Canadians surveyed Oct. 19 and 20. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Respondents were asked: “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?” A report of the results and methodology for this and all surveys can be found at

Though some undecided voters may not vote at all, Mr. Nanos said some may be waiting until the last minute for a party to surge ahead.

“If one of the front-runners especially starts to pick up steam in the closing days of the campaign, undecided voters might herd in the same direction as the trend and create a bigger gap,” said Mr. Nanos.

Troy Perreault, 23, said polling trends won’t be affecting his vote.

“My vote is going to go towards who I want to win," said Mr. Perreault. "I’m not trying to ride out other people’s votes.”

He said he’s not informed enough to confidently throw his support behind any party at this time, but he fully intends to vote.

Jenny Ramirez, 29, resides in Etobicoke-Lakeshore – a hotly contested GTA battleground. She said she won’t be voting because she hasn’t kept up with the election.

“Honestly, I didn’t have time to read up,” said Ms. Ramirez. “I don’t want to make the wrong decision."

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