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Canada's Trudeau to launch formal campaign for Oct. 21 election on Wednesday -sources

Credit: REUTERS/ANDREJ IVANOV

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally launch the campaign for an Oct. 21 national election on Wednesday, sources from his Liberal party said on Tuesday, setting up what opinion polls now indicate will be a tight race.

Recasts with election call set for Wednesday, adds details of latest polls, background

OTTAWA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally launch the campaign for an Oct. 21 national election on Wednesday, sources from his Liberal party said on Tuesday, setting up what opinion polls now indicate will be a tight race.

Trudeau will visit the Ottawa residence of Governor General Julie Payette, the acting head of state, to formally launch the race on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT), said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Under Canada's fixed-date election law, federal votes must be held every four years. There had been speculation that Trudeau would call the election as early as this past Sunday or as late as Sunday, Sept. 15, the latest day he could have made the move.

Polls show Trudeau's Liberals are only just ahead of the official opposition Conservatives and could lose their majority in the House of Commons, leaving him in a weakened position.

Trudeau earlier took a break from election planning to visit the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia, where 100,000 people were still without power after Storm Dorian hit on Saturday.

Dorian, classified as a strong post-tropical storm, came ashore after causing devastation in the Bahamas, and knocked out the electricity supply to almost 400,000 of the province's 1 million inhabitants.

"I was obviously following (this) very closely. ... I am here today to thank the first responders and all the people who have been working very, very hard," Trudeau told reporters in televised remarks.

The Liberals won all 32 of the seats in parliamentary seats in the four Atlantic provinces in the 2015 federal election that brought Trudeau to power, but party insiders predict they will lose between eight and 10 of these next month.

(Additional reporting by Steve Scherer Eiting by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

((steve.scherer@thomsonreuters.com; +1-613-235-6745;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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