Justin Trudeau (Image: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

You could be forgiven for not knowing Canada is in the midst of an acrimonious election campaign. Canadian elections tend to be low-key, tidy affairs that are promptly wrapped up within 50 days.

Canada’s 44th federal election, which takes place on September 20 (overnight Australian time) has barely registered in the United States or elsewhere, but what may make international headlines the following day is the unexpected ouster of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau has lagged behind Conservative Party challenger Erin O’Toole throughout much of the campaign, though some polls in the race’s closing days have indicated a slight lead for the incumbent. Now the most likely election outcome is another Trudeau minority government, albeit with fewer seats. Another real possibility is an equally unstable Conservative minority government.