10/14/2015 11:18 EDT | Updated 10/14/2016 05:12 EDT

Trudeau Aims For Majority As Polls Show Liberals Surging

Could it happen?

HAMILTON — Justin Trudeau is asking Canadians to give his Liberals something they haven't had a taste of in a while: a majority mandate.

The Liberal leader made the comment Wednesday as polls suggest his party has been enjoying some late-campaign momentum and as the scrutiny of Trudeau intensifies in the lead-up to Monday's vote.

"I know that Canadians will make the right decision," Trudeau said at Mohawk College when asked about a majority.

"Am I asking Canadians to vote for us? Yes. Am I asking them to vote for us across the country? Yes. Am I asking them for a majority government? Yes."

Several news outlets quickly reported Trudeau's comment, which prompted one of his staffers to point out that his main rivals have also asked for majority governments during the campaign.

The party sent emails to reporters filled with quotes from both Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asking voters for majorities.

Trudeau has indicated in the past that a Liberal minority wouldn't do, because Canadians want a strong, stable government with MPs from across the country.

A party must capture at least 170 seats to hold a bare majority in the House of Commons, which will have 338 seats in the next Parliament. The Liberals held just 36 seats at dissolution.

The last time the Liberals won a majority was in the 2000 election, when they were led by Jean Chretien.

Trudeau was also asked Wednesday how he would stay in power if he wins a minority mandate and whether he would be prepared to work with Mulcair if the Tories earn a minority.

One of the great things about elections is that Canadians get to choose what their government is and what their Parliament will look like, he responded.

"What Canadians don't want is politicians organizing backroom deals around who actually gets to wield power," Trudeau said.

"I trust Canadians. I know that Canadians are going to make a real and strong choice on Oct. 19."

In recent days, the Liberal campaign has been focused on targeting ridings won by both Conservatives and New Democrats in the 2011 election.

On Wednesday, Trudeau's tour blitzed the Niagara Peninsula and the Toronto suburbs with whistle-stop events as part of a push one of his staffers described as being "on offence."

At each stop, the Liberal leader is greeted by hundreds of boisterous supporters.

At times, partisans have jostled — sometimes aggressively — in packed restaurants, bakeries and bars just for a chance to get a selfie with Trudeau, his autograph or even a handshake.

One woman at a rally Wednesday in St. Catharines, Ont., a riding held by a Conservative in the last Parliament, boasted about shaking Trudeau's hand.

"He had a wonderful handshake," raved Juliana Geier, who also hailed his speaking skills and described him as more trustworthy than his rivals.

"He's coming in to St. Catharines and I just wanted to have the chance just to meet him."

Trudeau has spent the week trying to woo supporters of the former Progressive Conservative party, who he believes have been let down by Harper. He has also targeted left-of-centre voters who cast ballots for the NDP in 2011.

Trudeau has made repeated claims the Liberal plan is the most progressive platform.

Shaun Burt, the Liberal candidate for Hamilton Mountain, gives credit to that platform for helping boost the party's chances in the riding — one that's been held by the New Democrats since 2006.

"Hamilton is a blueprint for this platform," said Burt, who only won the nomination three weeks into the 11-week campaign.

While he insisted he's seen a significant shift in the district, he said he remains cautious, because he's learned that electoral winds can abruptly change direction.

"I'm really optimistic — I don't want to say too much on that," Burt said. "But if you were to ask me three, four weeks ago, I would have said this is a daunting challenge I have ahead of myself.

"That's completely reversed."

Trudeau has made repeated claims the Liberal plan is the most progressive platform.

Like Us On Facebook

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Canada Election: 31 Swing Ridings See Gallery