Ottawa: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has won a minority government, the country’s public broadcaster projected, after a close election battle against the opposition Conservatives. CBC News reported that the Liberals would get the most seats in Canada’s 44th Parliament but would fall short of the 170-seat threshold needed for a majority.
Liberal candidates won or were leading in 157 electoral districts – known as ridings – at about 12.15 am EST, CBC projections showed. The final results may be out late on Tuesday, Canadian media have reported, as election officials will begin counting hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots.
“Millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan,” Trudeau said in his victory speech. “The moment we face demands real, important change and you have given this parliament and this government a clear direction.” Trudeau said Canadians did not want to hear about elections any longer and that the results meant he has a “clear mandate” to get country through the pandemic.
In what experts said was a push for a majority, Trudeau triggered the snap election in mid-August, telling voters he wanted them to have a say over how the country finishes its fight against the coronavirus.
But he faced a tough challenge from the Conservatives, headed by Erin O’Toole, and experts said Trudeau, who has been prime minister since 2015, struggled to convince much of the electorate about why the election was necessary during the pandemic. O’Toole took to the stage to concede defeat, saying that he had called Trudeau to congratulate him on his “hard won” campaign.