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17 Oct 2021 8:05
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  •   Home > News > International

    Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party claims victory and 'clear mandate', but falls short of majority win

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power on Monday as his main rival conceded defeat, saying he had won a clear mandate to govern although he fell short of his goal for a majority win.


    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hung onto power on Monday as his main rival conceded defeat, saying he had won a clear mandate to govern although he fell short of his goal for a majority win.

    Mr Trudeau, in power since 2015 and governing with a minority of House of Commons seats since 2019, decided to gamble on an early vote and capitalise on his government's handling of the pandemic, which included massive spending to support individuals and businesses and a push for high vaccination rates.

    Instead, he will end up where he started after an unexpectedly tight election race characterised by a lacklustre campaign and voter anger at an election during a pandemic.

    Speaking to supporters, Mr Trudeau pledged to work with other parties for the good of all Canadians.

    "You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic and to the brighter days ahead," Mr Trudeau said to a small crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom.

    "What we've seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan."

    Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, whose party placed second, conceded defeat as results trickled in late into the night.

    However, he said Canadians "did not give Mr Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted".

    "Our support has grown, it's grown across the country, but clearly there is more work for us to do to earn the trust of Canadians," Mr O'Toole told supporters, while suggesting that he planned to stay on as leader.

    "My family and I are resolutely committed to continuing this journey for Canada."

    'It's a Groundhog Day election'

    CBC and CTV projected that Mr Trudeau's Liberal government would hold a minority of seats in the House of Commons, meaning he will need another party's support to govern.

    Elections Canada showed the Liberals leading in 156 electoral districts nationally, one more than they held before the election, including 111 in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec.

    "It's a Groundhog Day election," said Gerald Baier, a professor of political science at University of British Columbia.

    "It seems that ambivalence has stayed [from the 2019 election]."

    The House of Commons holds 338 seats and a party needs to win 170 to hold a majority. The Conservatives led in 121 districts.

    The Conservatives looked on track to win the popular vote, attracting 34 per cent support to the Liberals' 32 per cent, but Liberal support is centred around urban areas where there are more seats.

    Polls reported results much more slowly than usual, with some stations forced to limit occupancy due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    Long lines forced some electors to wait hours to vote in southern Ontario, a critical battleground.

    The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart in Asian trading on Tuesday, in part as a projected election win for Mr Trudeau's Liberal party reassured investors that economic support would continue.

    ABC/Reuters


    ABC




    © 2021 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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