The prime minister’s ruling party has won more seats in parliament than the Erin O’Tool-led conservatives, the Canadian public broadcaster CBC predicts, citing partial results.
It is currently unclear whether the Trudo party won an absolute majority in parliament, as a large number of votes were cast by post, which delays the compilation of the results.
Trudo announced early elections last month, hoping the successful vaccination campaign would allow him to gain the necessary majority so that post-pandemic recovery measures would not need opposition support.
After six years in power, the Trudo administration is showing signs of fatigue, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for liberals to persuade voters to maintain their trust, as they have been disappointed by the hopes of the Liberals’ convincing victory in 2015.
If at the beginning of the campaign the question was whether the Liberals deserve a majority, then at the end it was a question of whether the Liberals deserved to stay in power, admits Daniel Beland, a professor of political science at McGill University in Montreal.
On the eve of the election, support for the two largest parties, which had ruled Canada alternately since 1867, was similar, with 31% voting for each.
Some 27 million Canadians with a right to vote must elect 338 members of parliament, and Trudo needs Liberals to win at least 170 seats to stay in office.
The pre-election campaign focused on issues such as the fight against climate change, reconciliation with indigenous peoples, affordable housing, compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 and vaccination passports.
Trudo’s opponents also criticized the prime minister for announcing early elections during the pandemic.
O’Tool, on the other hand, has been criticized for easing premature quarantine restrictions in Conservative-ruled provinces.
Beijing, meanwhile, has warned Canadians that in the event of O’Tool’s victory, his tough stance against China, currently Canada’s second-largest trading partner, will provoke Chinese “counterattacks.”
Trudo, meanwhile, has been backed by former US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his administration.
However, Max Cameron, a professor at the University of British Columbia, said the Canadian election was not as polarizing as the struggle between U.S. Democrats and Republicans.
O’Tool, who took over the Conservative leadership last year, sought to move the party closer to the center of the political spectrum, forcing liberals to seek more active support among left-wing voters, who usually vote for the New Democratic Party or the Greens, or even among Quebec separatists.
Meanwhile, at the end of the campaign, the Tories lost some supporters by blaming the camp of the right-wing People’s Party led by former Foreign Minister Maxim Bernier.
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