Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals party returned to power Monday in a hotly contested election against the rookie Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, according to TV projections.
This is even as Erin O’Toole, leader of Canada’s opposition Conservatives, conceded defeat in the election, Reuters says.
Trudeau’s Liberals were leading or elected in 156 seats — one less than they won in 2019, and 14 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons.
The Conservatives were leading or elected in 121 seats, the same number they won in 2019. The leftist New Democrats were leading or elected in 27, a gain of three seats, while the Quebec-based Bloc Québécois remained unchanged with 32 seats and the Greens were down to two.
“You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic,” Trudeau said.
“I hear you when you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or an election.”
“Trudeau lost his gamble to get a majority so I would say this is a bittersweet victory for him,” said Daniel Béland, a political science professor at McGill University in Montreal.
“Basically we are back to square one, as the new minority parliament will look like the previous one. Trudeau and the Liberals saved their skin and will stay in power, but many Canadians who didn’t want this late summer pandemic election are probably not amused about the whole situation,” he said.