Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is set to win enough seats in Canada’s 44th general elections to form another minority government, according to a projection made by CBC News on Monday night.
Results till Tuesday noon (Indian Standard Time) indicated that the Liberals had won or were leading in 158 seats out of the 170 needed for a parliamentary majority. The Conservatives, who are in the opposition, had secured 121 seats. The counting is still underway.
With his approval ratings high, Trudeau had called for a “snap election” on August 15, two years before the actual scheduled polls, The New York Times reported. However, Trudeau failed to get an absolute majority and he will have to rely on Opposition parties, such as the left-leaning New Democratic Party, to pass laws.
He wanted the citizens to “weigh in” on who should finish the fight against the pandemic as he called for an early election, according to CBC News. Trudeau had assured the citizens of a comprehensive child care plan, aggressive action against climate change and to provide affordable housing.
During his victory speech on Tuesday, Trudeau thanked the Canadian citizens for casting their vote and vowed to step up the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic in his third term as the prime minister.
“I hear you when you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or about an election,” he said, according to CBC News. “Your members of Parliament of all stripes will have your back in this crisis and beyond. Canadians are able to get around any obstacle and that is exactly what we will continue to do.”
Trudeau also said that Canadians would not have liked a Conservative government during the pandemic, according to AP. He argued that the Conservatives had been skeptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has previously said that vaccination was a personal choice. He also refrained from divulging the number of people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in his party.
Canada is listed among the top fully-vaccinated countries in the world. Trudeau has called for all travellers to be vaccinated – a move that the Conservatives have opposed.
However, the voters were not particularly thrilled about Trudeau’s idea to hold an election amid the pandemic.
Trudeau’s decision to call the “snap election” did not also go down well with the Opposition parties, who termed it a “vanity project” during the pandemic, The Guardian reported.
Opposition leader Erin O’Toole on Tuesday described the election a “quick power grab”.
“Five weeks ago, Trudeau asked for a majority,” he said. “Tonight, Canadians did not give Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted. In fact, Canadians sent him back with another minority at the cost of $600 million dollars.”
The Conservative party last won the election in 2011. O’Toole said that the support for the party had grown, but still there was “more work” to be done before they earned the “Canadians’ trust”.
The progressive New Democratic party, led by Jagmeet Singh, which had been popular during campaigns, could not pick up electoral seats, according to The Guardian.
“Our fight will always continue,” said Singh, congratulating Trudeau on his win.
Singh had promised an expansion of the federal government through $200 billion-worth commitments for projects like national pharmacare.