Ottawa, Oct 22 : Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party held onto power in the tightly contested Canadian general election on Monday, and will return to power as a minority government .
Projections declared the Liberals winners or leading in 157 of the nation’s 338 electoral districts, 13 short of a majority, versus 121 for his main rival Andrew Scheer , after polling stations across six time zones closed. Conservative rivals marked increase from the 95 it held before.
Speaking to cheering party leaders and followers at the Liberals’ headquarters in Montreal, Trudeau, 47, said early Tuesday that he would always put “this country and its people first”, reports CBC News.
“From coast to coast to coast, tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity. They voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change,” he said.
“We will make life more affordable, we will continue to fight climate change, we will get guns off our streets.
“We seek hardship for none and prosperity for all,” he added.
Despite some early losses in Canada’s eastern provinces, the Liberals won in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario, giving them a second term in office. The party won a majority (184 seats) in the 2015 polls
Monday’s polls, which took place for 338 ridings or seats, were the country’s 43rd general elections to elect members of the House of Commons.
This federal election was seen as a referendum on Trudeau, who had to apologize not just for wearing blackface during a school event nearly two decades ago, but admitting that he had no idea how many times he had chosen to do so in his life.
US President Donald Trump congratulated Trudeau on a “hard fought victory” and he looked forward “to working with you toward the betterment of both of our countries”.