It is not clear, based on their projections, whether this will be a majority or minority government.
Trudeau’s Liberals held 155 of 338 seats in the last Parliament. At 10:30 p.m. ET, Elections Canada showed the Liberals ahead of the Conservatives. To win a majority, a party must get 170 seats.
With multiple time zones, Canada’s polling stations closed at staggered times throughout Monday evening, but Elections Canada said in a tweet that those in line would still be allowed to vote.
Trudeau called an early election in mid-August, just two years after starting his minority government, betting he could capitalize on his handling of the pandemic to win a majority.
Covid-19, climate change, housing affordability and gun control have all figured as major issues with voters – but a headache for Trudeau is that few Canadians saw the need for this election . A political expert told CNN that holding a snap election in the summer during a global pandemic angered many voters who cannot identify a compelling “ballot box” problem to justify the business.
O’Toole had sought to capitalize on the perception that Trudeau, the son of a former Canadian prime minister, is a classic liberal political elitist who is more interested in his own political ambition than in running the country.
During the campaign, O’Toole attacked Trudeau in a way unusual in Canadian politics.
“Every Canadian has met a Justin Trudeau in their life – privileged, empowered and always looking for number one. He was looking for number one when he called this expensive and unnecessary election in the midst of a pandemic. It’s not leadership, it’s self-interest. And that’s Justin Trudeau from start to finish, ”O’Toole said at a recent campaign event.
Trudeau responded in an equally robust manner, saying, “I’m going to let him and his proxies and the anti-vaxxer movement and the gun lobby and the anti-choice mob keep attacking me, fine.” . I will stay focused on Canadians.
Even though the candidates have tried to engage meaningfully on issues, a wave of polarization among voters – one that seems to reflect the American experience – is emerging, particularly on cultural or self-esteem issues. – saying “stuck” like abortion rights, gun control and climate change.
The pandemic in particular has sparked fury among a small but fierce minority who oppose certain Covid-19 protocols, particularly the warrants for vaccines and masks. Earlier this month, a protester threw gravel at Trudeau during a campaign event in Ontario, after the Canadian leader was harassed by protesters angry at his pandemic policies.
The vote includes six federal parties. While Trudeau and O’Toole are probably the only leaders capable of forming a government, Jagmeet Singh – leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) – could once again hold the balance of power in any Canadian parliament.
This is a developing story.