Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party looks set to win Canadian elections. However, the liberals will probably not count on a majority in parliament this time, Canadian media predict.
Trudeau has ruled Canada since 2015, but his party has lost a majority in the lower house in recent years. A Canadian party needs at least 170 of the 338 seats in the lower house to get a parliamentary majority. The Prime Minister’s Liberals now lead in 156 constituencies, according to interim results.
Their primary opponents, the conservatives, are heading for victory in 121 districts. Conservative opposition leader Erin O’Toole has already admitted his defeat. Addressing supporters in his Toronto constituency, he said he called Trudeau to congratulate him.
Trudeau said in a speech that millions of Canadians have again opted for progressive policies, such as serious climate policies and affordable housing for the middle class. He also stated that he understands that voters want to get back to their own lives without worrying about the pandemic and elections.
For the progressive Trudeau, despite his victory, there may be little to celebrate. According to the preliminary results, the balance of power in parliament may hardly change. He has been dependent on opposition support in recent years.
Trudeau, therefore, called elections two years earlier than planned in the hope of gaining a parliamentary majority. He had had success with the smooth rollout of the corona vaccination program and said he wanted a new voter mandate to help his country out of the pandemic.
However, the early elections also came under criticism. For example, he announced the polls on the weekend when the Taliban overran the Afghan capital Kabul and Canada had to evacuate people there as well.
The opposition had also accused Trudeau of political expediency for calling elections faster than necessary during a severe health crisis. “This pandemic election is vain, risky and selfish,” opposition leader Erin O’Toole said this month. “It’s just un-Canadian.”