Canada’s Trudeau Wins Another Minority In Election, Calls For ‘Clear Mandate’


  • The liberals retain power but still in the minority
  • Trudeau says he has a “clear mandate”
  • Conservative leader admits defeat
  • Vote count accumulates after long lines in many polls

MONTREAL / OTTAWA, Sept. 21 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clung to power on Monday as his main rival conceded defeat, saying he got a clear mandate to govern despite failing to failed to achieve its goal of majority victory.

Trudeau, in power since 2015 and ruling with a minority of seats in the House of Commons since 2019, decided to bet on an early vote and capitalize on his government’s handling of the pandemic, which included massive spending to support the individuals and businesses and a surge in vaccination rates.

Instead, it will end where it started after a surprisingly tight election race characterized by a lackluster campaign and the anger of voters in an election during a pandemic.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, whose party came second, admitted defeat as the results came in late into the night. Trudeau spoke to his supporters soon after, pledging to work with other parties for the good of all Canadians.

“You send us back to work with a clear mandate to help Canada navigate this pandemic and into the better days to come,” Trudeau told a small crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom. “What we have seen tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan.”

CBC and CTV predicted that Trudeau’s Liberal government would hold a minority of seats in the House of Commons, which means it will need the support of another party to rule.

Elections Canada showed the Liberals were leading in 156 electoral districts nationwide, one more than before the election, including 110 in the voice-rich regions of Ontario and Quebec.

“This is a Groundhog Day election,” said Gerald Baier, professor of political science at the University of British Columbia. “It seems the ambivalence has remained (since the 2019 election).”

The House of Commons holds 338 seats and a party must win 170 to hold a majority. The Conservatives led in 122 districts.

The Tories seemed on track to win the popular vote, attracting 34% support to 32% for the Liberals, but liberal support is centered on urban and suburban areas where there are more seats.

“Our support has grown, it has grown across the country, but it is clear that we still have work to do to earn the confidence of Canadians,” O’Toole told fans, while suggesting he planned to stay as a leader. “My family and I are deeply committed to continuing this journey to Canada.

Liberal Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau waves to his supporters during Liberal Election Night in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 21, 2021. REUTERS / Christinne Muschi

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Polls returned results much slower than usual, with some stations being forced to limit occupancy due to COVID-19 restrictions. Long lines have forced some voters to wait hours to vote in a critical battleground in southern Ontario.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart in Asian trading on Tuesday, in part as an election victory predicted for Trudeau’s Liberal Party reassured investors that economic support would continue.


Trudeau, 49, a charismatic progressive and son of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, came to power in 2015. But the Liberals fell out of the minority in 2019 after Trudeau was damaged in part by revelations he had worn a blackface years ago.

In the midst of a fourth wave of COVID-19, Trudeau supported vaccination mandates while O’Toole, 48, opposed them, preferring a combination of voluntary vaccinations and rapid tests to stop the spread of the virus .

Trudeau had said he needed a new mandate to ensure Canadians approve his plan to pull the country out of the coronavirus pandemic. The Liberals, whose fiscal policy supports the pandemic exceed 23% of GDP, are planning billions in new spending to support economic recovery if re-elected.

Cambridge Global Payments chief strategist Karl Schamotta said the election result “essentially preserves the status quo and ensures that the budget spending plans that have supported the economy over the past year and a half are likely to fail. continue”.

A delay in the counting of postal votes could further delay results in close races.

Elections Canada will not start counting approximately 800,000 mail-in ballots until Tuesday, after being able to verify them against the votes in person. These could help determine the outcome in at least two Atlantic districts and many more across Canada.

A second minority government will mean Trudeau’s Liberals will once again have to rely on opposition parties, like the New Democratic Left Party, to pass legislation.

“A victory is a victory, and the time in power and in power is when you can make changes,” said John Duffy, a former Liberal adviser.

Reporting by Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren; Additional reports by Julie Gordon, Allison Lampert, Moira Warburton, Fergal Smith; Writing by Rod Nickel; Editing by Peter Cooney and Edmund Klamann

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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