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Trudeau’s Liberals win, but fall short of majority in 2019 federal election

NEWS STAFF AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 2019

A series of jarring scandals may have obliterated the honeymoon phase between Justin Trudeau and Canadians, but on Monday night voters once again put their faith in the increasingly-vulnerable Liberal Leader.

Trudeau may have ultimately weathered the SNC Lavalin affair and an ill-timed blackface scandal, but he didn’t come out unscathed — losing his party’s majority status in a tight race with Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.

When he rose to power in the 2015 election, Trudeau was the new golden boy of politics and his victory was resounding.

This time around though, Canadians were a bit more hesitant.

The Liberals could only manage to secure a minority win in the 43rd general election after a tumultuous six-week campaign.

Polling throughout the campaign showed Scheer and Trudeau neck-and-neck, leading to speculation concerning who would form the next government, with the possibility of rare coalitions suddenly emerging.

With results still trickling in, the Liberals were elected or leading in 157 seats — 13 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons — and may need the support of one or more opposition parties to govern.

“Tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau said during his victory speech. “They rejected cuts and austerity and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.”

“Tonight you are sending us back to work for you. We take this responsibility seriously and we will work hard for you, your families and your future.

“To those who did not vote for us, know that we will work every single day for you, we will govern for everyone.

“Ours is a team that will fight for all Canadians.”

The Conservatives were slightly ahead in the popular vote overall, but with so much of their vote concentrated in the two western provinces, they fell markedly short of the Liberals’ tally, taking just 122 ridings.

Addressing his supporters, an optimistic Scheer gave his party credit for preventing a consecutive Liberal majority.

“Tonight Conservatives have put Justin Trudeau on notice and Mr. Trudeau when your government falls Conservatives will be ready and we will win,” Scheer said.

“Not only have they (Liberals) lost over 20 seats, but Mr. Trudeau has also lost votes and lost support in every region of the country.”

“Tonight, we have accomplished what only two parties have ever done before by holding a first-term majority government to a minority.”

A resurgent Bloc Quebecois secured 32 seats, dashing Liberal hopes of making gains in Quebec that could have ensured a consecutive majority mandate.

Despite a strong campaign by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who was re-elected in his B.C. riding of Burnaby South, his party was leading or elected in just 25 seats and was nearly wiped out in Quebec.

Despite those disappointing results, Singh was all smiles when he addressed his supporters.

“This has been an incredible journey,” he said to raucous cheers.

The fact that Trudeau will likely need his help to command the confidence of the House of Commons didn’t elude him.

“I spoke with Mr. Trudeau earlier tonight, and I let him know that we will be working hard on making sure we deliver the priorities that Canadians have.”

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