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Early projections show Justin Trudeau winning Canada elections

However, with polls expected to continue reporting results until the following day, it was unclear if his party had secured an absolute majority of seats in parliament, allowing him to pass his programme without opposition backing. 

Early projections show Justin Trudeau winning Canada elections gcw
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Canada, First Published Sep 21, 2021, 9:54 AM IST
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According to television network forecasts, Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be elected on Monday in fiercely contested elections against a rookie conservative leader. However, with polls expected to continue reporting results until the following day, it was unclear if his party had secured an absolute majority of seats in parliament, allowing him to pass his programme without opposition backing. Trudeau called the snap election last month, aiming to use a flawless Covid-19 vaccine launch – one of the finest in the world – into a new mandate to guide the country's pandemic exit.

But, following a rocky five weeks of campaigning, the election seemed headed for a repetition of the tight 2019 general election, which saw the one-time golden kid of Canadian politics cling to power while losing his parliamentary majority. A rise of Covid-19 cases driven by the Delta variety late in the campaign, following the repeal of most public health restrictions this summer, had also muddled the waters. Trudeau had stated that he felt "serene" after voting in Montreal. Trudeau, 49, has weathered more difficult political battles and emerged unharmed. But, after six years in power, his administration was exhibiting symptoms of exhaustion, and he faced an uphill struggle to persuade Canadians to support his Liberals after falling short of the lofty expectations set by his overwhelming victory in 2015.

Also Read | Canada to send $10 million to Indian Red Cross to support COVID-19 fight

Meanwhile, Erin O'Toole, the 48-year-old Conservative leader, has been chastised for his support for Alberta and two other Tory-led governments' premature easing of public health regulations, despite Covid outbreaks causing their overburdened hospitals to transport patients across Canada for care. He also blundered on gun regulation and was warned by Beijing, according to Chinese state media, that his projected tough stance on China – Canada's second-largest trade partner, with which ties have deteriorated amid the imprisonment of two Canadians – would "welcome counter-strikes."

During the campaign, the candidates sparred on climate action, indigenous reconciliation, affordable housing, obligatory Covid-19 inoculations, and vaccine passports. Trudeau was confronted by "anti-vaxxer crowds at rallies," including one who hurled stones at him.

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