Canada’s Trudeau may cling to power in election but looks unlikely to secure majority By Reuters
By Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren
MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may cling to power in Monday’s election but looks set to lose his bid for a parliamentary majority after a tough campaign that dashed his hopes for a convincing win.
Trudeau is a minority government, which means he must rely on the other parties to make compromises and govern. He won the election two years earlier than expected, after polls showed him leading.
His lead was eroded as people became unhappy about his early call. Liberal strategists acknowledge that it is hard for Liberals to win all 338 House of Commons members.
Trudeau is 49 years old and his government has been in debt for fighting COVID-19. He recently emphasized the necessity of everyone being vaccinated. While Trudeau supports vaccine mandates and Erin O’Toole (48), prefers quick testing, the Conservative leader is more open to vaccinations.
We need strong, clear leadership to push vaccines. That’s exactly what we will do. Trudeau stated to Niagara Falls supporters that O’Toole cannot and will not do so. Trudeau’s frantic final day saw him cover 2,800km (4,500 km).
Trudeau would lose if he fails to win a majority. This defeat will raise serious questions about his future.
In 2015, the charismatic, progressive politician and son of Pierre Trudeau (former Liberal Prime Minister) was elected to power. He was demoted to minority status in 2019, after photos were published of him wearing blackface.
The Liberals and Conservatives have a tie in polls. Trudeau has a theoretical advantage because Liberal strength is located in cities that host the majority of seats.
A senior Liberal strategist stated that “there’s no other world than this one.” Are majority votes possible? Yes. Does it seem like the best scenario? It is not.
Liberals admit that voters may be disenfranchised by the election call. Conservatives tend to have a lower turnout.
To complicate matters, both parties face vote splits. Both the Liberals and left-leaning New Democrats are in competition, but the Conservatives could suffer from the right-leaning People’s Party of Canada’s (PPC), anti-vaxxer.
Justin Trudeau says you should stay home tomorrow. O’Toole said to his supporters Sunday that Justin Trudeau would like you vote PPC. The polls for Canada’s largest regions will close at 9:30 p.m. ET (0130-0200 GMT on Tuesday).
The early signs of Liberal fortunes come at 7:30 EDT (2330 GMT) when the votes are being counted in four Atlantic provinces. They hold 27 out of 32 seats.
Trudeau is cautious in the public eye, avoiding questions regarding a potential majority.
He told reporters in Montreal that he wanted as many Liberals elected as possible because the country needs a strong government. Privately, the aides can be more confident.
A spokesperson for one said that it was not possible to call elections during pandemics in order to elect another minority government.