The Liberal Party of Canada won the general elections held this Monday according to the projections of the Canadian radio-television, CBC, which represents the third consecutive victory for its leader, Justin Trudeau. But it is a bittersweet triumph. Since he has not achieved the absolute majority he was looking for when he unexpectedly advanced the appointment with the polls.
In the absence of the recount of a large part of the votes in the centre and west of the country, CBC pointed out that the Liberals have so far obtained 150 of the 338 deputies in the Lower House of Parliament, which would lead Trudeau to a new minority government.
At 10:45 p.m. in Ottawa (02:45 GMT on Tuesday), the projections gave the Liberal Party 150 deputies compared to 117 from the PC, 28 from the sovereignist Bloque Quebequés (BQ), 27 for the social-democratic New Democratic Party and 3 for the Green Party.
Around 30 million people were summoned to the polls this Monday to elect the 338 deputies of the Lower House of Parliament who will decide which party forms the next government of the country.
The latest poll results released before the opening of the polling stations placed Liberals and Conservatives in a technical tie in the level of intention to vote: the Liberal Party would have the support of 31.5% of the electorate while the Conservative Party would add 31%.
But the particularities of the Canadian electoral system, which is direct suffrage for which in reality 338 elections are held in the country today, one for each electoral district that sends a deputy to the Lower House of Parliament, will allow Trudeau’s liberals to get more seats than the Conservatives.
The Canadian public radio, CBC, predicts that the Liberals will obtain 155 deputies on Monday, while the Conservatives will have to be content with 119. Behind will be the Social Democratic New Democratic Party (NPD), with 32 deputies; and the sovereign Bloque Quebequés (BQ), with 31 deputies. The Green Party would also win a seat.
If these figures are confirmed, Trudeau’s victory will be bittersweet since he would not achieve the desired absolute majority when he brought the elections forward and would add pressure to his future leadership in the Liberals.
In August, Trudeau decided to call snap elections just two years after the previous elections and when polls indicated that the Liberals were as much as 10 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives.
At that time, a majority of Canadians approved of the government’s handling of the pandemic and the economic crisis created by the disease. After the elections were called, many voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the elections and the Liberals began to lose support.
During the electoral campaign, Trudeau has defended the need to call elections so that Canadians can decide the measures to adopt to get out of the covid-19 crisis. The opposition parties have accused him of calling elections in the midst of a health emergency to try to get an absolute majority in Parliament.
But Trudeau has struggled to defend the decision and justify the more than 600 million Canadian dollars (468 million US dollars) that the elections will cost, the highest bill in the country’s electoral history.
Trudeau voted on Monday morning accompanied by his three children and his wife, Sophie Grégoire, in his constituency in the city of Montreal. At about the same time, O’Toole did the same at a polling station in the town of Oshawa, about 60 kilometres east of Toronto. After casting his vote, Trudeau posted a message on his Twitter account encouraging participation with a photograph in which he appears casting his ballot surrounded by his three children: “I just voted in the 44th election. You should too.
O’Toole also took to Twitter to encourage Canadians to go to the polls. Proud to cast our votes today. Make sure you do the same, ”said the Conservative leader whose message was accompanied by a photo with his wife, Rebecca, at the foot of the ballot box.
The only major incident recorded in the early hours of the day was a confrontation at a polling station in the city of Edmonton, in the west of the country, when two people refused to cover their mouths and noses with masks, as is mandatory. . According to witnesses to the incident, a man and a woman tried to cast their vote without wearing masks, which caused an altercation that forced the police to intervene. After the arrival of the agents, the two individuals left the centre without voting.
The protection measures against covid-19 are causing the voting process to be slower this year than in the past. In cities like Toronto, long lines have been formed at some polling stations for measures restricting the number of people inside.