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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau retained power on Tuesday, 21 September, after his main rival and Conservative leader Erin O'Toole conceded defeat, Reuters reported. However, Trudeau's Liberal Party once again fell short of winning the absolute majority.
"Thank you, Canada — for casting your vote, for putting your trust in the Liberal team, for choosing a brighter future. We're going to finish the fight against COVID. And we're going to move Canada forward. For everyone." - Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
A party needs to win 170 seats to hold a majority in the House of Commons, which has a total of 338 seats.
In August, Trudeau had called for a snap election in hopes of securing a parliamentary majority. However, the early call had made the public unhappy.
According to Elections Canada, Liberals were leading in 156 electoral districts nationally. The Liberals were leading in 111 parliamentary seats in Ontario and Quebec, which are the two most populous provinces and account for 199 seats alone. The Conservatives led in 121 districts.
Meanwhile, O'Toole said he planned to stay on as leader. "Our support has grown, it's grown across the country, but clearly there is more work for us to do to earn the trust of Canadians," O'Toole said, as per Reuters. "My family and I are resolutely committed to continuing this journey for Canada."
Earlier, CBC News had projected that Trudeau's Liberals would win the Canadian election. However, they said, it was unclear if the Liberal Party would regain a majority in the parliament, which was Trudeau's objective, AFP reported.
In 2019, the Liberals did not fare as well, seeing their seat count in the House of Commons reduced from 184 to 157, below the 170 seats needed to form a majority government. Since then, they have governed largely with the support of the New Democratic Party (NDP), headed by Jagmeet Singh.
Earlier, it was reported that the Liberals were leading in 23 of 32 parliamentary districts in the four Atlantic provinces in the first set of regional results declared on Monday, Reuters reported. Erin O'Toole's Conservatives were reportedly leading in nine.
Despite a modest loss of seats (they held 27 before the election), Liberals seemed to be on track.
Liberal strategists had earlier said that it will be difficult for the party to win a majority of the House of Commons' 338 seats, reported Reuters.
However, Scott Reid, a Liberal adviser, had said it was too early to draw conclusions, adding "that any sign of Atlantic Canada results pointing to a national trend would be worrying for the Liberals."
The Liberals have been in power since 2015, when they took over from the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, with a majority government.
(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)
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