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Canada election: Trudeau’s Liberals win but lose majority

Canada election: Trudeau’s Liberals win but lose majority

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption“Canadians voted in favour of a progressive agenda” – Justin Trudeau’s victory speech Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has retained power in a narrow Canadian election win, but he will now be prime minister of a minority government. The Liberals are projected to win 156 seats, 14 short

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Media caption“Canadians voted in favour of a progressive agenda” – Justin Trudeau’s victory speech

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has retained power in a narrow Canadian election win, but he will now be prime minister of a minority government.

The Liberals are projected to win 156 seats, 14 short of a majority, and will find it harder to pass legislation in Mr Trudeau’s second term.

The opposition Conservatives are expected to win the popular vote but have not translated that into seats.

They are projected to take 122, up from the 95 they held before.

Although Monday night’s results saw a sharp decline in seats for the country’s left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP), its leader, Jagmeet Singh, could become the kingmaker.

The NDP is projected to take 24 seats in the 338-seat parliament.

Quebec’s separatist party, the Bloc Quebecois, which competes only in that province, fared much better. It is expected to take 32 seats, compared to the 10 it won in 2015.

Turnout is currently listed at 65%.

The federal election was seen as a referendum on Mr Trudeau, who endured a bumpy first term, tainted by scandal.

“You did it my friends. Congratulations!” he told cheering supporters in Montreal. Turning to address those across the country who voted for him, he said: “Thank you for having faith in us to move our country in the right direction.”

And to those who did not back him, he promised his party would govern for everyone.

His weakened grip on power is being seen as a rebuke of his record but the result is bitterly disappointing for Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

Why has Trudeau’s popularity fallen?

Mr Trudeau swept into power in 2015 promising “real change” and a slew of progressive pledges.

But after four years in power, Mr Trudeau faced criticism for his ability to follow through.

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Media captionFour years of Justin Trudeau in two minutes

His environmental record, for example, has been undercut by his support for the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project.

And Mr Trudeau’s vow to institute federal electoral reform was quickly abandoned, angering some left-leaning voters excited by the prospect of seeing an alternative voting system

Still, according to an independent assessment by two dozen Canadian academics, Mr Trudeau has kept – fully or partially – 92% of these promises, the most by any Canadian government in 35 years.

An ethics scandal early this year, known as the SNC-Lavalin affair, took a major toll on his support.

Last month an ethics watchdog found the prime minister had violated federal conflict of interest rules by improperly trying to influence a former minister in relation to a criminal trial facing major Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.

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Getty Images

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Supporters of Conservative leader Andrew Scheer react to the latest results

Mr Trudeau’s election odds then seemed at risk when images of the prime minister wearing blackface make-up in three separate instances were widely circulated.

The images were seen as a major hit to Mr Trudeau’s cultivated political image, characterised by compassion and inclusion.

At Trudeau’s victory party

By Jessica Murphy, Montreal

The mood is joyful if not jubilant in the Liberal election night headquarters in Montreal, where a growing crowd of supporters are cheering results showing Liberal wins as they come up on the big screens.

They may not have their majority but the Liberals are on track to win the most seats – and projections currently suggest it’s not as close a race between the Liberals and Conservatives as some polls had suggested.

As one young supporter, Adam Steiner, 18, told the BBC, a minority scenario is “not great” but at least the party “kept the Conservatives out of power”.

What does this mean for Justin Trudeau?

If he does form a minority government it’ll mean compromises, since his Liberals will need the support of other parties if he wants to hold on to power.

What have the other leaders said?

Mr Scheer said he was “incredibly proud” of the larger Conservative team going to Ottawa.

“Let’s remember this feeling, coming close but falling just short,” he said.

The Conservatives are projected to take 34.4% of the popular vote, compared to the Liberals’ 33%.

Speaking from his home district in Burnaby, British Columbia, Mr Singh acknowledged some disappointing results but focused on the future.

“When we get back to Ottawa, every single day that we’re in parliament, New Democrats are going to be working hard to make sure your life is better, that Canadians’ life is better, that peoples’ lives are better,” he said.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May said the election had been a success. It is expected to take three seats, compared to one in 2015.

US President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to Mr Trudeau.

How did the election night unfold?

Early returns pointed to trouble for Mr Trudeau. His sweep of the Atlantic region was quickly upended, with Conservative and New Democratic wins in the east.

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Brett Gundlock/Getty Images

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Liberal supporters cheer as election results begin to come in

But while the Liberals did not repeat their 2015 landslide, they still made a strong showing in the Maritimes and have a tight grip across Ontario – Canada’s most populous province.

A key minister, Ralph Goodale, lost his seat in Regina, Saskatchewan after 26 years in Parliament.

Mr Goodale’s loss is one of many for the Liberals across the Prairie region. If current predictions hold, there will be no Liberal-held ridings between Winnipeg and the British Columbia Lower Mainland.

But the bigger disappointment will be felt by Mr Scheer, who pitched himself to Canadians as the candidate speaking up for issues which directly affect voters’ lives and wallets.

But instead he faced scrutiny over where the Conservative Party stood on gay marriage and abortion.

Minority governments are not uncommon in Canada – there have been three in the past 15 years.

A coalition government, however, is rare. It was last attempted in 2008 by the Liberals and NDP, but was disbanded when then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Conservative, prorogued parliament.

Liberals win most seats, but not majority

170 for a majority

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