OTTAWA – The Conservative Party has fallen short, failing to dethrone the now three-term Liberal Party.
Granthshala News’ Decision Desk declared a Liberal minority victory after elections across the country were called off.
As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, results show the Conservatives are elected or leading in 121 seats — gaining significant gains in the Atlantic Canada region — but that the Liberals have not yet gained near the 157 seats.
O’Toole won his own Durham, Ont. seat, and many of his previous shadow cabinet colleagues have kept their seats.
There were high hopes among conservatives across the country when the campaign began on August 15. Poll after poll showed that the Conservatives were gaining ground over the current liberals and, at times, exceeded their lead.
- Live Results Map: Track results in real time
O’Toole sought to capture the support of a more progressive electorate, promoting the party’s housing, child care and climate change policies, while at the same time reinforcing responsible post-pandemic spending.
He declared himself a pro-choice and an ally of the LGBTQ2+ community, which his predecessor did not.
However, O’Toole found himself in hot water when he didn’t distance himself from candidates who posted climate change and anti-vaccination comments online. He also taunted his opponents for not requiring his candidates to be vaccinated.
He faced another hurdle on election day because of his response to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s COVID-19 management, even after the provincial leader said he got the response wrong.
“During this crisis, all provinces have tried to strike a balance between making public health paramount and balancing economic needs. All provinces have been moved and adjusted based on various reasons,” O’Toole said on 16 September.
“But what the provinces don’t have is a consistent and reliable partner in Ottawa. Mr. Trudeau fights the people. I will fight for the Canadian people, and we will never let the Delta version take hold in Canada.”
Another thorn in O’Toole’s side is the rise in popularity of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) led by Maxime Bernier. While he hasn’t taken a seat as of tonight, he has garnered thousands of votes in several races.
“It’s going to be part of the post-mortem, which the party does regardless of the outcome because if you look at the extremely Conservative riding, there was an increase in the PPC vote,” said Conservative strategist and former Jenny Byrne. Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Granthshala News.
As for O’Toole’s future, Bayern say it is in question.
“It was a winnable election … Conservatives were leading in national elections. Unlike 2019, this election was much more winnable for conservatives,” Byrne said.
If the next parliament is anything like the last, the Conservatives probably won’t be the main dance partners of the Liberals getting passed through parliament. Instead, they would seek cooperation with the bloc Québécois, or NDP, which took 29 and 28 seats respectively.
The leader watches election results with his wife and two children at a hockey field in Oshawa, Ont., and is scheduled to address Canadians this evening.
More details to come…