Justin Trudeau’s liberals won a third straight election on Monday, returning to government with another minority mandate after a short, divisive campaign called two years ago and giving Canadians a boost during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. criticized for sending it to the election. .
Live Updates: Canada 2021 Federal Election Results
The Liberal victory put the Conservative Party’s Erin O’Toole leadership in jeopardy. The Tory leader was grappling with questions about how he would deal with the pandemic and stuck to several key stage promises.
The closely contested campaign led to a tight end early in the night as the Conservatives captured a Liberal stronghold in Atlantic Canada. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan was ousted in Nova Scotia and the Conservatives held their first seat in Newfoundland and Labrador since 2011. But Mr O’Toole appeared to fall short on the crucial Ontario battlefield, where the party was expected to make significant gains.
The broadcast network declared a Liberal victory within an hour of the close of voting in central Canada.
The 36-day campaign, the shortest period allowed by law, was launched in the dead of summer and as the crisis raged in Afghanistan, the number of COVID-19 cases on the campaign trail and division was rising. The $610 million general election presented challenges for Canada’s election to proceed in the midst of a pandemic. Long queues formed outside polling stations after polling closed in some places and the agency warned ahead of the polls that some of the final counts could take a few days.
Liberals gambled on the early election because they believed they were positioned to win a majority – conservatives were short on the election and doubts remained about whether Mr O’Toole could run a strong national campaign. But voters appeared reluctant in early results to give the Liberal leader the decisive victory they had sought.
If this election was a test of leadership, they all failed
Mr Trudeau and Mr O’Toole were unable to crack the questions of credibility that had been plaguing them during the campaign. That was the reason for the Liberal leader who called the election midway through his mandate and for Mr O’Toole it was a lack of transparency on his team’s COVID-19 vaccinations in the middle of a pandemic. Despite Mr Trudeau and Mr O’Toole spurring the struggle, no small party was able to capitalize on the indifferent backlash from liberals and conservatives.
The NDP and the Greens saw their support soften. The fledgling right-wing People’s Party of Canada overtook the Greens in support and the New Democrats fell below 20 percent of the popular vote in early results.
Even before voting closed on Monday, the Conservatives made a final attempt to dampen hopes for an election result, declaring that keeping the Liberals in the minority would be a victory for the party. The comments were meant to save Mr O’Toole’s tenure, when he campaigned on the right in the leadership race last year to move the party to the center during the campaign.
The move to trigger the election was quickly criticized by opposition parties, who accused the Liberal leader of a “power grab” and a “selfish” decision in the midst of a health crisis, and of Mr Trudeau’s denial of a pandemic a few months earlier. After election.
The election began as a fourth wave of the virus. Mr Trudeau said the vote was necessary because the pandemic was not present in 2019 as during the previous campaign, and Canadians should have a choice as to who gets them out of the health crisis.
Mr Trudeau struggled to explain at times why he needed a mandate from Canadians to move forward on measures such as $10-a-day child care, when his government had already worked with eight provinces before the campaign. agreements were signed, and most of the measures they proposed in the election already had the backing of the Bloc or the NDP. And while he painted parliament as toxic before the election, New Democrats were widely backing the liberals’ pandemic initiatives.
His primary target in the race was Mr O’Toole, portraying the rookie Conservative leader as a carbon copy of Stephen Harper, loyal to the anti-vaxxers, pro-lifers and gun lobby.
He also tried to connect Mr O’Toole to the rising COVID-19 cases in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In the campaign’s final days, Trudeau focused on climate change and appealed to progressives to back his party to prevent a Conservative victory.
Conservatives framed the campaign as a referendum on Mr Trudeau’s leadership, urging voters not to “reward” liberals for calling the election two years earlier during the health crisis. Mr O’Toole, who introduced himself as a “true blue” Conservative during the 2020 leadership race, took a more liberal approach during the campaign, heavily deficit spending, proposed a carbon price, and often himself Labeled as Pro-Choice and A. Allies of the LGBTQ community.
Mr O’Toole casts himself as the “man with the plan” to fix Canada’s economy and get out of the pandemic. But throughout the race, Mr O’Toole has faced repeated questions about elements of his party platform, primarily on issues such as the right of conscience for physicians and gun control.
The Liberals also took aim at Mr O’Toole during the race for his position on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. Perhaps the most terrifying attack on Mr O’Toole was made under his leadership: the Conservative leader would not make vaccines mandatory for his own caucuses, and would not reveal how many of his candidates were not vaccinated.
The New Democrats had focused their campaign on progressive promises such as taxing the wealthy, indigenous reconciliation and affordable housing, with Mr. Singh targeting Trudeau, which he called a mark of broken promises to left-wing voters. The New Democrats put a bigger spotlight on Indigenous issues than other parties, with the leader visiting First Nations communities during the campaign, highlighting the trauma of residential schools and ongoing boil-water advice.
Mr Singh sought to harness his social-media popularity in the polls using platforms such as TikTok and Twitch, a livestreaming service, as well as video games. animal cross. But the NDP leader struggled to explain several times during the campaign how his government would fulfill complex promises such as ending all boil-water advice in Canada, beyond expressing political will to do so.
The Liberals were planning to make their way to the majority through Quebec where the bloc Québécois is their main competition. Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchett struggled to gain traction in the first weeks, but was able to turn his campaign based solely on a question in the debate of English-language leaders. At the start of the debate, Mr. Blanchett was asked to explain his support for “discriminatory” secularism and language laws in Quebec. Voters in Quebec angry by framing the question saw it as an unfair attack from English Canada, with Mr Blanchett taking on the issue and positioning himself and his party in Ottawa as Quebec’s defenders.
The issue became so serious in Quebec that all other party leaders were forced to condemn the question and Mr Trudeau, Mr O’Toole and Mr Singh asked the debate broadcast group to apologize for the question .
The Green Party was carried into the campaign with internal strife, leaving leader Annie Paul with little institutional and economic support. The rookie leader, the first black female leader of a federal political party in Canada, lived mostly in the Toronto Center (a liberal stronghold that most people saw as a long shot for her).
In the final week of the campaign, she briefly went on a national tour, which included a visit to British Columbia, where two of the party’s current MPs – former leaders Elizabeth May and Paul Manley – are running for re-election. He was given the opportunity to expand his audience during an English-language debate, where he took on the block leader on the issue of systemic discrimination.
The People’s Party of Canada, led by unsuccessful Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier, emerged as a wild card in the race. The anti-establishment, anti-vaccination, far-right party was an election disruptor, with Mr Bernier holding large rallies and many of his supporters protesting Mr Trudeau’s incidents. A PPC official was charged with allegedly throwing gravel at a Liberal leader during a campaign stop in London, Ont. Mr Bernier was again riding to his home in Beauce, Ky., where he lost in 2019. But he held his election party in Saskatchewan – where indoor rallies are still allowed amid COVID-19.
Some polling stations had long queues for voters, in some cases for hours, and Elections Canada reported staff shortages at some polls in Toronto. Even before Monday’s vote, the agency warned voters to be prepared for challenges and delays due to fewer polling stations, fewer election workers and more public-health protocols.
Follow party leaders and where they stand on issues this election campaign by signing up for us morning or evening update Newspaper.
For subscribers only: Receive exclusive political news and analysis by signing up for politics briefing.