Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has won the general election in Canada, according to initial results, but has fallen short of regaining an absolute majority.
According to public broadcaster CBC on Tuesday, the governing party won around 158 of the 338 parliamentary seats, leaving the Conservatives of challenger Erin O’Toole with around 119 seats.
“You are sending us back to work with a clear mission to guide Canada through this pandemic and into better days ahead,” said Trudeau in his victory speech late on Monday.
That means hardly any changes compared to the 2019 elections. An absolute majority required 170 seats.
This means the Liberals will continue to rely on the help of other parties. The centre-left New Democrats (NDP) and the regional Bloc Quebecois party have taken 25 and 34 seats respectively, while the Greens managed two seats.
Trudeau has governed the country of almost 38 million people since 2015 – the world’s second-largest country in terms of area -but for the past two years he has headed a minority government.
The 49-year-old called the early vote a few weeks ago with the aim of achieving an absolute majority, spurred on by his government’s successful coronavirus policy.
He received some criticism for the timing for the snap poll, with some saying it was inappropriate to call an election during a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic and with a relatively stable minority government.