© Reuters Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau filmed a social media video with Carmen Omiyasu and Lisa Muswagen on the last day of the campaign before the election, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, September 19, 2021. Router / Carlos Os
Written by Steve Scherer, David Lajungren and Julie Gordon
MONTREAL / OTTAWA (Reuters) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were on the verge of losing a narrow seat in Atlantic Canada, the first region in the country to report the results of Monday’s national election in a race that could bring him back to office.
Trudeau led a minority government that relied on the support of other parties to legislate. He called an election two years ago in hopes of gaining a parliamentary majority.
But as public dissatisfaction with the initial call grew, the 49-year-old prime minister saw his leadership evaporate. Liberal strategists now acknowledge that it will be difficult for the party to win a majority of 338 seats in the House of Commons.
In the first set of regional results, the Liberals in four Atlantic provinces were leading in 23 of the 32 parliamentary districts, called Reading. The Liberals won 227 seats before the election.
The Conservatives, opposed by Erin O’Toole, focused on adding four seats to their Atlantic and were ahead in nine.
Scott Reed, a former Liberal adviser, said it was too early to conclude that regional competition could be different across Canada.
But Reed said on CTV that any sign of Atlantic Canada’s results pointing to national trends would be “worrying for liberals.”
In all provinces and territories except British Columbia and the Yukon, voting is closed at 30.30: EDT (0130 GMT Tuesday). The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have 199 seats, or more than half of the national total.
Delays in the mail-in vote count could result in a tough race.
Canada will not begin counting about 800,000 mail-in ballots until Tuesday after it is able to personally verify the vote. These could help determine the results for at least two Atlantic districts and many more in Canada.
Trudeau, a charismatic progressive and son of former Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, came to power in 2015.
In the fourth wave of Covid-1 of, Trudeau supports the vaccine mandate, while O’Toole opposes them and prefers a combination of voluntary vaccination and rapid testing to stop the spread of the virus.
After voting in the city of Montreal, Jonathan Goldblum and his 95-year-old mother, Sheila Goldblum, said they supported Trudeau’s response to the epidemic.
“He showed great leadership in the file and he was the one who said everyone needed to be vaccinated. I don’t think the Tories were consistent in that message,” said Jonathan Goldbloom, using another term for the Conservatives.
Waita Boone, who was walking to vote in Ottawa, said she and Tool support the Conservatives for their financial restraint.
“And I’m not very happy with Pierre Jr. – as I call him – Justin Trudeau, because he only spends money that we’ll never have,” Boone said.