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After an unexpectedly tough race against the backdrop of the Fourth Coronavirus Wave, Canadians went to the polls on Monday to elect a new parliament, where Justin Trudeau’s Liberals fought a strong conservative opposition.
The survey found that the Liberals under Trudeau could re-emerge as the largest minority party, ahead of Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives, the Socialist New Democrats, and the nationalist bloc Quibos. Trudeau will probably be asked to form a minority or coalition government.
But such a victory would be a blow to Trudeau, who hoped to gain a majority using his team’s epidemic management and successful vaccination campaigns, as well as O’Toole’s relative ambiguity.
“Canada is at a crossroads today where we have to make a really important choice,” Trudeau said at several campaigns on Sunday. The Liberal leader wanted to compare his opponent to anti-vaccine protesters who have dominated the news in recent days, saying Canadians would have to move his party forward or backward if his opponent wins.
O’Toole created an economic pitch to voters, portraying Trudeau as a power-hungry politician with warnings of high inflation and extra spending, calling the “$ 600 million in the epidemic an unnecessary election.”
As of Sunday, the Liberals were nationally ahead of the Conservatives at 31.4 percent to 30.7 percent, according to a poll tracker by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This translates to about 154 seats for the Liberals and 118 for the Conservatives. A party needs 1,170 seats to form a majority.
The Liberals currently have 155 seats and the Conservatives 11 seats, so the two largest parties are ready to maintain stability.
The predictable results are far from what analysts and voters expected when the snap election was announced last month, which showed the Liberals were within distance.
The results are unlikely to be announced on Monday night due to the high turnout. Election Canada, which is in charge of organizing the election, said the results could come weeks later after postal ballot verification and counting.
The last week of the campaign was affected by the epidemic. In the western province of Alberta, Conservative Premier Jason Kenney has declared a public health emergency as hospitals overwhelmed for the treatment of acute coronavirus patients begin to run out of staff and beds. Kenny apologized for a premature summer reopening plan that made the spread of the virus worse.
The crisis in Alberta suggests a contrast between the Conservatives ‘epidemic mismanagement and the Liberals’ successful federal vaccination campaign, where about 85 percent of Canadians aged 12 and over have received at least one vaccine shot and their massive stimulus spending and aid checks that were passed early in the crisis.
Liberal strategists have argued that the party should have initially focused on its epidemic record.
Anti-vaccine protesters have continued Trudeau’s campaign and picketed hospitals in response to proposed vaccine passports and orders in various provinces. The growth of the protests coincided with the growing fortunes of the People’s Party of Canada, a pro-independence, pro-independence, anti-immigrant movement led by a former Conservative MP who has no seats in the legislature, but whose supporters argue the government is increasingly oppressive.
Trudeau said last month that he wanted a mandate to end the fight against Covid and oversee recovery, while prioritizing affordable housing, climate change, child care and reunification with indigenous communities.
But he has run against a surprisingly effective campaign by O’Toole, who has managed to thwart traditional conservative liberal attacks by partially moving to a more centrist platform that includes billions upon billions of stimulus costs.
Opposition parties have stated they will not run in the by-elections, but have called for immediate end to the protests. .