Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, flanked by wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudea, delivers his victory speech after snap parliamentary elections at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, early on September 21, 2021. Photograph:( AFP )
The gamble of announcing snap election has gone Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's way if TV projections are to be believed
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed what he called 'clear mandate' in the snap polls for his government to go through the Covid pandemic. He has been projected to win by TV channels. However, with polling stations likely to still be reporting results into the morning, it was not yet clear if the Liberals had gained enough seats to form a majority in parliament that would allow Trudeau to pass his agenda without opposition support.
"You (Canadians) are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get through this pandemic into brighter days ahead," he said, flanked by his wife Sophie Gregoire and their children on stage at a victory gala. "That's exactly what we are ready to do."
Although voting has ended, final results may not be known until Tuesday morning due to the close contest and large number of mail-in ballots.
The snap elections were called by Trudeau last month to get a new mandate and better hold on power that would eliminate his reliance on opposition parties to pass his policies.
(Canada PM Justin Trudeau casts his vote)
Voting across Canada's six time zones started early in the Atlantic island province of Newfoundland and was to wrap up in westernmost British Columbia at 7:00 pm local time (0200 GMT).
Trudeau said he felt "serene" after casting a ballot in Montreal.
"We worked very hard during this campaign, and Canadians are making an important choice," he told AFP, flanked by his wife Sophie Gregoire and their children.
O'Toole, meanwhile, tweeted: "Proud to cast our ballots today, make sure you do the same! #SecureTheFuture."
At 49, Trudeau has faced tougher political bouts and still come out unscathed.
But after six years in power, his administration is showing signs of fatigue, and it's been an uphill battle for him to convince Canadians to stick with his Liberals after falling short of high expectations set in his 2015 landslide win.
(With inputs from agencies)