By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party were projected to win Canada’s federal election Monday, but the majority Trudeau sought most likely eluded him.
Hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots must still be counted over the next few days, and while that will not change the fact that Trudeau and the Liberals will continue to govern, it could influence whether the Liberals have a majority or minority government.
Trudeau had hoped to win a majority of seats so he could push whatever legislation he wanted through parliament. With a minority, he would need support from another political party to do so. There are 338 seats in the House of Commons and 170 are needed for a majority.
About 1.6 million votes had been counted as of 11:25 p.m. The totals showed that the Liberals won 38% of the votes, Conservatives 33% and the New Democratic Party (NDP) almost 16%, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported. The Green Party and the People's Party of Canada collected about 4.7%.
The Liberals had 155 seats going into the 44th Canadian federal election, and Trudeau sought the majority as validation from voters for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic so far. He also wanted a strong majority to pass future pandemic measures even in the face of opposition from the other parties.
It was the first election for Erin O'Toole as leader of the Conservative Party, and he lost his bid to take Trudeau's job as prime minister, finishing in second place. This will be Trudeau's third term as Canada's leader.