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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau poised to win second term: Report

Justin Trudeau is seeking a second term as prime minister -- weighed down by scandal and voter fatigue but still poised to win more districts than any of his rivals, based on polling projections at the end of the campaign.

world Updated: Oct 22, 2019 08:19 IST
Josh Wingrove
Josh Wingrove
Bloomberg
Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a rally as he campaigns for the upcoming election, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada October 20, 2019.
Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a rally as he campaigns for the upcoming election, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada October 20, 2019. (REUTERS )
         

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is poised to win a second term in national elections, winning enough seats to form a minority government.

The ruling Liberals were elected or leading in 150 districts, ahead of the 100 for the Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, according to projections from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The parties need 170 seats to form a majority in the House of Commons.

Justin Trudeau is seeking a second term as prime minister -- weighed down by scandal and voter fatigue but still poised to win more districts than any of his rivals, based on polling projections at the end of the campaign. Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer were tied in popular support for much of the final week, though Trudeau’s support is spread more widely and in vote-rich regions like Ontario and Quebec.

No party looks poised to win 170 districts required for a majority, meaning the winner will likely require the support of other parties to pass laws. As the incumbent, Trudeau has the right to continue to govern and test parliament for support, even if he wins fewer districts than Scheer.

If Trudeau tries to govern with or without a plurality, it will likely force a leftward shift in his agenda. His most natural partner is the New Democratic Party, which is anti-pipeline, and wants more aggressive moves to combat climate change, higher taxes for companies and the wealthy, and the creation of new universal social programs.

A Liberal government propped up by the NDP wouldn’t be an ideal scenario for Canada’s energy sector, already saddled with reduced oil prices due to pipeline bottlenecks. The prospect of that loose alliance may also send the Canadian dollar lower.

There are many wild cards, including voter turnout, the strength of the separatist Bloc Quebecois, and whether Toronto’s vote-rich suburbs will break Trudeau’s way. The biggest question mark may lie on the West Coast. British Columbia, Canada’s third-most-populous province, looks like a dead heat among the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP led by Jagmeet Singh.