Oct. 21 (UPI) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party is projected to win enough seats Monday night to secure him a second four-year term following a contentious election cycle. However, he is expected to lose his majority government and lead a minority in Parliament instead.
Liberals have won 146 seats in the Canadian Parliament with 34.4 percent of the vote share to Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party’s 117 seats with 33.3 percent of the vote, based on a preliminary tally reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Going into the election, CBC’s Poll Tracker gave the Liberals a slight edge of 32 percent of the vote over the Conservative Party’s 31.6 percent.
However, Trudeau’s win falls below the 170 seats needed for a majority and is a drop of more than 30 seats from the 2015 election when he rode into power on charisma, good looks and promises of re-liberalizing Canada’s image that had been pulled right under the Conservatives’ decade rule.
The source of Trudeau’s drop this election could be that his image as the face of a liberal Canada that embraces all was tarnished shortly after the election campaign began in September when the first of three instances of the son of the former late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau in brownface surfaced.
“This is something I shouldn’t have done many years ago,” he said following the revelation of the picture of him dressed in brownface and a turban published in a 2000-2001 yearbook for a school he worked for at the time. “I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I didn’t think it was racist at the time. I now realize it was.”
Candidates attacked Trudeau for it including Scheer who has repeatedly stated he won’t walk in Toronto’s LGBT Pride Parade.
Sheer, 40, has also faced scandal during this campaign, as the right-wing candidate came under scrutiny for being a dual citizen holding a U.S. passport.
When questioned during the campaign why he never mentioned his U.S. citizenship, he replied: “No one’s ever asked me before about it.”
Though he has since said he will renounce the citizenship he received through his U.S.-born father. However, the Conservatives made substantial gains from 2015, earning some 20 seats more than last time around.
Meanwhile, the left-wing New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh, who was seeking to build off 2015’s 44 seats, took a substantial hit, dropping by nearly half. And the Bloc Quebecois, a party from Quebec, jumped by more than 25 seats from the 10 they garnered in the last election.