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The Liberals won the most seats of any party, snagging 158 as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday—one more than they won in 2019, but 12 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons.
While the Liberals will remain in power, they will have to continue to work with other parties in order to govern their second minority government. It’s not quite the four years of dominance and easily-passed legislation a majority win would have promised.
“You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic,” Trudeau said in a speech following the win.
“I hear you when you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or an election.”
In a gamble for a majority, Trudeau called a snap election in mid-August, telling Canadians he wanted them to have a say over “how we finish the fight against COVID-19 and build back better.”
It wasn’t an easy fight, as he faced a daunting challenge from the Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole, who the Liberals were deadlocked with in polls leading up to the election. Trudeau had trouble convincing much of the electorate that the election was even necessary amid the fourth wave of the pandemic.
The full results of the campaign weren’t revealed on Monday. Elections Canada will only begin counting 800,000 mail-in ballots on Tuesday, once it is able to verify them against in-person votes.
Trudeau, 49, won his first Canadian election in 2015, channeling the star power of his father, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The Liberals have been leading as a minority government since winning 157 seats in the last federal election in 2019.