Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is projected to win re-election in his home riding of Papineau.
While the votes for the Montreal, Que., riding are still being tallied, Trudeau’s name has been on just shy of 50 per cent of ballots counted so far, setting him on a steady trajectory towards holding his seat in the House of Commons.
In the 2019 federal election, Trudeau managed to secure over 50 per cent of the vote in his riding. This year’s result, meanwhile, appears to be headed for a similarly strong showing,.
“The moment we face demands real, important change,” Trudeau said, speaking in his post-election speech early Tuesday morning.
“And you have given this Parliament, and this government, clear direction.”
The Liberal leader has held the riding since 2008, when he defeated the Bloc Quebecois incumbent by a narrow 1,200 votes. Papineau residents have rewarded Trudeau with re-election in every election since, swelling his lead over the runner-up every year and ultimately giving him at least 50 per cent of the vote in both 2015 and 2019.
Papineau brushes up against another high-profile riding, Outremont, which former NDP leader Tom Mulcair held for over a decade. The Liberals added that seat to their roster in a 2019 byelection, however, and held onto it in the 2019 federal election.
Trudeau’s leadership has been a central question throughout the 2021 campaign as opposing party leaders slammed the Liberal leader for plunging the country into an election amid a fourth wave of COVID-19.
Throughout the election campaign, Trudeau defended his decision to send Canadians to the polls — stating it was a necessary step to allow them to choose how they “want to end” the pandemic.
“In this election, Canadians are being asked what they want the future to look like,” Trudeau said, speaking to reporters on Saturday.
“Because there are some very different visions for the future, both the near future and the longer-term future, on offer by the different parties competing for government.”
Heading into the election, polls were promising for the Liberal Party. Most pollsters suggested the Liberals could in fact upgrade their minority government to a majority, should Trudeau opt to call an election. However, as the campaign wore on, Trudeau couldn’t shake Canadians’ criticism of his decision to call a federal election during a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his party took a hit.
Now, Canadians are watching results trickle in — and so far, the Liberals are projected to form a minority government.
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