Trudeau, however, fell short of his goal of winning the 170 seats needed to form a majority government.
At 2 a.m. ET, Elections Canada showed the Liberals had won 157 seats over the Conservatives’ 122 seats, with nearly 95% of the polls across the country.
The remaining seats in the next legislature will be held by the New Democratic Left Party and the Bloc Québécois Separatist Party.
“You send us back to work with a clear mandate to help Canada through this pandemic and into the better days to come. My friends, this is exactly what we are prepared to do, ”Trudeau told fans in Montreal early Tuesday.
“What we saw tonight is that millions of Canadians have chosen a progressive plan. Some have talked about division, but that’s not what I see. It’s not what I have seen in recent weeks across the country. “
Trudeau called an early election in mid-August, just two years after starting his minority government, betting he could capitalize on his handling of the pandemic to win a majority.
O’Toole had sought to capitalize on the perception that Trudeau, the son of a former Canadian prime minister, is a classic liberal political elitist who is more interested in his own political ambition than in running the country.
Speaking to supporters Tuesday morning, O’Toole called the snap elections a “quick takeover.”
“Five weeks ago, Mr. Trudeau called for a majority, he said the minority parliament was ‘unworkable.’ But tonight, Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted.” , O’Toole said. “In fact, Canadians sent him back along with another minority at the cost of C $ 600 million and deeper divisions in our great country.
During the campaign, O’Toole attacked Trudeau in a way unusual in Canadian politics.
“Every Canadian has met a Justin Trudeau in their life – privileged, empowered and always looking for number one. He was looking for number one when he sparked that costly and unnecessary election in the midst of a pandemic. not leadership, it’s self-interest. And it’s Justin Trudeau from start to finish, “O’Toole said at a recent campaign event.
Trudeau responded in an equally robust manner, saying, “I’m going to let him and his proxies and the anti-vaxxer movement and the gun lobby and the anti-choice mob continue to attack me, fine. I will stay focused on Canadians.
As much as the candidates have tried to engage meaningfully on the issues, a wave of polarization among voters – one that seems to reflect the American experience – is emerging, particularly on cultural or so-called issues. “Stuck” like abortion rights, gun control and climate change.
The pandemic in particular has sparked fury among a small but fierce minority who oppose certain Covid-19 protocols, particularly the warrants for vaccines and masks. Earlier this month, a protester threw gravel at Trudeau during a campaign event in Ontario, after the Canadian leader was harassed by protesters angry at his pandemic policies.