Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be returning to Ottawa without the majority government mandate Liberals had hoped for when he called the early election last month.
Early Tuesday, the Liberals were hovering between 155 and 157 seats. The former is the number they had when Trudeau called the election in August, and the latter is what they won in 2019.
“When I became prime minister six years, I couldn’t know what the future held,” Trudeau told his supporters during his victory speech. “We didn’t know that we’d be facing a once-in-a-century pandemic or a worldwide economic crisis. But what I did know is that together Canadians can overcome any obstacle, and that is exactly what we will continue to do.
The Conservatives were teetering on 121 or 122 seats, after winning 121 less than two years ago.
They will remain the official Opposition, with leader Erin O'Toole promising the "changed'' party he leads will speak for all Canadians from all walks of life.
Jagmeet Singh's N-D-P gained two seats to 26, while the Bloc Quebecois was down one to 31. Each individually potentially holding the balance of power in the minority House of Commons, both also within a few seats of their 2019 tallies.
With more people voting by mail than ever before, the final result in some ridings might not be known for days. There are almost 800,000 mail-in ballots to be counted, starting Tuesday, which could yet change the preliminary results in many of the tightly contested seats.
Notable Liberal victories
Chrystia Freeland won re-election in her downtown Toronto riding of University-Rosedale. The deputy prime minister and finance minister will now have a chance to keep building a national child-care system announced in her April budget.
She is among a slew of cabinet ministers who won re-election: Jean-Yves Duclos in the riding of Quebec, Melanie Joly in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Que., David Lametti in LaSalle-Emard-Verdun, Que., and Harjit Sajjan in Vancouver South, B.C.
Anthony Rota won his northern Ontario riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming. Since 2019, Rota has served as Speaker of the House of Commons, taking over the job just ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.