Justin Trudeau will remain Canada’s prime minister following the vote in an early election on Monday, Canadian broadcasters projected.
Because many voters were still in line casting ballots, perhaps for several more hours, it is unclear whether Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party would regain a majority in Parliament — Mr. Trudeau’s objective. Preliminary results suggested that the Liberals would probably not achieve that.
The prime minister called the election last month, two years ahead of schedule, expecting that the boost in his popularity provided by his handling of the pandemic would give him the majority he was denied in 2018. But those promising numbers immediately fell as Canadians expressed dismay about the election being held while the Delta variant of the coronavirus was straining hospitals and prompting the authorities to restore restrictions in some areas.
While disgruntlement about the election call dominated the five-week campaign, the pandemic intensified as a campaign issue over the final days. Mr. Trudeau has proposed mandatory vaccination for some and championed vaccine passports. Erin O’Toole, the Conservative leader, rejected both.
Mr. Trudeau first came to power in 2015 by presenting himself as a new voice in politics with a fresh approach and policies.
This time around, Mr. Trudeau is part of the political establishment. So he focused on telling voters, explicitly or otherwise, that a return to a Conservative government under Mr. O’Toole would wipe away his achievements in a variety of areas including gun control, gender equity, climate change, child care, poverty reduction and, above all, ending the pandemic and getting Canadians vaccinated.