Canadian Liberals win federal elections

2015-10-20 08:14
Justin Trudeau. (AFP)

Justin Trudeau. (AFP)

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Montreal - Canada's Liberal Party beat the incumbent Conservatives of Stephen Harper, election results showed on Tuesday.

"The Canadians have chosen change - real change," Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, told his supporters at a rally broadcast live by several television channels.

The Liberals had 173 confirmed seats, and were leading in another 11, giving them a likely total of 184, comfortably above the 170 needed for a majority, CBC reported online.

Some pollsters had predicted they would fall short and need to form a coalition.

The Conservatives were second with 94 confirmed, and leading in another 8 for a total of 102 seats. Harper resigned as party leader but kept his own seat.

A jubilant crowd at the Liberal Party election headquarters at Montreal's Montreal'l Fairmount Queen Elizabeth Hotel, famous for John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's Bed-in for Peace in 1969, cheered as CTV News, CBC and Global called in the Liberal victory.

'True change'

A third contender, The New Democratic Party (NDP) had been expected to challenge the traditional dominance of the Conservatives and the Liberals, but ended up with 31 confirmed and another 11 predicted seats, for a predicted total of just 42.

About 25 million voters were eligible to cast their ballots across the six time zones from Halifax to Vancouver.

The leftist NDP, under leader Tom Mulcair, had won many seats off the Liberals in 2011, notably in the French-speaking province of Quebec, to become the official opposition in the House of Commons.

Trudeau, 43, has promised to run three consecutive deficits of a "modest" 10 billion Canadian dollars a year to kick-start the sputtering economy.

Harper campaigned on a traditional Conservative platform of balancing the budget, tax cuts for the middle class and security both at home and internationally.

It has been a difficult slog for the 56-year-old Conservative leader, whose 10-year stint as prime minister coincided with the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression and led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

Even more troubling for Harper, whose political support is based in oil- and gas-rich Western Canada, has been the steep decline in oil prices and other commodities that were fuelling Canada's growth until recently.

Mulcair, 60, had promised "true change," including a national childcare system, investment in public transport, education and Aboriginal communities, and pulling out of military engagement against the Islamic State group.

Read more on:    pierre trudeau  |  canada

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