As the election results rolled in it was very obvious that Canadians wanted change, and they got it. In a historic win, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party swept to power on Monday night, winning 184 seats after starting the arduous 78-day campaign in third place.
Harper’s Conservatives took control of 99 seats, and the NDP suffered a serious blow, losing over 70 seats and ending up with 44. Green Party leader Elizabeth May retained her seat and the Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats.
In B.C.’s northwest Nathan Cullen, who arguably holds some of the most popular support in his riding anywhere across the country, was easily re-elected with over 50 percent of the vote.
This election saw historic voter turnout – an estimated 68 percent of registered voters took to the polls. The Liberal party saw the most gains, winning every single seat in Atlantic Canada and taking back almost all of the Quebec seats the NDP won in the 2011 election.
Overall, the Liberals gained 150 seats, the Conservatives lost 67, and the NDP lost 59. Bruce Anderson, one of CBC’s At Issue panelists, called Justin Trudeau’s ascent to prime minister as a “campaign for the ages.” It’s true that Trudeau is the son of a former PM, but he defied great odds to win.
The Liberals started the campaign with a mere 37 seats in the House of Commons and were polling in third place. But once the ballots were all counted, the Liberals had taken 184 seats.
Trudeau’s astounding success also highlights the reversals of fortune for both the Conservatives, who have governed since 2006, and the NDP, who were first in the polls going into this 11-week campaign.
Expectations are high on the young PM-elect, who is now the second-youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history, being elected at age 43. Only Joe Clark was younger when he was elected at age 39 in 1979.
Trudeau delivered an optimistic victory speech, sticking with the positive theme he pushed throughout the campaign and thanking the people for what he called “their win.”
“Real change has come to Canada, and it’s because of you,” said Trudeau. “Your knocks and calls. Your donations. Your support on social media. And most importantly, your votes. From every last candidate, to every last volunteer, donor and supporter, remember: I didn’t make history. You did.”