Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau narrowly won re-election in Canada’s national elections Tuesday, as his Liberal Party held on to around 150 seats in Parliament, but failed to secure himself a Liberal majority.
The BBC reports that Liberals are projected to win 157 seats — 13 short of the majority that Trudeau would have needed to continue governing with a mandate. Canada’s Conservative Party, which saw a surge in support in recent weeks, is projected to take 121 seats, a gain of around 30 seats. The Conservative Party also won the popular vote, 34% to the Liberal Party’s 33%.
Canada’s left-leaning parties, the Liberals and the New Democrats, both suffered losses, and came out of Monday night’s election with less support than they enjoyed in the last election. According to the BBC, however, the New Democrats leader, Jagmeet Singh, may become “kingmaker,” if he decides to ink a deal with Trudeau (or, less likely, Trudeau’s conservative opposition) to form a coalition government.
The big news of the night, though, was that Bloc Québécois, the province of Quebec’s separatist party, gained 20 more seats than it earned in 2015, at its previous high.
Trudeau was clearly happy with the result, which he considered, the BBC says, a referendum on his leadership, even though his Liberal Party ultimately suffered. Speaking to a crowd in his native Montreal, Trudeau claimed that Canada “rejected division and negativity … and they rejected cuts and austerity and voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change.”
That Trudeau pulled out a victory is an achievement in itself, however. The past year has been a rough one for Trudeau, first facing allegations that the self-proclaimed feminist had bullied a female minister out of his government after she, an attorney general, refused to pull back on prosecuting an energy company with ties to some of Trudeau’s close friends. Other female ministers made similar allegations about Trudeau’s bullying, and an ethics committee sided with the alleged victims.
Late last month, the famously woke Trudeau was broadsided by a set of photos and videos from his past, showing him dressed in racially charged costumes and made up in blackface. Trudeau was revealed to have dressed as Aladdin for an “Arabian Nights” themed fundraiser, complete with brown makeup on his face and hands, and as singer Harry Belafonte, to perform Belafonte’s hit “Day-O” in a video.
Trudeau apologized for the incidents but had difficulty explaining how he was still dressing in racially inappropriate costumes in the early 2000s, when he was well into his twenties, and when it was abundantly clear that blackface was considered racist.
Although the incidents didn’t seem to matter to voters, they did dog Trudeau as his victory was announced. On Twitter, plenty of commentators saw a certain poetic justice in his new “minority” government.
Jussie Trudeau is now a real minority — and he doesn’t have to wear blackface! https://t.co/u7Zkx1J8Jd
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) October 22, 2019
someone explain to Justin that minority here does not mean he has to go shoe polish shopping
— Shirley Serious (@_therealNobody) October 22, 2019
Trudeau finally gets to be a real minority.
— Game_Enders (@GameEnders1) October 22, 2019
President Donald Trump weighed in on Trudeau’s victory on Twitter, wishing the Prime Minister good luck in his second term: “Congratulations to @JustinTrudeau on a wonderful and hard fought victory. Canada is well served. I look forward to working with you toward the betterment of both of our countries!”