As the election results trickled in last night, the Liberal party attained enough seats to form a minority government. The end of the election marks the formal end to a turbulent campaign which featured various scandals and leaks perceived as strategies to detract support from voters. It appears that the Trudeau team has been able to overcome the backlash of scandals such as the TIME magazine blackface controversy. In comparison to their pre-electoral status, the Liberals have descended from 184 seats, to a position where a coalition majority (potentially with the NDP) is not entirely impossible. As of the time of writing this article the seat count remains at 156, out of a required 170 for majority government.
Ultimately it is a bittersweet victory for the Liberal party, who took the bulk of seat losses by having ridings taken over by the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec ridings, and the Conservative party in western provinces (notably Deputy Leader Ralph Goodale’s loss in Regina-Wascana). As a result of these gains, Scheer’s conservatives were able to rise up from a count of 95 seats to 122, forming the official opposition. The NDP may view the coalition option as a choice to remain afloat in uncertain political trajectory, characterised by a slow decline in seats since its leadership under Mulcair. However Jagmeet Singh’s leadership has been perceived by some as a triumphant survival against a challenged party. It remains to be seen how this outcome will be perceived by progressive voters and those seeking a centre-left government and the implementation of policies like Pharmacare and Dentalcare. Regardless of these challenges, the continuation of Justin Trudeau’s role as Prime Minister appears to be certain.