The result means that the Liberals will need the support of another party, likely the NDP, to pass legislation.
The Liberals have won 64 seats so far and are leading in more than 80 other ridings. The Conservatives have secured 69 seats but are leading in fewer than 50 ridings as of right now. Polls have closed across the country though votes in Western Canada votes have yet to be counted.
Going into the election, the Trudeau Liberals held 177 seats, compared to the 99 of conservatives.
It was clear well before the election was called in September that the Conservatives were going to attack the Liberals by focusing on Trudeau’s record by way of labelling him a dishonest leader with no integrity. That made up the bulk of Scheer’s messaging to Canadians for weeks on end but it was’t as effective as the conservative leader had hoped.
“Not As Advertised” ads portraying Trudeau as a leader who says one thing and does another ran months before the writ dropped, right after the SNC-Lavalin scandal, which saw the prime minister criticized for pushing his justice minister to give the Quebec company a less serious prosecution.
This theme carried into the debates, where both Scheer and the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh consistently attacked Trudeau on SNC-Lavalin scandal and his personal integrity.
Scheer also called for Trudeau to resign as Liberal leader and PM when Time magazine and several Canadian outlets released old photos and a video of a younger Trudeau dressed in brown and blackface.
The Conservatives pushed a number of ads throughout the campaign warning that the Liberals are seeking to legalize hard drugs, increase the GST, and implement a hefty “secret” home sales tax. These ads were translated into Chinese and posted onto the Conservatives’ Chinese language Facebook page. They were also spread in Chinese by mass robocalls. There’s no evidence for any of these claims but they formed a substantial portion of the Conservative electoral strategy nonetheless.
This resulted in critics accusing the Conservatives of campaigning on fear and smears. Along with saying that the Liberals were looking into legalizing all drugs, Scheer also attacked Trudeau’s border and immigration policies.
All three parties made their case for being the party that would be the best for making life easier and more affordable for the middle class. Whereas both the Conservatives and the NDP highlighted Trudeau’s failures and attacked his leadership integrity, it was the latter that mixed this negative campaigning with a more positive, “hope-and-change” message.
Singh capitalized off of the Liberal-Conservative tussle by pointing to it as the typical petty politics that kept leaders from getting things done by working together.
Singh’s strong debate performances allowed him to drive this point home while presenting himself and the NDP as the trustworthy progressive voice that could break through the status quo. Buttressed by an friendly, everyman demeanor, Singh’s approval rating surged. His party, which at one point doubted his leadership abilities, also enjoyed a substantial bump in the polls. However, that bump still resulted in a significant loss of seats from the 2015 election.