Canada goes to the polls as Liberals risk losing majority

Source:AFP Published: 2019/10/21 21:23:40

Justin Trudeau Photo: VCG

Canadians began voting in a general election on Monday, with surveys predicting a minority government as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party risks losing its majority or even being kicked out of office.

The Liberals and the ­Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer, could be set for a near dead heat with pundits calling it one Canada's closest elections ever.

Polls opened at 11:00 GMT in the provinces of Labrador and Newfoundland, in eastern Canada, the first of the country's six time zones. Polls will remain open in far western British Columbia until 02:00 GMT Tuesday, although the first results are expected starting at 23:00 GMT.

Some 27.4 million Canadians are eligible to elect 338 members of parliament after a tense and sometimes bitter election campaign.

Campaigning ended as it began some 40 days earlier, with polls showing a near perfect equilibrium.

Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives - the parties that have led Canada since Confederation in 1867 - is forecast to win enough support to secure an absolute majority of seats in parliament.

After winning in a 2015 landslide - in a repeat of the wave of support that in 1968 carried his late father Pierre to power - Trudeau's star has dimmed while in office.

Trudeau's image has been tainted by ethics lapses in the handling of the bribery prosecution of an engineering giant, while his campaign was rocked by the emergence of old photographs of him in blackface makeup.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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