The election was decided and called before 7 p.m. on Monday night, before polling stations closed in British Columbia.
The winning party? The Liberals. And the Prime Minister? Justin Trudeau, who surged from third to first in a 78-day election campaign and toppled the Conservative government under Stephen Harper, who announced after his defeat that he would be resigning as his party’s leader.
Read: ‘Election 2015: Liberal majority reaches into B.C.‘ by Tom Fletcher, Black Press (October 19, 2015)
At his party headquarters in Montreal, Trudeau’s backdrop was sprayed with his campaign’s slogan, Real Change Now, and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau joined him in victory, on stage after his speech.
“Canadians have spoken. You want a government with a vision and an agenda for this country this is positive, and ambitious, and hopeful,” he said, over a sea of supporters. “I promise you tonight that I will lead that government. I will make that vision a reality, I will be that prime minister.
“We beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work. We beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.”
The Liberals finished with 184 seats won, good enough for 54 per cent of Canada’s 338 and a majority government. The Conservatives, with 99 seats won, will form the official opposition, and the NDP finished third with 44 seats won.
The Bloc Quebecois won 10 seats, and leader Elizabeth May won the Green Party’s only seat, in her riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
With the election decided, and with his Liberals in control of the majority of the House of Commons, Trudeau expected to being implementing the promises he has made to voters.
Trudeau will no doubt be riding on an electoral high from the 184 seats the Liberals captured – an increase of a whopping 149 ridings from the last election – but he will already be facing tough questions on how and when he will implement his plan.
He has said that the first piece of legislation his government would put forward is one to lower taxes for the middle class and raise taxes for the wealthiest Canadians.
Last night’s election saw the largest voter turnout in more than 20 years, reportedly, with 68.5 per cent of Canadians casting their ballots.