Canada's Trudeau celebrates narrow election win

Canada REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has narrowly won a second term in office, but lost his parliamentary majority following elections Monday.

His Liberal Party – which is expected to claim 157 seats; 13 short of the majority needed to govern outright – will require the support of the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) to pass legislation.

Trudeau's victory comes after he was dogged by a series of scandals. His image as a liberal icon was particularly damaged when old photos of him in blackface emerged last month.

Former US president Barack Obama urged Canadians to re-elect Trudeau, one of the few remaining progressive world leaders in the Trump era, saying the world needs his leadership.

The results are a bitter blow to Trudeau's 40-year-old Conservative rival Andrew Scheer, who had promised to end a national carbon tax and to cut government spending by 25 percent.

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The Conservatives were heading for 122 seats in parliament, up from the 95 they held before the vote.

In an address to the country following his win, Trudeau said: "Tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity. They elected a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change."

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh congratulated Trudeau and promised to play a constructive role in parliament.