Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party is likely to win the most seats in Canada’s election, according to projections from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and CTV.
The current prime minister gambled on an early election in a bid to win a majority of seats in Parliament, but it was not clear if he would do so.
The 49-year-old channelled the star power of his father, the Liberal icon and late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, when he first won election in 2015 and now appears to have led his party to the top finish in two elections since.
Trudeau bet Canadians did not want a Conservative government during a pandemic.
Canada is now among the most fully vaccinated countries in the world and its government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid lockdowns.
Trudeau had argued that the Conservatives’ approach, which has been sceptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates, would be dangerous and said Canadians need a government that follows science.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole didn’t require his party’s candidates to be vaccinated and would not say how many were unvaccinated.
O’Toole described vaccination as a personal health decision, but a growing number of jabbed Canadians are increasingly upset with those who refuse to get vaccinated.
Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, something the Conservatives oppose, with the incumbent noting Alberta, run by a Conservative provincial government, is in a health crisis.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, an ally of Mr O’Toole, said the province might run out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days.
Kenney apologised for the dire situation and is now reluctantly introducing a vaccine passport and imposing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after lifting nearly all restrictions.