Victorious Trudeau waves
Victorious Trudeau waves

Good after­noon! Today marks the end of a sev­en­ty-eight day cam­paign in Cana­da to deter­mine who will gov­ern the Unit­ed States’ most impor­tant neigh­bor for the next few years. We’ve been fol­low­ing the cam­paign from a dis­tance for the last few weeks, and tonight we’ll be shar­ing impres­sions with you as the results come in.

This is a nation­wide elec­tion, in which sev­er­al par­ties are com­pet­ing for spots in Canada’s fed­er­al House of Com­mons: Stephen Harp­er and the Con­ser­v­a­tives, Justin Trudeau and the Lib­er­als, and Tom Mul­cair and the New Democ­rats (NDP).

There are three hun­dred and thir­ty-eight seats up for grabs.

The Con­ser­v­a­tives, or the Tories, are the biggest right wing par­ty in Cana­da and the NDP are the largest pro­gres­sive par­ty. The Lib­er­als are a par­tial­ly pro­gres­sive par­ty that agrees with the Con­ser­v­a­tives on some issues and the NDP on others.

In the last elec­tion, the Con­ser­v­a­tives won a major­i­ty, while the NDP dis­placed the Lib­er­als to become the Queen’s loy­al oppo­si­tion for the first time in Cana­di­an his­to­ry. The evis­cer­at­ed Lib­er­als have since cho­sen a new leader, Justin Trudeau, who has waged an impres­sive cam­paign and is ahead in pre­elec­tion polling.

How­ev­er, if Trudeau and the Lib­er­als do not win a major­i­ty of seats tonight, Trudeau will need to team up with the NDP to form a new gov­ern­ment and bring Stephen Harper’s tenure as Prime Min­is­ter to an end. Such an arrange­ment is known as a minor­i­ty gov­ern­ment, and is not uncom­mon in par­lia­men­tary democracies.

We’ve got CBC (the Cana­di­an Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion) on and are watch­ing their cov­er­age. If you’d like to do like­wise, go here to launch one of the livestreams.

As the after­noon stretch­es on and turns into evening, we’ll post reflec­tions on what we’re see­ing. Feel free to leave a com­ment and ask a ques­tion, or share a thought.

UPDATE, 4:24 PM: Ear­ly results from New­found­land and Labrador look good for the Lib­er­als. They are ahead in five rid­ings (a rid­ing is the Cana­di­an equiv­a­lent of a U.S. con­gres­sion­al district).

UPDATE, 4:32 PM: The Lib­er­als cer­tain­ly are doing very well in the ear­ly results. CBC reports that the Lib­er­als have won in three rid­ings in Atlantic Cana­da; they lead in three more. Some­thing for Trudeau & Co. to feel good about.

UPDATE, 4:33 PM: Polls have now closed in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Sco­tia. Fresh results due in soon.

UPDATE, 4:34 PM: The CBC has put the NDP up on the board; they’re ahead in one rid­ing. This is Jack Har­ris in St. John’s‑East.

UPDATE, 4:39 PM: CBC is now talk­ing about the rid­ing of Syd­ney-Vic­to­ria, where Lib­er­al Mark Eyk­ing leads. Despite what you might be tempt­ed to think, this rid­ing is in Atlantic Cana­da, not British Colum­bia. As many Wash­ing­to­ni­ans know, two of the largest cities on Van­cou­ver Island are Sid­ney, the only for­eign port of call for Wash­ing­ton State Fer­ries, and Vic­to­ria, the cap­i­tal of British Columbia.

UPDATE, 4:40 PM: The Con­ser­v­a­tives just got on the board; they lead in one rid­ing. Cur­rent score: Lib­er­als 7, Con­ser­v­a­tives 1, NDP 1. Remem­ber, these are all Atlantic Cana­da rid­ings, “where they tend to vote red”, as a CBC cor­re­spon­dent not­ed. (Red is the col­or of the Liberals).

UPDATE, 4:43 PM: More than sev­en­ty per­cent of the vote in Atlantic Cana­da has gone Lib­er­al so far, the CBC reports.

UPDATE, 4:45 PM: The Lib­er­als are now ahead in 12 rid­ings. Con­ser­v­a­tives and NDP still only lead in 1 each. The Lib­er­als are run­ning ahead in at least two rid­ings held by the NDP and the Cons.

UPDATE, 4:48 PM: The vote change in Atlantic Cana­da is stark. The Lib­er­als are up 40.3% (for a total of 69.7%). They’re pulling sup­port away from the Con­ser­v­a­tives (-23%) and the NDP (-17%).

UPDATE, 4:54 PM: Lib­er­als now run­ning ahead in 21 rid­ings. NDP and Con­ser­v­a­tives still have just 1 each. The Lib­er­als look incred­i­bly dom­i­nant in the mar­itime provinces.

UPDATE, 5:01 PM: Updat­ed score: Lib­er­als ahead in 26 rid­ings, Con­ser­v­a­tives in 2, NDP 1. Still ear­ly, but it’s sure look­ing like a rout for the Lib­er­als. 309 rid­ings to come.

UPDATE, 5:11 PM: It just gets bet­ter for the Lib­er­als. They’re ahead in thir­ty rid­ings now! Cur­rent score: Lib­er­als 30, Con­ser­v­a­tives 1, NDP 1.

UPDATE, 5:17 PM: WHOA! The Lib­er­als are now lead­ing in thir­ty-two out of thir­ty-two rid­ings in Atlantic Cana­da. This is just remark­able. It’s a red wave.

Here’s a CBC screen­shot show­ing the sig­nif­i­cant swing in Atlantic Canada:

Vote shift in Atlantic Canada
The vote shift in Atlantic Cana­da (Analy­sis from the Cana­di­an Broad­cast­ing Corporation)

UPDATE, 5:19 PM: “In all my years, I’ve nev­er seen a region of the coun­try paint­ed in one col­or like this,” says CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge.

UPDATE, 5:25 PM: The Con­ser­v­a­tives have retak­en the lead in one rid­ing. Fif­teen races have been called at this juncture.

UPDATE, 5:45 PM: The Lib­er­als now lead in thir­ty-three rid­ings — includ­ing one in Que­bec. The Con­ser­v­a­tives have been trad­ing the lead with the Lib­er­als in one key rid­ing, but the Lib­er­als have it at the moment. The NDP is in big, big trou­ble… it looks like their six seats are gone. Among the NDP casu­al­ties could be young pro­gres­sive Megan Leslie, con­sid­ered to be a ris­ing star in the NDP.

UPDATE, 5:49 PM: The CBC projects that Megan Leslie, one of the most pop­u­lar mem­bers of the New Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty cau­cus, has been defeated.

UPDATE, 6:06 PM: CBC tak­ing note of vet­er­an NDP MP Peter Stoffer’s loss in Sackville-Reston-Chezzetcook, a rid­ing he has held since 1997.

UPDATE, 6:28 PM: Fresh results from Que­bec are due very soon. In the mean­time, the Lib­er­als are still sweep­ing Atlantic Cana­da. If the Lib­er­als do well in Que­bec and Ontario, it could be all over before we get to British Columbia.

UPDATE, 6:32 PM: Results in two hun­dred more rid­ings, from Que­bec to Alber­ta, are now about to be count­ed. Here comes the big wave.

UPDATE, 6:33 PM: The Con­ser­v­a­tives are final­ly back on the board. They’re ahead in four rid­ings now. Lib­er­als still sweep­ing Atlantic Canada.

UPDATE, 6:36 PM: Stephen Harp­er described on CBC as “the most unpop­u­lar pop­u­lar Prime Min­is­ter ever” among le Québé­cois.

UPDATE, 6:37 PM: “Num­bers tum­bling in quick­ly now,” CBC says. Cur­rent score: Lib­er­als 42, Con­ser­v­a­tives 6, NDP 1.

UPDATE, 6:39 PM: Lib­er­als now up to fifty lead­ing and elect­ed. Con­ser­v­a­tives have eleven and NDP have two.

UPDATE, 6:42 PM: We have a pro­jec­tion! CBC projects that the Lib­er­als will form the next gov­ern­ment and Justin Trudeau will be the next Prime Min­is­ter of Canada.

UPDATE, 6:43 PM: Big moment for the Lib­er­als and Justin Trudeau.

UPDATE, 6:44 PM: Justin Trudeau is expect­ed be sworn in as Canada’s next Prime Min­is­ter with­in two weeks. Stephen Harp­er has been defeated!

UPDATE, 6:50 PM: Fresh score: Lib­er­als 75, Con­ser­v­a­tives 37, NDP 10, Bloc Québé­cois 1

UPDATE, 6:55 PM: Lib­er­als clos­ing in on one hun­dred seats. They lead or have won 98. Con­ser­v­a­tives have 61, NDP 12, Bloc 1.

UPDATE, 6:56 PM: Lib­er­als notch 100. Con­ser­v­a­tives at 63. NDP 12. Bloc 1.

UPDATE, 6:59 PM: The Lib­er­als seem to be doing rea­son­ably well in the Toron­to area. They lead or have won in 119 rid­ings. Con­ser­v­a­tives ahead in 67. NDP ahead in 13. The Bloc has 2 ridings.

UPDATE, 7:00 PM: Polls are about to close in British Columbia.

UPDATE, 7:05 PM: Lib­er­als appear to be cruis­ing towards a major­i­ty. They lead in 141 rid­ings. Con­ser­v­a­tives ahead in 88, NDP 21, Bloc 4.

UPDATE, 7:06 PM: It’s worth remem­ber­ing that in 2011 the Lib­er­als got evis­cer­at­ed. They went down to under forty seats. Right now, they lead in one hun­dred and fifty rid­ings. A stun­ning comeback.

UPDATE, 7:07 PM: The NDP is not doing well at all tonight.

UPDATE, 7:08 PM: Thomas Mul­cair is trail­ing in his own rid­ing of Out­remont, but hard­ly any votes have been counted.

UPDATE, 7:09 PM: Results are trick­ling in from British Colum­bia now.

UPDATE, 7:11 PM: One hun­dred and sev­en­ty seats are need­ed for a major­i­ty. At present… Lib­er­als have 156, Con­ser­v­a­tives 93, NDP 25, and the Bloc 8.

UPDATE, 7:16 PM: This is incred­i­ble. Lib­er­als 167, Con­ser­v­a­tives 95, NDP 24, Bloc 6.

UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Lib­er­als reach the pin­na­cle of 170. They’re lead­ing in a major­i­ty of the country’s ridings!

UPDATE, 7:22 PM: CBC isn’t quite ready to project a major­i­ty Lib­er­al gov­ern­ment, but if the cur­rent trend holds, that’s what Cana­da will end up. A vic­to­ry of his­toric pro­por­tions for Justin Trudeau. Lib­er­al strate­gists say he has out­done even his father’s vic­to­ry from deacdes ago.

UPDATE, 7:23 PM: The lat­est… Lib­er­als: 177, Con­ser­v­a­tives 95, NDP 23, Bloc 9.

UPDATE, 7:24 PM: Gig­gling heard on CBC set as Peter Mans­bridge looks at rid­ings with ridicu­lous­ly low num­bers of votes count­ed. CBC cur­rent­ly look­ing at the rid­ing of Delta, which the Lib­er­als have a lead in.

UPDATE, 7:35 PM: CBC airs Olivia Chow’s con­ces­sion speech. She is the wife of for­mer NDP leader Jack Lay­ton, who died short­ly after his vic­to­ry four years ago in the 2011 elec­tion. She was run­ning as part of the NDP’s slate.

UPDATE, 7:40 PM: Big moment: CBC projects a Lib­er­al major­i­ty gov­ern­ment. Future Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau will have a sol­id man­date to gov­ern Canada.

CBC projects Liberal Government for Canada
The moment the CBC pro­ject­ed that Justin Trudeau and the Lib­er­als would form the next gov­ern­ment of Canada.

UPDATE, 7:42 PM: “There’s no prece­dent for this elec­tion…. no prece­dent for what the Lib­er­als have done,” says a CBC ana­lyst. Lib­er­als ahead in 179 rid­ings, Con­ser­v­a­tives 101, NDP 33, Bloc 10, Green 1.

UPDATE, 7:43 PM: Over­heard on CBC: “Ter­ri­ble result for the Con­ser­v­a­tives… Not a good night for the pollsters.”

UPDATE, 8:01 PM: The Lib­er­als show no sign of relin­quish­ing strength. They lead in 186 rid­ings. Con­ser­v­a­tives ahead in 104. NDP win­ning 36. The Bloc has 10. Green Par­ty 1 (Eliz­a­beth May’s riding).

UPDATE, 8:09 PM: The Lib­er­als have real­ly out­per­formed expec­ta­tions tonight. The Globe and Mail notes: “Before the results start­ed stream­ing in, The Globe’s elec­tion fore­cast, based on recent polls and his­tor­i­cal data, said there was an 81-per-cent chance the Lib­er­als would get the most seats, but only an 18-per-cent chance of a Lib­er­al majority.”

UPDATE, 8:16 PM: So much for this being the clos­est elec­tion in Canada’s history…

UPDATE, 8:22 PM: Lib­er­als now lead­ing in 191 rid­ings. This is some­thing else. Con­ser­v­a­tives ahead in 104, NDP in 32, Bloc in 10, Green in 1.

UPDATE, 8:34 PM: Tom Mul­cair giv­ing his con­ces­sion speech. He’s speak­ing in both Eng­lish and French. He con­grat­u­lat­ed Trudeau on an “excep­tion­al” victory.

UPDATE, 8:36 PM: Mul­cair thanks all of the can­di­dates who cam­paigned under the NDP ban­ner. “We ran in this elec­tion with the most women and with the most indige­nous can­di­dates,” Mul­cair notes. “This is some­thing that makes me immense­ly proud.”

UPDATE, 8:38 PM: Mul­cair says the NDP will always be “a real choice” for the peo­ple of Quebec.

UPDATE, 8:39 PM: Mul­cair ends con­ces­sion speech with­out say­ing what his future plans are after speak­ing to a rather sub­dued crowd at NDP headquarters.

UPDATE, 8:48 PM: Stephen Harp­er expect­ed to con­cede in a cou­ple minutes.

UPDATE, 8:52 PM: Here comes Harper…

UPDATE, 8:57 PM: “It has been an unbe­liev­able hon­or to serve as your Prime Min­is­ter,” Harp­er says. “We gave every­thing we have to give and we have no regrets what­so­ev­er… We remain cit­i­zens of the best coun­try on Earth.”

UPDATE, 8:57 PM: “The peo­ple of Cana­da have elect­ed a Lib­er­al gov­ern­ment, a result we accept,” Harp­er says. He acknowl­edges hav­ing phoned Justin Trudeau. “I have assured him of my full coop­er­a­tion for the tran­si­tion in the com­ing days.”

UPDATE, 9:00 PM: “Tonight, friends, we have been able to elect a strong Offi­cial Oppo­si­tion to the Par­lia­ment of Cana­da,” Harp­er says, adding, “The dis­ap­point­ment you also feel is my respon­si­bil­i­ty, and mine alone.”

UPDATE, 9:02 PM: Harp­er ends speech with­out dis­cussing his future in politics.

UPDATE, 9:03 PM: CBC is read­ing a state­ment from Con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty offi­cials, in which it is revealed that Harp­er has left instruc­tion for the appoint­ment of an inter­im Con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty leader.

UPDATE, 9:14 PM: “This is what pos­i­tive pol­i­tics can do,” Justin Trudeau says tri­umphant­ly as he begins his vic­to­ry speech.

UPDATE, 9:14 PM: Trudeau says Cana­di­ans from all over have sent a strong, emphat­ic mes­sage of change.

UPDATE, 9:16 PM: Trudeau thanks his wife and chil­dren, say­ing he and his fam­i­ly are embark­ing on a new adven­ture togeth­er. “Dad will be there for you,” he says fondly.

UPDATE, 9:17 PM: Trudeau thanks his con­stituents for send­ing him to Parliament.

UPDATE, 9:19 PM: Trudeau salutes “the incred­i­ble vol­un­teers who made tonight happen”.

UPDATE, 9:20 PM: “We thank him for his ser­vice,” Trudeau says of Stephen Harper.

UPDATE, 9:21 PM: “Con­ser­v­a­tives are not our ene­mies, they are our neigh­bors,” Trudeau says. “Lead­er­ship is about bring­ing peo­ple of all dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives together.”

UPDATE, 9:22 PM: Speak­ing in French, Trudeau pays trib­ute to Thomas Mul­cair and con­grat­u­lates him for run­ning a vig­or­ous cam­paign, right up until the very end.

UPDATE, 9:23 PM: “We won this elec­tion because we lis­tened,” Trudeau says, telling sup­port­ers, “You built this plat­form, you built this move­ment. You told us what kind of gov­ern­ment you want.”

UPDATE, 9:26 PM: “You will be at the heart of this new gov­ern­ment,” Trudeau says to cheer­ing Lib­er­al supporters.

UPDATE, 9:27 PM: “I know that I am on stage tonight for one rea­son and one rea­son only: Because you put me here,” Trudeau says. “And you gave me clear march­ing orders.”

UPDATE, 9:30 PM: “I will be the Prime Min­is­ter of all Cana­di­ans,” Trudeau says in French. “We will form a gov­ern­ment of integri­ty that respects insti­tu­tions and will make col­lab­o­ra­tion with the provinces [a priority].”

UPDATE, 9:32 PM: Trudeau pledges to lis­ten to all three hun­dred and thir­ty-sev­en oth­er mem­bers of Par­lia­ment cho­sen by Cana­di­an voters.

UPDATE, 9:35 PM: “We know that our envi­able, inclu­sive soci­ety didn’t hap­pen by acci­dent,” Trudeau says. “Have faith in your fel­low cit­i­zens, my friends.”

UPDATE, 9:36 PM: “My friends, we beat fear with hope. We beat cyn­i­cism with hard work. We beat neg­a­tive, divi­sive pol­i­tics with a pos­i­tive vision that brings Cana­di­ans togeth­er”, Trudeau says. “Most of all, we defeat­ed the idea that Cana­di­ans should be sat­is­fied with less.”

UPDATE, 9:37 PM: Trudeau fin­ish­es his speech with a flour­ish and is joined by his wife on stage. They are all smiles and sup­port­ers are sim­ply euphoric.

UPDATE, 9:38 PM: Cur­rent stand­ings: Lib­er­als 184, Con­ser­v­a­tives 101, NDP 42, Bloc 10, Green 1.

UPDATE, 9:43 PM: That cer­tain­ly was a strong speech by Justin Trudeau. He will take office in about ten days. Tran­si­tions in Cana­da hap­pen pret­ty quickly.

Victorious Trudeau waves
Vic­to­ri­ous Trudeau waves

UPDATE, 9:44 PM: Won­der if we’ll get a read­out from the White House tomor­row of a call between Oba­ma and Trudeau. In all like­li­hood, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma will be call­ing Trudeau tomor­row morn­ing to offer his con­grat­u­la­tions and to dis­cuss next steps.

UPDATE, 10:02 PM: Well, that’s it for our live cov­er­age tonight. Thanks for fol­low­ing along.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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