Justin Trudeau wins Canada general elections in a landslide victory

Mr Trudeau was elected Liberal leader only two years ago, coming after two past leaders failed to unseat Harper in 2008 and 2011.

AFP| Updated: Oct 20, 2015, 12:15 PM IST
Justin Trudeau wins Canada general elections in a landslide victory

Ottawa:  Canada's Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the son of a popular former prime minister, won Monday's general election in a landslide, television networks projected -- a stunning defeat for Stephen Harper's Conservatives.
 
Networks CBC and CTV projected the 43-year-old -- who ran a combative campaign and offered up what he called a bold "new vision" for the nation -- would form a majority government with more than 170 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons.
 
Public opinion had swung wildly during the hard-fought campaign, one of the longest in the country's history, but final polling showed Mr Trudeau's Liberals eight points ahead of Mr Harper's Tories -- an edge apparently borne out at the polls.
 
Early results showed the Liberals swept all 32 seats in Canada's Atlantic provinces, doubling their popular support in the region, and scored well in key Ontario and Quebec provinces.
 
The party came from behind late in the campaign, with Trudeau -- the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau, considered the father of modern Canada -- promising "not just a change in government, but a better government."
 
His supporters erupted in cheers at a Montreal hotel upon hearing the first projections.
 
"I've known Justin Trudeau for a long time and he's someone who is very courteous and honest," party supporter Max Liberman told AFP.
 
For many Canadians, the election was a referendum on Harper's stiff management style, as well as who would be best placed to put the country's struggling economy back on track.
 
Mr Trudeau was elected Liberal leader only two years ago, coming after two past leaders failed to unseat Harper in 2008 and 2011 and subsequently resigned.
 
He appears to have made good on his hope to recreate the "Trudeaumania" that swept his charismatic late father to power in 1968.
 
Mr Harper, who took power in 2006, had been seeking a fourth mandate.
 
But Mr Trudeau tapped into a strong desire for change in government after three consecutive Tory administrations, and took advantage of an all-time low in Mr Harper's popularity.
 
Indeed, "there was a kind of mini Trudeaumania" surrounding the campaign, said Claude Denis, a politics professor at the University of Ottawa.