The Liberals painted the town red last Monday night in the 2015 federal election. Justin Trudeau is the new Prime Minister of Canada, leading the Liberal party to their first victory since 2004.
“Canadians from all across this great country sent a clear message tonight,” Trudeau said immediately after his win.
He credited the Liberal victory to his “old-fashioned” campaign style, which was to “meet and talk to as many Canadians as possible.”
There were several tight and surprising contests between candidates in many of Toronto’s ridings.
Olivia Chow’s defeat to Adam Vaughan was one of biggest upsets, and tears were shed during her campaign party Monday night. But Julie Dabrusin’s victory over incumbent Craig Scott in what was Jack Layton’s NDP Toronto-Danforth riding was one of the biggest surprises.
While the Liberals gained an additional 150 seats this election, Ministers like Joe Oliver, Chris Alexander and Paul Dewar lost their seats.
In Toronto-Centre, Linda McQuaig was defeated by Liberal Bill Morneau. She was one of many NDPs losing their seats to Liberals. Former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair also ousted NDP Dan Harris in the Scarborough-Southwest riding. Blair’s victory is considered a win by a landslide. And in the new riding of Scarborough-North, Liberal Shaun Chen has claimed the spot of MP.
With a rare sense of political cohesion and unity emerging across Toronto and many other Canadian cities, Premiere Kathleen Wynne also announced that she is looking forward to working with Trudeau.
“He maintained his vision for our country with a hopeful and positive message,” Premiere Wynne said of Trudeau. “It’s good for Ontario and it is good for Canada.”
Despite the fatigue following the 78-day campaign, Trudeau declared the morning after the election that he was feeling good. He spent Tuesday morning at a Montreal subway station thanking people for their votes, shaking hands and taking pictures.
The historical election had the highest voter turnout since 1993. With the advance polls being more popular than expected, it’s estimated that 3.6 million Canadians nation-wide cast ballots during Thanksgiving weekend.
Despite the NDPs leading the polls very early in the race, it’s speculated that the collapse towards the middle-end of the campaign is what caused their defeat, as well as key issues like the niqab ban. It’s also speculated that Trudeau’s support increased at the end of September during the foreign policy debate.
“It’s time for change in this country, my friends,” Trudeau says.