Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his rival, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole cast their ballots, Monday, in what final polls show as a tight election race.
Opinion polls show Trudeau may cling to power but he looks set to lose what he had ultimately hoped for - a parliamentary majority... More power than his current minority government – which forces Trudeau to make policy compromises to govern and seek other parties’ support to pass legislation.
It’s been a tough campaign for Trudeau, who was once seen far ahead in the polls.
The Prime Minister triggered the election two years early, saying voters needed to weigh in on his left-of-center Liberal government's handling of COVID-19.
TRUDEAU (SEPT 16): "The choices that leaders make in a crisis matter. Half measures won't do to fight this pandemic."
But unhappiness about a snap election grew… and Liberal strategists now say it will be hard to win most of the 338 seats in the House of Commons.
In recent days, 49-year-old Trudeau - whose government racked up record debt fighting COVID - focused on the need for everyone to get inoculated.
Trudeau backs vaccine mandates, while his main rival O'Toole prefers rapid testing.
O’TOOLE (SEPT 16): "Mr. Trudeau called an election that's costing us six hundred million dollars rather than keeping the Delta variant from spreading, rather than actually working together."
If Trudeau’s party does fall short of a majority, it would represent a defeat that is certain to raise questions about his future.