Election 2019 gets underway with polls closing in Atlantic Canada

OTTAWA — The polls have closed in Atlantic Canada, signalling the start of what promises to be a long night to determine whether Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will get a second mandate to govern Canada.

Albertans have until 7:30 p.m. local time to place their vote.

Early results had the Liberals leading in six of the seven ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador, where polls closed half an hour before they did in the rest of the region. The seventh — St. John’s East, thought to be the seat in the province where the Liberal incumbent was most vulnerable — had not yet reported any results.

In 2015, the Liberals swept all 32 seats in Atlantic Canada, a feat they’re not expected to repeat tonight. But they can’t afford to sustain many losses.

Polls have suggested that the Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives finished the 40-day campaign in a dead heat, with neither in position to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

The Liberals appeared to have an edge over the Conservatives in Ontario and Quebec, which account for almost 60 per cent of the 338 seats up for grabs.

Still, an unexpected surge in support for the Bloc Quebecois upended the hopes of both the front-running parties for gains in Quebec.

And a bounce for the NDP after Jagmeet Singh’s performance in the leaders’ debates ate into Liberal support in Ontario and British Columbia.

The Green Party, which had hoped for a big breakthrough in this election, appeared to stall mid-campaign but is in a battle with the NDP in B.C.

Maxime Bernier, leader of the fledgling People’s Party of Canada, is fighting to retain his own Quebec seat in Beauce.

Neither Trudeau nor Scheer seemed able to generate much enthusiasm throughout the campaign, which frequently devolved into mudslinging and misrepresentations of one another’s policies and records.

Trudeau, who had barely recovered from months of controversy over the SNC-Lavalin affair last winter and spring, was embarrassed during the opening week of the campaign when it was revealed that he had at least three times in the past dressed up in black- or brownface. The revelation undercut his image as a champion of diversity and inclusion.

He was also plagued with unsubstantiated rumours and fake reports, spread on social media, about his conduct as a teacher at a Vancouver private school.

Scheer was dogged throughout the campaign by questions about his personal beliefs about abortion and same-sex marriage and repeatedly insisted that he would not reopen debate on either issue should he become prime minister. However, doubt remained whether he would allow Conservative backbenchers to initiate legislation to restrict access to abortions.

Conservative hopes in Quebec took a beating after Scheer put in what was widely considered a bad performance in the first French-language leaders’ debate. And in the dying days of the campaign, he was hit with reports that his party had hired an outside consulting firm to conduct a “seek and destroy” campaign against Bernier, Scheer’s one-time leadership rival.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More choices now available for office locations in Red Deer

Depending on size, offices can locate in different city commercial zones

Painting of slain Red Deer doctor and his family is a reminder ‘we care’

Remembering the family of the late Dr. Walter Reynolds

COVID-19: More than 1 million Albertans have been tested to date

Roughly one in four Albertans have been tested

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

David Marsden: Molly Banister extension must be kept

‘It would be a mistake to take a sensible response to future residential development off the table’

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

Bubble hockey champs: Tampa Bay Lightning beat Dallas Stars 2-0, win Stanley Cup

Mahomes outplays Jackson to lead Chiefs past Ravens 34-20

Mahomes outplays Jackson to lead Chiefs past Ravens 34-20

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat

The Finals are set: LeBron, Lakers will meet Butler, Heat

Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez upsets No. 31 seed at French Open

Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez upsets No. 31 seed at French Open

Blue Jays to start Shoemaker in Game 1 against Rays, Ryu on tap in Game 2

Blue Jays to start Shoemaker in Game 1 against Rays, Ryu on tap in Game 2

Canadian men drawn with rival Americans in Group B at 2021 Gold Cup

Canadian men drawn with rival Americans in Group B at 2021 Gold Cup

Adesanya defends belt, Blachowicz wins title at UFC 253

Adesanya defends belt, Blachowicz wins title at UFC 253

Most Read