Small gains not enough to propel O’Toole, Conservatives ahead of Liberals

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Erin O’Toole managed to raise the seat count of the Conservative Party of Canada in Monday’s federal election, while the Liberals also managed to increase their total from 2019 to retain power in Ottawa.

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If there was any consolation for O’Toole, it was that Justin Trudeau failed in his attempt to grab majority seats, meaning he would once again have to work with at least one more party in the upcoming parliament. Will happen.

As of midnight, O’Toole’s Conservatives were leading or elected in 122 seats, the same as in 2019, even though they had a slightly more popular vote than the Liberals, as they did last time.

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The evening started well for the Conservatives as they managed to increase their position in Atlantic Canada, an area in which the Liberals held 27 of the 32 seats available in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, when Election was called. This time around, the Conservatives had at least six seats and eight seats, including a notable one in Nova Scotia, in which Rick Perkins defeated Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan in South Shore-St. Margarets.

While most riding winners are expected to go on election night, Elections Canada warns that it could take up to four days for all special ballots to be counted, meaning some close races may not have an official winner for several days. can be. About 6.8 million people voted early, most of them in advance elections a week earlier, and the rest voted by mail or via special ballots at Election Canada offices.

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One of O’Toole’s mandates when he took over the Conservatives 13 months ago was to appeal to a wide range of voters, particularly in southern Ontario and Quebec. Throughout the 36-day campaign, O’Toole sought to transform himself to meet the needs of voters, presenting himself as a moderate centrist, attempting to disenchant Liberal voters. And while the Conservative leader was easily relegated to the ride of Durham – a ride he has represented since the November 2012 by-election – the anticipated gains in GTA simply failed to materialize.

Interrupting O’Toole’s efforts at the end of the campaign was Maxim Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada. The far-right group, which once again failed to win a single seat, managed to increase its percentage of the popular vote from 1.6 per cent in 2019 to five per cent this time, and the gains certainly came at the expense of the Conservatives.

When asked over the weekend whether he would support the Liberal minority, O’Toole said he would “see the results on Monday, and will always put the country first.”

Asked whether his leadership of the party would be in doubt if the result was anything other than a Conservative victory, O’Toole once again brushed off the question – something that his critics zeroed in on throughout the campaign. – Saying, “Monday is a chance. Vote for change.”

Files from the Canadian Press were used in this report.

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