The geography of politics
During the election campaign, the Liberals focused their campaign on the three key battlegrounds of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. It mostly worked — in the Greater Toronto Area, where one-third or all 37 million Canadians live, the Liberals all but four seats. Similarly in Montreal, they won all but two seats, and did well in Greater Vancouver. In Atlantic Canada, where the Liberals won all 31 seats in 2015, they took 25 seats this time around.
The numbers game
Although the Liberals are on course to win some 157 seats, 13 short of an overall majority, they were outpolled by the Conservatives who won some 200,000 more votes across the country. Canadians use a first-past-the-post model, just like the British system. Winning more votes doesn’t necessary equate to more seats, however, and the Liberals will face calls in the new parliament for electoral reform.
Trudeau and the younger leaders
When Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was elected in 2015, his appeal was that he was young and fresh faced compared with Stephen Harper, who led the Canadian government for nine years. This time around, he was the experienced hand and faced against rookie leaders Andrew Scheer of the Conservatives and Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats.
A leader who lost his lustre
In 2015, Trudeau was seen as young, vibrant, energetic and social media loved his Instagram images. This time around he had to face critics who accused him of being a racist after photos emerged of him in blackface and other inappropriate costumes. After four years in power, he simply lost some of his lustre and newness.
A politician touched by scandals
A series of scandals within the Liberal party itself damaged Trudeau’s reputation for fairness. He was embroiled too in several ethics investigations, one of which involved backing SNC-Lavellin, a huge Quebec-based construction conglomerate accused of playing fast and loose with contracts bids. He said he intervened to save Canadian jobs, not for political gain.