Ottawa, Oct 20 (IANS) Canada voted in its first new leader in 10 years, as a general election handed Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party an absolute majority — and a stunning blow to incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The Liberals had collapsed to just 34 seats and third place in the 2011 election. But they were leading in almost 190 constituencies by early Tuesday morning, taking from both the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Harper’s Conservatives party, the National Post reported.
By 1.00 a.m. the Liberals were leading in 184 districts, with the Conservatives at 102, the NDP 41, the Bloc Quebecois 10 and Greens one.
Trudeau, 46, son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, stressed the power of positive election campaigning and its potential to change how Canadians view public service.
“You can appeal to the better angels of our natures, and you can win while doing it,” he said.
“We beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work, we beat negative, divisive politics with a positive vision that brings Canadians together.”
After three terms as prime minister, Harper, 56, indicated to his party that he would be stepping down as leader of the Conservatives, though remaining as an MP.
Since Canada does not have term limits, Harper has held the position since 2006.
“We put everything on the table, we gave everything we had to give and we have no regrets,” CNN quoted Harper as saying.
“The people of Canada have elected a Liberal government, which we accept without hesitation,” he added.
Voting took place on Sunday.