Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces being forced from power as the country votes in parliamentary elections.

Polls are open across the nation after a fractious 40-day campaign, with results expected to start coming in later tonight.

It is expected to be a close result, with Mr Trudeau’s Liberal Party potentially losing to the rival Conservatives, according to an Ipsos poll. Even if they win, the party may fail to keep hold of their majority and have to rely on a coalition to form a government.

Download the new Indpendent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Follow live updates

After weeks of close polling, tonight's result is a victory for Trudeau and his party.
 
"It's not quite the same as 2015. It's not all owing to the leader," said Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto. "Trudeau is prime minister because the rest of the party was able to pull itself together and prevail. While Trudeau certainly deserves credit for what has happened he's really going to have to demonstrate qualities that he hasn't yet shown."

Despite inevitable comparisons to his performance in 2015, these exit polls are still a win for Trudeau
.
"I'm surprised at how well Trudeau has done," said Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto. "I don't think anybody expected Trudeau to get a majority but they are not that far off."
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2019 Canadian elections. We'll be bringing you all the latest polls, results and analysis of this cliffhanger race.
Voting hours for today's election are expected to end at around 10pm EST (that's 2am Tuesday) in the UK. Times for polls across the country have been staggered to allow for different time zones. You can see a breakdown of them here
Current polls aren't looking good for Justin Trudeau. An Ipsos poll on Sunday showed the Conservatives with a 2% lead over Trudeau's Liberals, while a poll average by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation showed the Liberals narrowly leading by 0.4%.
 
This would be the first time in 84 years that a first-term Canadian prime minister with a parliamentary majority lost a bid for re-election.
Advertisement
For more details on those polls, read our full story here: 
 
Here's Justin Trudeau with his family putting his ballot in the box in the Papineau area of Montreal, Quebec.
 
Credit: Reuters / Carlo Allegri
 
So who are the candidates in today's election? Here's who is running and their respective party:
 
Justin Trudeau - The Liberal Party
Andrew Scheer - The Conservatives
Jagmeet Singh - New Democratic Party
Elizabeth May - Green Party
Maxime Bernier - People's Party of Canada
Yves-François Blanchet - The Bloc Québécois
 
Here's Justin Trudeau arriving at the polls in Montreal:
Advertisement
Justin Trudeau has been marred with several scandals in recent months, most notably the prime minister having worn blackface on several occasions.
 
A video of Trudeau wearing blackface was released in September, shortly after a picture of him wearing dark makeup for an Arabian Nights party in 2001 emerged.
 
In response to the picture, the prime minister - who had launched his re-election campaign just a week before - said he should have known better, adding "I'm p***** off at myself, I'm disappointed in myself."
 
You can read our article from September for all the details: 
 
After the evidence of Justin Trudeau wearing blackface emerged, the prime minister answered questions about the controversy, but failed to say how many times he had worn blackface.
 
It's not just the blackface scandal that's had a damaging impact on Justin Trudeau. The 47-year-old prime minister has disappointed some voters with his failure to overhaul Canada's electoral system, as he promised in his 2015 campaign. He also broke his pledge to balance the 2019 budget.
 
The liberal leader also broke federal ethics rules in 2016 by taking a vacation to an island owned by philanthropist Aga Khan.
Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer is Justin Trudeau's biggest rival in this tight race. He is MP Regina - Qu'Appelle in Southern Canada and is another young candidate at only 40 years old. 
 
The father-of-five has not been without his own controversies. Scheer has been criticised for his opposition to abortion and refusal to say whether he supports same-sex marriage. 
 
Earlier this month he admitted that he holds both Canadian and American citizenship after the information was revealed by Toronto newspaper The Globe and MailScheer says he is renouncing his American citizenship, which he acquired because of his US-born father.
Advertisement
During a campaign rally in Ontario over the weekend, Andrew Scheer promised the crowd he would "hold a judicial inquiry into his scandal to get to the bottom of what he's done" if he is elected, referring to the SNC-Lavalin case that has clouded Trudeau's presidency. In response to the pledge, the audience chanted "Lock him up! Lock him up!"
 
 
Unlike the "Lock her up!" chants often heard at Donald Trump rallies, Scheer did redirect the crowd, saying: "We're going to vote him out. Vote him out! Vote him out!"
So what is the SNC-Levelin affair Trudeau is embroiled in?

Construction company SNC-Lavalin was charged by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) with fraud offences that allegedly took place between 2001 and 2011, relating to the bribing of Libyan officials. The company has denied the allegations.

Former Canadian justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould accused Trudeau of attempting to persuade her that a SNC-Lavalin trial would have a harmful impact on the Liberal party and Canadian jobs.

The emergence of this scandal caused the resignation of two of Trudeau's top personal aide, two cabinet ministers and the head of the federal bureaucracy - and also put his 'progressive' credentials under question.

Trudeau has said he did not instruct his staff to interfere, but did not deny talking about the case with his cabinet ministers. The prime minister argued he was not trying to improperly pressure the attorney general but wanted to advocate for financial penalties rather than a 10-year ban on bidding for federal contracts which was one of the possible punishments if SNC-Lavalin was found guilty. Trudeau said this route to protect jobs that might be lost if the company was blocked from federal contracts.

In August, Canada's federal ethics commissioner found that Trudeau violated ethics law with his handling of the corruption inquiry. Although the report did not carry any legal implications for Trudeau, he may end up paying at the ballot box.
Trudeau said at the time of the report that he disagreed with some of the report's findings that he acted improperly and that he would not apologise for trying to stand up for Canadian jobs.
On Wednesday, Barack Obama gave his endorsement for Justin Trudeau. Posting to Twitter, the former US president said: 
 
As we wait for the polls to begin closing later this evening, let's take a brief moment to reflect on the history at play here.
 
This election is Canada's 43rd general election, and the opportunity for Canadian voters over the age of 18 to cast ballots for their preferred candidate.
 
The election season was just 40 days long — which is quite astonishing as an American who regularly covers the US elections that are ongoing (and over a year away!).
 
Overall, Canada says that around 27.4 million people are expected to vote today, at around 20,000 polling places across the country.
Advertisement
Not all of the 20,000 polling sites open today have managed to avoid troubles.
 
CBC News reports that at least one site in Ottawa was unprepared for voters, and didn't have ballot boxes or signs this morning.
 
In Natuashish, on Labrador's coast, there was difficulty getting to election sites because of poor weather conditions and flight delays, too.
 
In Manitoba, a severe storm last weekend has forced special polling stations to be opened.
Voting hours vary across the country today, and we may be in for a late one in this pivotal election.
 
Here are voting hours for each time zone, in local times, from CBC:
  • Newfoundland — 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Atlantic — 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Eastern — 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Manitoba — 8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories — 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Pacific — 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Justin Trudeau is just ahead of Andrew Scheer, according to average polling data. The Liberals are at 32%, with the Conservatives close behind at 31.6%. 
 
An Ipsos poll from yesterday, however, put the Conservatives at a 2% lead over Trudeau's Liberal Party. 
Polling from Politico reflects these numbers, showing just how tight a race this is going to be. According to their data, Liberals and Conservatives were neck-and-neck in the election build-up, with 32% each. The next party is the NDP with 18%, followed by Green 8%, BQ 7% and People's Party at 2%.
Advertisement

Please allow a moment for the liveblog to load

Comments

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

Learn more
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Create a commenting name to join the debate

Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted
Loading comments...
Loading comments...
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Loading comments...
Loading comments...