Justin Trudeau will serve another term as Canada’s prime minister after Liberals won a plurality of seats in Parliament today, according to calls by CBC News and CTV News.
The quick declaration of Trudeau’s victory came as a surprise after he was deadlocked in the polls with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer during the six-week campaign, leading election observers to predict a minority government.
Votes are still being reported, and further returns will determine whether Trudeau will govern with a majority or minority government.
The Liberal leader survived numerous controversies, including revelations by Time Magazine in September that Trudeau wore racist makeup to a costume party in 2001 while he taught at a private school.
The SNC-Lavalin scandal has also dogged Trudeau this year, particularly after the country’s ethics commissioner determined his office tried to shield the engineering company from criminal prosecution.
Trudeau apologized for donning black- and brownface, but in the SNC-Lavalin case he said he was defending Canadian jobs.
During the campaign, Trudeau told voters they had a choice between a progressive agenda on climate change and social services, or a Scheer-led government that would end the carbon tax while having no targets for emission reductions.
But Trudeau risked losing support from Canadians demanding climate action after approving the purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The prime minister has said his first action will be tax cuts for the middle class, or those earning less than $147,000 a year, by raising levels of tax-free income.